Premises liability is a broad category of cases that involve injuries on another person’s property or on the property of a business. Some of the most common premises liability cases arise from injuries at a grocery store, restaurant, apartment complex, bar, club, or department store. When a person is injured or dies because of the negligence or recklessness on the part of the property owner, then the claim will likely fall under the broad heading of premises liability. However, within the category of premises liability there are several subcategories of cases, many of which you are probably familiar with. Let’s talk about the five most common types of premises liability cases in Florida.
Slip and Fall Accidents and Trip and Fall Accidents.
The distinction between a slip and fall and a trip and fall accident is subtle. A slip and fall will typically involve a slippery substance or a slippery surface that causes the victim to fall and suffer injuries. Some of the most common slip and fall accidents will involve a liquid on a smooth surface, like juice on the floor at a grocery store or sauce on the floor at a restaurant. A slip and fall might also occur because a stair is missing the proper non-slip strip, which results in a dangerously slippery staircase.
A trip and fall accident, on the other hand, will typically involve a trip over an object or an improperly maintained or designed object or surface. Sometimes, a trip and fall will occur because there is an uneven lip of pavement at the entrance of a convenience store. Other times, a trip and fall might occur because there is a bunched up or folded rug that causes a person to fall. Finally, one of the most common causes of trip and fall accidents is a cable or cord that stretches across an area where people commonly walk.
Amusement Park Accidents and Theme Park Accidents.
One of the best things about Orlando is our beautiful amusement parks. Whether it’s Disney or Universal Studios or another park, there are many places where a person or a family can escape for the day and have a great time.
Although the theme parks are fantastic entertainment, there are many hazards at amusement parks and theme parks, and thus there are many ways people can get hurt. For that reason, many premises liability claims are brought each year as a result of injuries suffered at an amusement park. There are numerous opportunities for people to get hurt in a slip and fall or trip and fall on the premises of the amusement park. Additionally, sometimes there are malfunctions on a ride that can cause injuries or death. With all the people at the parks and with all the moving parts, it’s inevitable that some people will get hurt.
Assault and Negligent Security.
When a person gets attacked on the premises of a business or an apartment complex, the victim may have a claim for premises liability. Specifically, when a person is the victim of criminal assault on another’s property, the victim may have a viable claim for negligent security. Some of the most common negligent security claims involve a shooting at an apartment complex or a shooting at a hotel or motel. Additionally, the same type of negligent security claim can be brought if a person is the victim of a stabbing at a business or property. Finally, negligent security claims are commonly brought as a result of a physical altercation at a bar or club.
The basic premise of a negligent security claim is that the business owner, landowner, or apartment complex owner should have foreseen the harm the victim suffered. Thus, if there had been previous attacks at the same business or property, and then the victim suffered an attack on that premises, the victim could have a strong negligent security claim because the landowner should have done something to prevent further criminal attacks on the property.
Animal Attacks and Dog Bites.
Many people have pets, and these pets are usually like a member of the family. Unfortunately, many people are attacked every year by a dog or other animal and suffer serious injuries as a result. In Florida, there is no one free bite rule as there is in other states. This means that the dog owner can be held strictly liable for a dog bite, even if the dog had never displayed aggressive tendencies. However, your case against the dog owner could be stronger if the owner knew that the dog had a tendency to attack because then the dog may be classified a “dangerous dog” under Florida law. An owner of a dangerous dog in Florida is responsible for taking certain precautions to avoid people getting harmed by the dog. Failure to do so could result in liability for the owner.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents.
Every year, thousands of people are injured as a result of elevator and escalator accidents. Additionally, somewhere around 30 people die each year from elevator or escalator accidents. Sometimes, an elevator or escalator accident may be the result of a manufacturing or design defect. In those cases, the claim for damages would likely be a product liability claim. However, when the elevator or escalator accident occurs because the elevator or escalator was not properly maintained or inspected, then the injured person may be able to bring a premises liability claim against the owner or manager of the property.