Miami Premises Liability Attorneys
Premises liability arises when a property owner fails to exercise a duty of reasonable care to visitors, failing to correct or warn of dangerous conditions on a property. A number of conditions can cause a premise to become dangerous or unsafe for visitors. Board certified attorneys Keith Brais and Richard Rusak are familiar with the broad spectrum of premises liability cases in Miami and throughout South Florida. Review our Results page for more information about our success in these types of cases.
These unfortunate events can involve an owner’s improper or negligent maintenance of a number of different types of properties, such as an amusement park, office building, hotel, resort, store, sidewalk, parking lot, street, elevator, yacht, ferry or cruise ship.
What is Premises Liability?
Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
A property owner’s negligence through the failure to exercise reasonable case, very often leads to personal injury, which can range from a slip and fall, trip and fall or more serious accidents ranging from concussions to fractures, and in more severe cases, even death. Examples of these dangerous and unsafe conditions include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents – These accidents include transitory conditions and foreign substances, which typically involve a visitor slipping on water or some other debris or foreign substance that a property owner failed to eliminate or warn of.
- Trip and Fall Accidents – Common trips and falls are typically the result of an owner failing to maintain surfaces (i.e., floors, steps) that are in disrepair, broken, loose, or uneven. Other problematic areas include unleveled sidewalks or streets with potholes.
- Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Hot Tub Suction Entrapments Accidents – These accidents involve improperly designed pools or spas, including unsafe or insufficient drains, skimmers, electric motors or pumps that an owner or contractor has negligently installed or failed to modernize with updated and safer equipment, leading to a child, adolescent, and even adults, being held against a drain cover and entrapped underwater. Even in as little as six inches of water, the suction created by dangerous and unsafe pools, in particular electric driven pumps plumbed to drain covers, can result in horrifying injuries. As a result, the person suffers devastating injuries, such as permanent brain damage or evisceration. Alternatively, the entrapped victim drowns as a result of untimely efforts to break the suction by turning off the electric driven pump.
- Swimming, Drowning & Diving Accidents – Accidents involving pools or diving facilities, occur when an owner has a duty of care and fails to observe reasonable practices that could have prevented the injury (i.e., failure to hire a lifeguard when required and/or pools that are defective or dangerous when used in conjunction with a diving boards or slides).
- Florida Resort, Hotel & Vacation Accidents – Accidents at hotels do happen and commonly include a wide-array of personal injuries suffered as a result of an establishment’s failure to maintain or repair a property or, in the first instance, design or construct a dangerous or unsafe condition. Property owners, as well as architects and construction companies, may be responsible parties that should be included in the lawsuit.
- Amusement Park Accidents – Accidents involving Roller coasters and other amusement park rides most often involve the negligent operation, design, construction, maintenance or repair of the ride and can results in a wide variety of injuries or even death.
- Club, Box Store Injuries – These injuries most often involve an invitee (e.g., shopper) is injured because of an unsafe or dangerous condition that the property owner either knew of or by the exercise of reasonable care (e.g., routine inspections) could have learned of, remedied and/or minimally warned of.
- Stairwell & Ramp Accidents – Stair accidents involve a surface (i.e., a step) that is uneven, incomplete or unleveled. In some cases, a stairwell’s broken railings may be the cause of injury.
- Broken Smoke Detector Injuries or Death – A malfunctioning smoke detector may fail to alarm inhabitants or visitors of a fire, leading to injuries related to burns, smoke inhalation, or in some cases, death.
- Faulty Building Conditions – The presence of asbestos or the creation of harmful mold by ill-repaired parts of the structure (i.e., leaking pipes) are some examples of faulty building conditions.
- Dog Bites – Dog and other animal bites may occur as a result of a dog owner’s negligence. Under Florida law, a dog owner may be liable for dog bite injuries, regardless of whether the dog had been vicious in the past and whether the owner knew of such viciousness.
Serving clients in South Florida, including Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and the Florida Keys, the premises liability attorneys of Brais Law Firm are equipped with the necessary legal expertise and skill to handle your case.
Establishing Duty of Care
Absent strict liability, most cases involving the legal theory of premises liability turn on whether the property owner knew or should have known of a dangerous condition and said owner failed to remedy and/or warn of such a condition. The level of the owner’s duty of care will depend on whether the visitor was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser:
- Invitee – An invitee is defined as any person who is invited onto a premise for business reasons or commercial benefit to the property owner. Invitees are owed the highest degree of care and property owners are required to make sure they are safe from known dangers but, also, dangers that a property owner could reasonably have discovered. Under Florida law, social guests are considered licensees by invitation and entitled to the same duty of care as an invitee.
- Licensee – A licensee is an individual that is not invited onto the premise for business or commercial reasons. There are two categories of licensees: licensees by invitation and uninvited licensees. An uninvited licensee, a visitor who is not a social guest and enters the premises without invitation, is owed a degree of care slightly lower than the duty owed to invitees. Here, the property owner is only required to take reasonable steps to warn or correct of known hazardous conditions but, unlike the case of invitees and licensees by invitation, there is no duty for a property owner to inspect for and discover unknown dangers.
- Trespasser – A trespasser is any person who is not authorized to be on the property of another. If a property owner is unaware of a trespasser there is generally no duty to warn the trespasser of an existing danger or make the property safe. In certain circumstances, however, if a property owner becomes aware of a trespasser, the property owner may be obliged to exercise a minimal degree of care so as to not willfully injure the trespasser. The obligation owed by a property owner to a trespassing child is, however, governed by the “attractive nuisances” doctrine. In contrast to the law in other states, Florida’s attractive nuisance doctrine requires a plaintiff to be “lured” onto the premises by the dangerous condition, i.e., a defective pool gate allows unsupervised children to enter the pool and consequently drown.
Consult with Our Miami Premises Liability Attorneys for Free
We encourage you to consult with our premises liability attorneys after you or a loved one experience an injury. We will evaluate your claim for free. Our contingency policy means you do not owe us a fee until and unless we recover money damages for you. Call us toll-free at 1-888-238-5637, or contact us online now.
Our firm handles premise liability claims throughout Florida from Miami, our main office headquarters.