premises liability

Premises Liability: Staircases

Category: premises liability |

Staircase accidents are a leading cause of injuries. According to a study by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, more than one million Americans are injured on stairs annually. Even a fall down a simple staircase can be dangerous. Common injuries sustained in staircase accidents include sprains, strains, contusions, scrapes, and fractures. But it is not uncommon for more serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury to occur. You may believe that a fall on staircases is the result of someone’s clumsiness, but many staircase accidents can result from the negligence of a property owner or business. It is important that all stairs and railings be designed, built, and maintained with safety in mind. Dangerous staircases can lead to slip and fall injuries or even to stairway collapses. Staircase accidents can occur in homes, apartment buildings, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses. Customers in commercial or business establishments have the right to expect that the premises, including any staircases, are reasonably safe to lawfully enter onto. Property owners, or entities that rent or occupy the property, have an obligation to inspect their property on a regular basis for dangerous conditions and to correct these hazards or warn visitors of the danger. In addition, in private homes, property owners are obligated to correct or repair any defects or dangers of which they are aware and should warn guests of these dangers. Common Causes of Staircase Accidents  Unsafe conditions on someone’s property are usually the cause of slip or fall accidents or stairway collapses. Staircases found both inside and outside must be properly built and maintained. Staircase conditions that can cause injury include: Uneven, wobbly or chipped steps Defective banisters or handrails Poor lighting in the staircase Worn or loose carpet on the stairs Improper distance between landings Failure to meet building codes Rotted steps or support materials Water, ice, or other liquid on the stairs If stairs are unsafe for any reason, the property owner must fix the condition immediately or to at least post signs to warn people of the danger. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured on a defective staircase, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-855-293-5630 to schedule your free consultation.

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What is an Attractive Nuisance?

Category: premises liability |

Children are curious creatures, and sometimes their curiosity can get the better of them. Children may do things that an adult wouldn’t do out of safety concerns. Sometimes a child’s curiosity can put them in a position where they are seriously injured. Children are not expected to behave as adults do, which is why under premises liability law, there is the doctrine of “attractive nuisance.” Attractive Nuisance Doctrine Generally, those who enter another person’s property without permission are considered trespassers and are given very little protection if they are injured on the property. The attractive nuisance doctrine is an exception to this rule regarding trespassers. Under this doctrine, property owners are held to a standard of care to protect children from dangerous conditions on their property, even if those children come on the property as trespassers. Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, a property owner can be liable for injuries to children trespassing on their property if: The property owner knows or should know that the area where a dangerous condition exists is one where a child may trespass The dangerous condition is either known or should be known, to pose an unreasonable risk to a child Because of their age, the child does not realize the risk that may be involved with the dangerous condition The burden of eliminating the danger is less than the risk to the child The property owner fails to act with reasonable care to remove the risk to protect the child from danger Examples of Attractive Nuisances A property owner should be able to reasonably foresee that children will want to enter their property when certain “attractions” are present. The attractive nuisance doctrine holds property owners to a higher standard when they create an artificial condition on their property. Because children may be attracted to this condition, they ignore the risks to which they may be exposed. Examples of attractive nuisances include: Swimming pools Playscapes Trampolines Manmade ponds Fountains Abandoned cars Holes in the ground Construction or farm equipment Construction materials Leaning ladders Discarded appliances Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney If your child has been injured on someone else’s property, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-855-293-5630 to schedule your free consultation.

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Swimming Pool Safety

Category: premises liability |

Swimming pools are a big deal in Florida. However, tragically, Florida has the highest drowning rate for young children in the country. Dozens of children drown in Florida each year. Most drownings are preventable if you’re careful when it comes to swimming pool safety and take important measures to protect yourself and your family. If you own a pool, you should make safety your number one priority and protect friends and family. Here are some tips to stay safe: Make Sure Your Pool has a Protective Barrier Florida lawrequires pool owners to surround their pools with a 4-foot high fence or barrier. This barrier should contain a self-closing and self-latching gate. Pool fences should never be climbable and should never have gaps that would allow a child to go through. You should also make sure to never have anything near the fence that can be used to climb over it. You may want to consider placing a safety cover over the pool when not in use. In the case of above-ground pools, make sure to remove any ladders for access. Children Should be Actively Supervised Stay within arm’s reach of younger children while they are in the pool. This is especially true if they aren’t strong swimmers. Don’t allow anyone to swim alone and be sure to designate someone to keep an eye on older children who are in the pool. Learn to Swim Even if you don’t own a pool, it’s a good idea to make sure that everyone in your home knows how to swim. Enroll everyone in the family in age-appropriate swim classes. You can find approved safety swim classes on the American Red Cross website. Enforce Pool Rules Inform your guests and family of the pool rules. These rules should include “no diving,” “walk don’t run,” “stay away from drain covers,” and “always swim with a buddy.” Consider posting signs. Take a Safety Course Make sure that at least one person in your home has some training on how to respond to an emergency in the pool. Have appropriate safety gear and first aid supplies available and make sure someone has been trained in CPR. Practice Diving Safety Make sure the water is deep enough for safe diving before a diving board is installed. When you’re in someone else’s pool, it doesn’t hurt to double check. Check the area under the diving board to make sure it is clear of other swimmers. Never dive into an above ground pool and never dive in the shallow end of a pool. If you’ve been injured in a swimming pool, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-855-293-5630 to schedule your free consultation.

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