What Are Premises Liability Claims?
Premise Liability claims encompasses several areas such as:
- Slip and falls resulting from slippery floors,
- Injuries due to broken or uneven sidewalks or walk ways,
- Tripping incidents caused by inadequate lighting, obstructed floors, aisles or walkways,
- Injuries due to broken, unkept or improperly built stairs or handrails
- Injuries due to falling merchandise, or other dangerous conditions found in retail, food or other business establishments.
- Dog bite or dog attacks regardless of known vicious propensities of the dog.
- Accidents occurring in elevators or on escalators.
- Swimming pools accidents or deaths.
Property owners are liable for maintaining both the inside and outside of their premises. For example, a hotel owner has a duty to maintain not only the rooms and common areas inside the hotel, but also the sidewalks, entryways and parking lot outside the hotel.
To succeed in a premises liability case, the injured person must prove that in addition to being injured:
- The property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition.
- The property owner failed to repair and/or give warning of this dangerous condition.
Special Duty Owed to Children! Property owners particularly those whose home, apartment or condo have swimming pools on their property. Must take special care to protect children who enter their property, regardless of whether the child is a guest or a trespasser under the theory of the “attractive nuisance doctrine”. This includes not only swimming pools, but trampolines, old appliances and any other dangerous conditions likely to entice a child. In the case of a swimming pool, the owner must take reasonable steps to include putting a fence around the pool with a locked gate.
In addition, Florida’s Residential Swimming Pool Safety Act requires all new outdoor residential pools, spas, and hot tubs, constructed on or after October 1, 2000, be equipped with at least one of the following safety features:
1. The pool must be enclosed by a 4-foot barrier, such as a fence, that prevents a child from climbing over or under. (F.S. §515.29(2011));
2. The pool must have an approved pool cover;
3. An exit alarm must be installed on home windows and doors with access to the pool; or
4. All doors with direct pool access must be equipped with an outward-opening, self-closing, self-latching device. (F.S. §515.27(2011))
If you or a family member have suffered a serious injury or death because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property call to find out how lawyer can help you with your situation. Contact my firm for a free evaluation of your claim and act now to protect your rights.