Miami Premises Liability Attorney

Injuries Caused By Negligent Property Owners

Property owners have a legal duty to address maintenance and safety issues they know about or should have known about. This area of law is known as premises liability. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, in Miami, our lawyers aggressively hold property owners accountable for unsafe conditions that injure guests. We have succeeded in securing verdicts and settlements from malls, hotels, cruise ships and other entities involving cases of property owner neglect.

Our premises liability lawyers have recovered more than $100 million in compensation for clients and have secured some of the largest recoveries for personal injury in Florida. Call us, 305-371-2692, for a FREE case evaluation.

What is a Premises Liability Lawsuit?

Premises liability law is a specific type of personal injury law that allows an injured person to file a claim to seek compensation when the injury occurred on dangerous premises. For example, a slip and fall accident is one type of premises liability case. A property owner (or anyone in control of a property, such as a renter or tenant, property manager, or property overseer) has a duty to correct dangerous conditions on the property or to warn people on the property about any hazards. However, Florida property owners owe different levels of care to different types of people on the property.

A person known as an “invitee” is owed the greatest duty of care. An “invitee” is a person who is on the property as a member of the public (such as someone in a public park or on other public property) or someone who is on the property for business purposes (such as a potential customer at a restaurant or retail establishment). A “licensee” is owed a duty of care, but not as high a duty of care as an “invitee.” A “trespasser” is someone who is not allowed onto the property but unlawfully enters the property anyway.

  • Invitees: people invited onto the property, such as a business customer
  • Licensees: someone who has permission to come onto the property, such as a friend stopping by to visit
  • Trespassers: someone who does not have permission to enter or stay on the property

If the injured person is an “invitee” and the property owner failed to repair hazardous conditions or to warn the “invitee” about hazardous conditions, then the property owner may be liable. However, liability gets more complicated when the injured person is a “licensee” or a “trespasser,” as well as in situations where the injured party bears some responsibility for the accident.

Florida law does allow plaintiffs to recover in some situations where the injured party is a trespasser but the property owner had an “attractive nuisance” like a swimming pool or hot tub.

Premises Liability Cases We Handle

Most premises liability claims are brought against businesses by customers or against private landowners by visitors or guests. A smaller number of premises liability claims are brought by members of the public against the government. Our practice has secured damages in a broad array of premises liability cases, including:

  • Inadequate or negligent security: We have recovered damages for victims of rape, robbery and assaults by demonstrating that a lack of security or a serious security breach enabled the attack.
  • Slips, trips and falls: We handle serious slip-and-fall injures resulting from construction defects, unrepaired hazards, neglected spills and slick surfaces.
  • Accidents at hotels and resorts: We have handled cases of swimming pool and near-drowning accidents in Florida, demonstrating lack of supervision, inadequate training of lifeguards or other safety hazards.
  • Cruise ship accidents: The owner and crew of a cruise ship have a legal duty to provide a reasonably safe environment for passengers.
  • Dog bites: If you, or a family member, has suffered a dog bite or been attacked by a wild animal, talk to one of our attorneys before accepting a settlement for your injuries.

With a background as an insurance defense lawyer, partner Dan Dolan brings valuable strategies for convincing property owners and their insurance companies to settle claims for what you deserve.

Proving a Premises Liability Claim in Miami, Florida

Identify Your Status on the Property

To bring a successful claim, you need to show that the person in possession of the premises did not exercise sufficient care. But how much care do they need to use? Under Florida law, the duty required will depend on your status on the property. In general, there are three types of visitors (referenced above).

Proving Duties

A landlord owes different duties to each type of visitor. For example, for invitees, a landowner owes the highest duty because he has invited the guest onto the property. The owner must regularly inspect the property for hazards and fix them or notify the invitee of them. A property owner can be responsible for hazards he should have known about had he performed an adequate inspection. If an owner fails to satisfy this duty, he can be liable for any injuries.

A property owner owes a lesser duty to licensees. In particular, the owner must maintain the property in a reasonably safe manner, which can include fixing known hazards or warning others of them. However, a property owner does not need to regularly inspect the premises for the benefit of licensees.

A premises owner owes no duty of care to trespassers. Instead, they must refrain from intentionally injuring them. Once a landowner discovers a trespasser, they should warn of any known hazards that the trespasser cannot see with their own eyes. Children are also owed a duty of care if the owner has anything that would attract children to the property, such as a pool, trampoline, or old appliance. These are called attractive nuisances.

