Children are often hurt on another person’s property because the owner did not take measures to protect them. The North Tampa premises liability lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC represent children who were harmed while on someone else’s property. Our attorneys have a combined 50 years of dedicated and tenacious legal advocacy experience. We can offer the counseling and representation you need to pursue your child’s claim against a negligent property owner.
Children Injured on Property
Children may suffer serious injuries on the properties of others. Leading causes of child injury and death include drowning and near-drowning incidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional deaths among children between ages one and 14. A swimming pool, or a defect in its parts, can cause many children to drown or suffer submersion injuries. Other conditions on the property that can harm children include inadequate fencing, lack of proper supervision, and defects on the property, such as uneven stairs.
Florida laws are intended specifically to protect children from drowning injuries. In addition, property owners have a higher duty of care to children on their property under the common law.
Liability for Children on Property
Under premises liability law, a property owner is accountable for injuries suffered on his or her property. Florida property owners are required to maintain their property in reasonably safe conditions. This duty is owed to invitees (people on the property for a commercial purpose), licensees (social guests), and, under narrow circumstances, trespassers.
A person who is injured must demonstrate that the property owner was negligent. If your child was hurt on someone else’s property, you must prove that the property owner:
- Owed your child a duty of care;
- Breached this duty of care; and
- Caused your child’s injuries.
If your child was injured in a hotel pool, for example, you must demonstrate that the hotel’s violation of its duty of care caused your child’s injuries. If your child was hurt by a defective product within the pool, such as a drain, you may also have a claim against the product’s manufacturer.
Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act
This Florida law specifically protects children and the elderly from swimming pool injuries. Residential property owners must equip pools, spas, and hot tubs with a minimum of one safety measure, such as a pool cover. If a child is injured as a result of the property owner’s failure to adequately secure the pool, the property owner may be liable under negligence per se. When a law is designed to protect a certain set of people, violating that law automatically meets the duty and breach elements of a negligence claim. However, the victim still must prove causation and damages.
While a property owner’s duty of care generally does not extend to unknown trespassers, it does extend to trespassing minors. A property owner may be liable for a trespassing child’s injuries under the attractive nuisance doctrine. The property owner must know, or have reason to know, that children would be in the area near the pool and that the pool was a particular risk to the children. Also, the children must be too young or inexperienced to appreciate the danger posed by the pool.
Damages for Your Child’s Injuries
You may obtain compensation for your child’s medical and hospital bills, pain and suffering, and more. If your child died in the accident, you may pursue a claim for wrongful death to recover for his or her medical costs and your pain and suffering. In Florida, the statute of limitations is four years for personal injury claims and two years for wrongful death claims.
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Spring Hill injury attorneys can provide the dedicated and knowledgeable representation you need to obtain damages for your child’s injuries. We can assess your child’s case and discuss your legal rights and options with you. If we proceed with your case, you can depend on our focused representation and advocacy to get the results you and your child deserve. We serve clients in Brooksville, Lutz, and the surrounding communities. Call us today at (866) 597-0009 or contact us online for an initial consultation at no cost to you.