Property owners have a responsibility to the people they allow on their property. When unsafe designs, shoddy workmanship, wet floors, and other hazards are left untended and cause an injury, the property owner can be held liable for the injured person’s damages.
This is called premises liability, and it is a very specific form of personal injury claim. If you’re hurt in a store, in someone’s home, on land, in parking lots, or in any other location that is owned by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation from the owner.
Get in touch with a premises liability lawyer in Fort Myers Beach from Viles & Beckman to see how much you are owed and to go over your legal options.
Elements of a Fort Myers Beach Premises Liability Case
Premises liability stems from the notion that property owners have an obligation to keep their property safe for visitors. This includes maintaining the property as well as correcting safety issues that arise within a “reasonable” time.
For example, a property owner in Fort Myers Beach might be liable for your injuries and damages if you are hurt because they failed to do one of the following:
- Clean up detritus in walkway areas
- Use fans, mats, or other methods to dry wet floors
- Notify visitors of hazards via signage (e.g. “wet floor” signs or “caution” tape)
- Maintain stairs and walkways according to safety regulations
Premises liability claims are often listed as slip and fall accidents due to poor structure maintenance or a failure to take care of hazardous situations like spills. Though slip and fall cases are common in Florida, it can take a skilled premises liability attorney to get an injured person the full value of the compensation they are owed.
How Visitor Classification Can Affect Your Premises Liability Claim
There is another element that your premises liability lawyer can explain to you: visitor classification. In short, your status on the property, including whether or not you were invited, can affect your ability to seek compensation after an injury. These are the three types of visitors according to Florida law:
- Invitees: This group includes members of the public in public spaces, home guests, and those on the property for business purposes (such as shoppers).
- Licensees: Licensees can be either invited or uninvited, and they include vendors who provide services (electricians, for example) and solicitors (like door-to-door salespeople).
- Trespassers: Someone who illegally enters a property without the knowledge or permission of the owner is considered a trespasser.
Property owners have a positive duty to protect their invitees. They have varying degrees of responsibility toward licensees depending on whether the licensee is invited or not. However, Florida Statute § 768.075 makes clear that owners do not have the same responsibilities toward trespassers.
For trespassers, all the owner must do is refrain from intentionally harming the visitor (unless the trespasser poses a threat to someone else on the property).
How Much Is Your Fort Myers Beach Premises Liability Case Worth?
The amount of compensation you can sue for in a premises liability claim depends on the extent of your damages. In legal terms, “damages” refers to all the ways that your injury has negatively affected you. They come in two categories: those that are directly monetary in nature and those that are more subjective.
The first category, economic damages, includes all the ways your finances are harmed by your injury. A Fort Myers Beach premises liability attorney can help you catalog all these harms, which often include:
- Lost wages due to injury and recovery
- Medical bills and expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- The cost of replacing damaged property
- Lost earning capacity due to disability or disfigurement
You might also be harmed in ways that aren’t connected to your bank account. These still deserve to be compensated. Non-economic damages can include many elements of your injury and recovery, such as:
- Mental anguish (i.e., depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc. related to your injury)
- Physical pain you endure
- Psychological effects of becoming disfigured
- Loss of consortium with your spouse
These types of damages are often difficult to attach to a dollar amount. It’s best to discuss your case with an experienced premises liability lawyer who can help you understand the true value of the compensation you are owed.
Why You Need a Premises Liability Attorney for Fort Myers Beach
One of the top reasons people seek help from skilled lawyers in Fort Myers Beach premises liability cases is simply to have someone on their side who can negotiate with insurance companies and opposing counsel. But there are myriad other reasons that having an attorney on your team is a good idea.
For starters, an attorney can gather and preserve evidence to support your claim, such as photographs or video footage of the accident and property, eyewitness testimony, expert witness testimony, medical records, and more.
Your lawyer can also calculate your total damages, has the experience necessary to know when a settlement offer is not enough to cover your true needs, and can fight for your rights in court if necessary. Consistently, clients with lawyers on their side earn more in compensation than those who represent themselves (even when considering attorneys’ fees).
Get a FREE Consultation With a Fort Myers Beach Premises Liability Lawyer
The Fort Myers Beach premises liability lawyers at Viles & Beckman have extensive experience handling cases like yours. We have secured more than $100 Million in verdicts and settlements for our personal injury clients and are ready to go to bat for you.
Fill out the form on our contact page for a FREE, no obligation consultation on your premises liability claim. You can also call our office to schedule your appointment. Take back control of your situation and let a knowledgeable personal injury law firm get you the compensation you deserve.