Contact Us For A FREE Initial Consultation

If you suffered a serious injury in Miami due to the negligence of a property owner, our lawyers can help. To talk with an experienced Miami premises liability lawyer, call 305-371-2692 or 800-610-9491. We offer an honest, no-obligation, FREE case evaluation. Home and hospital visits are available.

Premises Liability FAQs

Where Can a Premises Liability Injury Occur?

Premises liability injuries can occur on almost any property, including but not limited to the following:

  • Restaurants;
  • Retail establishments;
  • Parking lots;
  • Swimming pools;
  • ATMs and banks; and
  • Homes of friends and family members.

Who Is Responsible for a Premises Liability Accident in Florida?

The answer to this question depends upon a number of different factors. If the injured person is an “invitee” and the property owner failed to repair hazardous conditions or to warn the “invitee” about hazardous conditions, then the property owner may be liable. However, liability gets more complicated when the injured person is a “licensee” or a “trespasser,” as well as in situations where the injured party bears some responsibility for the accident.

Florida law does allow plaintiffs to recover in some situations where the injured party is a trespasser but the property owner had an “attractive nuisance” like a swimming pool or hot tub.

What Do I Need to Prove If I Slipped and Fell in a Florida Business?

Florida’s slip and fall laws are friendlier to businesses than to individuals who get hurt on the property. Under Florida law (Fla. Stat. § 768.0755), when a person slips and falls on a substance in an establishment, that individual has to demonstrate that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the danger and should have taken action to remedy it. An injured party can prove that a business had constructive knowledge by showing one of the following cited by the statute:

  • A dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or
  • The condition occurred with regularity and therefore was foreseeable.

Can I Recover If I Was Partially to Blame for My Premises Liability Injury?

Under Florida’s comparative fault law, an injured plaintiff can recover damages even if she was partially at fault for the accident—whether the plaintiff was 1 percent or 99 percent at fault. However, the plaintiff’s damages award will be reduced by her percentage of fault.

Can I Sue For Any Injury Suffered On Someone Else’s Property?

No. To prove that a property owner was liable for your injuries, you must show that his or her actions exposed you to an unreasonable risk of harm. If you fell down the stairs because there was a broken step that the owner just hadn’t gotten around to repairing, that’s premises liability. If the stairs were well-lit, properly maintained, and otherwise safe for use, you may not have a claim. The circumstances of your accident make all the difference. If you are not sure whether you have a claim, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

What Is Negligent Security?

A lack of proper security can serve as an invitation to criminal activity. Alleys and parking lots can invite criminal assaults or robberies. Places like hotels and cruise ships owe a duty to guests to provide adequate security to deter crime. Negligent security claims arise when a person is injured in a crime that was foreseeable and that could have been prevented by reasonable security measures.

What If The Neighbor’s Dog Bit Me On My Property?

Dog bite and animal attack cases are a subset of premises liability. It is not necessary for a dog bite to occur on the dog owner’s property for liability to arise. Owners are expected to take reasonable steps to protect the public from their animals. If a dog is allowed to run free and it bites someone, it is quite possible that the owner is liable for any resulting harm.

Can I Pursue A Claim From Out Of Town?

Many people injured in hotels, on cruise ships, and at other entertainment locations are not Miami locals. If you were injured while visiting South or Central Florida, our lawyers can work with you to seek compensation in the most convenient way possible. It may be possible to get full compensation without requiring you to travel back to Florida.

What Are Some Common Dangerous Conditions That Give Rise To Injury Claims?

Injuries can result from a wide range of unsafe conditions. Slick or wet floors are a common problem. Swimming pools that are accessible to children and are not staffed with properly trained lifeguards are a problem. Injuries can occur on improperly maintained elevators and escalators, broken sidewalks, in crowded bars, and almost anywhere you can imagine. Property owners who ignore known safety hazards put your safety and the safety of every visitor at risk.

Trusting Words From Our Clients

“I have used Manuel Dobrinsky and he is more than excellent. Great communication. More than effective. It was a fantastic support for me having him during my process. Also I can say the best Lawyer I ever had.”

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“I was not able to get anyone on the west coast of Florida to look at my case. Manny Dobrinsky took my case and won a settlement for me. He was very thorough and worked hard for me. His assistant Dameris was always there to help me and answer my questions. I was very pleased with this group.”

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