Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their grounds are safe and don’t pose an unreasonable risk to individuals. Unfortunately, the people who own, manage, and maintain properties in South Florida don't always uphold their obligations.
If you have been hurt due to unsafe conditions or negligent security on a residential or commercial property, the attorneys at the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. can pursue the maximum compensation available for your serious injuries. Every dangerous premises case has unique facts, and our lawyers will investigate to determine who is liable for the harm you've suffered.
Please call 305-371-8000 to schedule your free consultation with a premises liability attorney at the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. Our lawyers serve clients in Miami and nearby areas of Florida.
What Is Premises Liability Law?
Premises liability laws establish the duty property owners have in maintaining the safety and security of their property. This is known as a duty of care. Property owners generally owe a duty of care to invited visitors (such as friends, family, and neighbors) and people who are lawfully transacting business (such as salespeople, volunteer canvassers, etc.).
Generally, property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers. As a result, people who trespass on a property and suffer subsequent injury are generally not eligible for compensation (although some exceptions exist).
In addition, simply because you are injured on a premises does not automatically mean the owner was negligent. Premises liability law defines negligence as a failure to rectify a dangerous condition of which the owner should be reasonably aware.
For example, say a patron in a restaurant spills water on the floor, then seconds later someone slips and falls. The spilled water is a dangerous condition, but several seconds likely does not qualify as a reasonable amount of time for the owner or manager to become aware of the danger and rectify it; it is unlikely the injured customer could demonstrate that the restaurant is liable.
However, if the spill isn't cleaned up for hours and a customer gets hurt in a fall, the restaurant's negligence is generally easier to establish.
What Are Dangerous Premises Cases?
Countless homes, residential buildings, restaurants, hotels, commercial businesses, and other properties are located in Miami. Different kinds of properties pose different dangers, but some common examples of premises liability injury claims include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Negligent security resulting in robbery, assault, sexual assault, or murder
- Dog bites
- Drownings, head injuries, and other injuries in unsecured swimming pools
- Falls on improperly designed stairs or ramps
- Defective escalator and elevator injuries
- Falls due to missing or unsafe handrails
- Lack of proper lighting
- Construction site accidents
- Burns, smoke inhalation, and other injuries from fires
Many of these dangerous conditions arise due to poor or inadequate cleaning and maintenance. Others, such as injuries caused by violent crime on the property, may be the result of insufficient security personnel, missing or inoperative security measures, and poor lighting and other conditions to deter criminal activity on the premises.
As a major sea port, Miami is also the site of premises liability claims involving cruise ships. Cruise ship injuries can occur due to a variety of unsafe conditions, such as slippery decks and unsecured furniture, as well as physical and sexual assault committed by crew members.
The Hickey Law Firm, P.A. has extensive experience holding cruise lines accountable for passenger injuries and assaults. View our case results.
When Should I File a Premises Liability Claim?
Florida law gives you four years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. This might seem like a long time, but it is vital that you act quickly.
Dangerous conditions can easily be cleaned up or repaired immediately following an accident. Therefore, you should take these steps to protect your case as soon as possible:
- Get care for your injuries: Not only is timely medical intervention crucial for your well-being, but treatment by a doctor creates a record of the harm you suffered.
- Document the scene: Make notes and take pictures of the conditions that led to your injury. This might be a slick floor, a broken handrail, poor lighting in a hallway, etc.
- Interview witnesses: If you don't need to be transported immediately to the hospital, speak to anyone in the immediate area who witnessed your accident. Be sure to get their names and contact information, as they may offer valuable testimony.
- Report the accident: If you are injured in a residential building (such as an apartment complex) or a business, there is likely a protocol for reporting injuries and accidents. Be sure to file whatever reports the property owner requests, as this is yet another document substantiating your claim.
- Contact Hickey Law Firm, P.A.: Our attorneys stand ready to investigate your premises liability claim promptly. Your initial consultation is free, and we don't get paid unless we secure a verdict or settlement in your favor.
Our attorneys will pursue maximum in your case. You may be eligible for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. If you tragically lost a family member due to unsafe property injury, lawyers at the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. will aggressively pursue a wrongful death claim on your behalf.
Contact the Hickey Law Firm, P.A. for Your Free Consultation
If you have been injured on another person’s property or a commercial property as a result of negligence or wrongdoing, you may have a premises liability case. Our team, led by attorney John H. (Jack) Hickey, has the experience, skill, and resources to protect your rights.
Call 305-371-8000 today to schedule your free consultation. The Hickey Law Firm, P.A. serves clients in Miami, Florida, and (in select cases such as cruise ship injuries and accidents) nationwide.