Accidents can happen to us anywhere in Estero, whether at home or outside. However, if the accident occurred on someone else’s property or establishment, you could file an action for compensation that helps cover your injury-related expenses.
Here we look at how Florida’s premises liability laws affect your case and how you could work with an Estero premises liability lawyer from GED Lawyers to recover damages.
How Premises Liability Works in Estero
Here in Estero, the property owner or their tenant is responsible for keeping their place reasonably hazard-free for their guests. For instance, if there is a freshly mopped section of a store, the staff should at least place a “wet floor” sign to alert customers of the danger.
If the owner or tenant’s failure to keep the premises safe leads to an accident, the victim can hold them liable for damages accrued.
Our Estero premises liability lawyer can review the accident to see who is liable. For example, if you got hurt in a restaurant in a strip mall, the restaurant would be responsible, not the strip mall. In addition, our lawyer can help you collect evidence of the party’s negligence, such as surveillance footage and witness testimonies.
Florida Premises Liability Laws for Slip and Fall Incidents
Specific premises liability laws also exist for slip and fall accidents. According to Florida Statutes § 768.0755, business establishments can be liable for slip and fall injuries resulting from foreign substances if:
- The hazardous condition happens frequently enough that the establishment should already know how to address it.
- The condition had been present long enough for the establishment to have known about it.
However, the burden of proof lies with the accident victim to show the business demonstrated negligence by failing to address the foreign substance.
Florida Statutes § 768.075 limits how much liability an Estero tenant or property owner has over an accident on their premises. The law states that they will not be responsible for injuries to trespassers if:
- The trespasser was drunk
- They were under the influence of drugs
- The trespasser was committing a crime or attempting to do so
However, the property owner will be free from liability only if they did not intentionally create dangerous conditions to harm trespassers.
Damages in Estero Premises Liability Settlements
If the Estero premises liability action settles favorably, you can recover economic and non-economic damages from the liable party.
As these repay you for your financial losses, economic damages typically include costs such as medical bills and lost wages. If you file on a deceased loved one’s behalf, you could also recover funeral and burial costs. Compiling as many relevant records of your expenses helps estimate these damages more accurately.
Meanwhile, non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, pay for more abstract costs, such as trauma and disabilities. Estimating these damages is often more complicated. Our Estero premises liability lawyer would have to assess your injury’s severity.
A commonly used formula for calculating these is multiplying your economic damages by a value that depends on your condition’s severity. The reasoning is that you would have likely suffered more with a grievous injury. For example, if you have permanent spinal cord damage, your multiplier would likely be higher than a dislocated shoulder.
Comparative Fault Still Affects Premises Liability Cases
As with other injury cases, the amount you can recover in an Estero premises liability settlement still depends on whether you are partly to blame for the accident.
For example, let us say you are 20 percent liable for a slip and fall for walking briskly on a wet floor that did not have posted warning signs. That means the liable establishment owes you 80 percent of your total damages.
Estero Premises Liability Claims vs. Lawsuits
Besides gathering proof and estimating the settlement value, the Estero premises liability lawyer at our injury law firm can also guide you on what action would work best based on your situation. They can also help you comply with filing requirements such as your four-year statute of limitations.
Two main ways to file for damages are through an insurance claim or an injury lawsuit.
Liability Insurance Claims
Liability insurance pays for a victim’s expenses if the policyholder’s negligence leads to an accident. If the property owner or tenant carries this, you can file a claim with their insurance provider.
For instance, you could check in with the homeowners’ insurance company if you were injured on a residential property. Meanwhile, a business may have commercial liability insurance to avoid paying out of pocket, even though it is not mandatory in Estero.
An Estero premises liability lawyer can present the claim on your behalf and help you negotiate with the insurance provider if you do not accept the initial settlement offer.
Premises Liability Lawsuits
There are instances where liability insurance claims might not work, such as if the property owner does not carry liability insurance. In this scenario, you could proceed with a premises liability lawsuit instead.
The insurance claims adjuster has no say on how much you can recover in a lawsuit. Instead, the civil court will review the matter and determine the amount entitled to you.
A premises liability lawyer with our firm can represent you in the proceedings and help defend your side of the Estero premises liability case until the court reaches a verdict.
Can You Settle an Estero Premises Liability Dispute Privately Instead?
Yes, settling the premises liability dispute is possible without going to court. A liable property owner or tenant might propose this option if they know they are more liable and want to avoid dealing with a lawsuit.
Should you choose this option, our Estero premises liability lawyer can still advise and speak on your behalf during the mediation process.
Get in Touch with an Estero Premises Liability Lawyer Here
GED Lawyers is ready to provide counsel and representation if you suffered from an accident on someone else’s property here in Estero. Since 1995, we have handled various injury cases throughout Florida. Our team has the accumulated legal knowledge and litigation experience to fight for your right to recover damages.
You can call us today to learn more about how our Estero premises liability lawyer can help you with. We are available 24/7 and can speak with you in English and Spanish.