Property owners and certain other parties are responsible for injuries caused by defective conditions on their property. The Florida slip and fall lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can advise you on your legal rights and represent you if you were injured by a defective property condition. Our lawyers have substantial experience in premises liability cases. We can advocate for your right to compensation if a dangerous property condition caused your injuries.
Defective Property Conditions
Hazards on property can cause a person to suffer serious injuries if he or she trips, slips, or falls. Businesses, residences, and public property must be adequately maintained to prevent injuries to people lawfully on the premises. Some examples of a defective property condition include:
- Improperly constructed staircases.
- Loose or broken steps or handrails on stairs.
- Collapsed floors or uneven pavements.
- Inadequately fenced pools or other conditions that can pose a danger to children.
An injury on defective property can happen in a matter of seconds, but it can have a long-term impact on the victim. A person can suffer severe brain trauma, fractures, and other injuries as a result of the accident.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim
Victims of defective property conditions have a right to assert a claim against the parties responsible for the defect. Personal injury claims based on premises liability allow a victim to hold a property owner and potentially other parties liable for defective property conditions. Florida requires all property owners to keep their property in reasonably safe conditions, which includes a duty to fix or warn of defective conditions on their premises.
You can potentially hold a property owner liable if you can demonstrate that a defective condition on the property caused your injuries. You must prove that the property owner:
- Owed you a duty of care. Generally, this duty extends only to people lawfully on the property, such as customers at a restaurant, but it may extend to trespassers such as children under certain circumstances.
- Breached its duty to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, inspection, and repair of its property, and failed to warn of the dangerous condition.
- Caused your injuries by violating its duty of care.
There may be more than one party responsible for repairing the defect or warning people about it. If you were injured in a private residence, for example, both the property owner and the lessee may be liable, depending on where the danger is located. A commercial business that leases property may be liable for injuries caused by a transitory object, such as clutter, but the property owner might not be liable. A premises liability attorney can help identify which parties you may hold accountable.
Open and Obvious Defects and Comparative Negligence
Some property owners may argue that the defective property condition was so open and obvious that it did not have a duty to warn. Florida courts, however, make a distinction between a property owner’s duty to warn and its duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. Even if a defect was obvious, it does not absolve the property owner of its negligence in allowing the defect to exist. A court will consider the nature of the defect in determining the victim’s comparative negligence. Florida will allow you to recover damages in proportion to your degree of negligence.
Damages for Your Injuries
Recoverable damages for injuries caused by a defective property condition include medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and more. If a victim died as a result of the injuries, certain relatives may file a claim for wrongful death and recover for the deceased’s medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of consortium. Florida personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the accident, while wrongful death claims must be filed within two years.
Seasoned Legal Advocacy
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our Spring Hill premises liability attorneys are prepared to help you if you were injured by a defective property condition. We are seasoned courtroom advocates who can effectively assert your legal rights in a premises liability case. Our lawyers provide each client with individualized representation, and we can aggressively pursue your right to fair compensation. We serve clients throughout Hillsborough, Hernando, and Citrus Counties. Call us today or reach us online to schedule a free initial consultation at no cost.