All landowners assume a duty to protect invited visitors onto their land. This means that they must protect these people from not just temporary hazards such as wet floors, but also from structural defects and even the criminal acts of others. The amount of protection a property owner must extend to a visitor depends on that visitor’s reasons for entering the land.
These cases, known as premises liability cases, are personal injury claims. This means that the injured plaintiff alleges that a landowner’s failure to provide a safe space resulted in or contributed to their injuries. These injuries can include physical harms, economic losses, and emotional trauma.
If you were injured while visiting someone else’s property, a Tampa premises liability lawyer may be able to help you. Your diligent attorney could work to evaluate actions taken by the landowner, determine your visitor status under premises liability law, and file a claim that demands full compensation for their losses.
How Property Owner Negligence Could Cause an Injury
Premises liability cases examine the steps taken by landowner to prevent injury to their visitors. This is because premises liability cases are centered on the idea that landowners have a duty to protect their visitors. This includes protection from temporary hazards such as spills or rainwater, structural defects such as broken stairs or loose handrails, and even criminal actions of others.
Whether a landowner took sufficient steps to protect their visitors depends both on why the visitor was on the land and the type of land that they visited. For example, the greatest level of protection is given to people who are on the land for a business purpose. These are known as invitees.
Property owners must protect these individuals from harms that they knew about or should have known about—for example, a structural defect like a broken front step. However, questions of adequate security in a shop are much more open to interpretation. While a bar might be expected to have a security crew, a sit-down restaurant may be less likely to be the scene of violence.
Other visitors are given lesser protections by law. People who enter land for a private matter—licensees—are only protected from problems known to the landowner. Trespassers, meanwhile, are only protected from the intentional acts of the property owner. A Tampa premises liability lawyer could help people frame their experience within the scope of the law.
Potential Sources of Premises Liability Injuries
A premises liability injury is any injury caused by the poor maintenance of land. Maintenance of land includes both the timely fixing of temporary problems and the general upkeep of places that visitors may be expected to enter. In addition, property such as apartments or nightclubs are required to provide adequate security to prevent crimes.
Any time a failure of these systems results in an injury, that injured person has the right to demand compensation. This can include the payment of medical bills, reimbursement for any lost time at work, and even emotional distress associated with the incident.
However, insurance companies often contest premises liability cases, claiming that the plaintiff contributed to causing their own injury in some way. A Tampa premises liability lawyer could work to protect the interests of injured plaintiffs and help them pursue appropriate compensation.
The Importance of Filing Quickly
Florida laws strictly control when an injured plaintiff may file a case in court. Known as the statute of limitations, Florida Statutes §95.11 states that all cases alleging personal injury must be in court within four years of the date of injury. This may seem like a long time, but recovery periods can last for several months or even years, and the evidence-gathering process may be complex and time-consuming.
Speaking with a Tampa Premises Liability Attorney
A premises liability case alleges that a landowner’s negligence resulted in a personal injury. This negligence may involve a failure to fix a temporary hazard, a structural defect that was not disclosed to a visitor, or even a failure to provide adequate security. Any time that a visitor enters land with the owner’s permission, that owner assumes a duty to protect them.
When a failure in this duty results in an injury, you have the right to be compensated for your damages. A Tampa premises liability lawyer could lead the way in demanding these payments by working to gather evidence, analyze the law, and form thorough demand packages to send to insurance companies. The time to file a case is limited by law, so contact an attorney in Tampa today to let them get to work for you.