Average Premises Liability Settlement in Florida
In Florida, as in all other states, the owner of any property where other people are present must maintain safe conditions. If an owner fails to maintain safe conditions on their property, they are liable for any damages caused. In other words, if you get hurt on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions, chances are that you have the right to seek compensation in a premises liability claim.
One of the most common questions we get from our clients regarding premises liability is, What is the average premises liability settlement offer? Unfortunately, we cannot provide a definitive answer to this question because it depends on your circumstances.
Read on to learn more about Florida premises liability settlements and why the answer to this frequently asked question is less than straightforward.
What Is the Average Premises Liability Settlement?
The truth is, there is no average injury. Furthermore, there is no average accident. Thus, there is no average settlement amount as every situation is different. This applies to any personal injury, not just one arising out of premises liability. As a result, average premises liability settlements simply do not exist.
How Can I Maximize My Settlement Amount?
There are many ways that you can maximize your settlement. Some are out of your power, but there are two things fully within your control that you can do to help maximize your premises liability settlement amount:
- Hiring an attorney to represent you in your premises liability claim; and
- Meticulously documenting all the damages that you suffer.
If you do these two things immediately after your accident, it will go a long way toward setting up your claim for success.
How Hiring an Attorney Can Help Maximize Your Premises Liability Settlement
Hiring an attorney to represent you in your premises liability claim as soon as possible after your accident will set you up for success in a number of ways.
First, hiring a lawyer immediately after your accident will help you ensure that the statute of limitations does not expire before you are able to file a lawsuit. Sometimes, professional parties slow negotiations to a crawl when they are in a dispute with a non professional party without legal representation. In such instances, the bet they make is that the statute of limitations will expire by the time you realize that settlement negotiations aren’t going anywhere and need to file a lawsuit. If you don’t file a lawsuit in Florida’s civil courts before the expiration of the limitation period, the courts will reject your claim. Thus, hiring an attorney as soon as possible can prove critical to your case.
Aside from ensuring that the statute of limitations does not expire, hiring an attorney right after your accident will help you pursue the right legal strategy. Since all accidents and injuries are different, every injury claim requires a different approach. Ensuring that you pursue the right legal strategy right off the bat will help you maximize your settlement and speed up the process. The sooner your case settles, the sooner you can take care of your expenses.
How Documenting Your Damages Helps Maximize Your Settlement
You can also maximize your premises liability settlement by carefully and meticulously documenting all the damages that you suffer. Proving that you suffered specific losses is essential to recovering any of those damages.
For any medical treatment or evaluation you receive, you should obtain a copy of the doctor’s notes and report. Tell your medical provider ahead of time that you need as much documentation as possible, so they will make their reports more detailed. You should also maintain a journal documenting any physical or mental strain, pain, or other harmful effects that you suffer from as a result of the injury.
Finally, be sure to seek treatment for all the accident’s harmful effects. Sometimes pains and aches that appear minor at first can devolve into serious conditions. With proper documentation of all of the damages you suffer, proving and recovering those damages is a whole lot easier.
How Does One Establish Premises Liability?
To hold a property owner liable for injuries you suffer on their property, you need to prove their liability. A property owner isn’t responsible for all injuries that occur on their property, only some. Specifically, property owners are not liable for injuries that are caused by a person’s own negligence. Instead, they are only liable when you, the injured party, can show that they failed to maintain a safe premises and their failure causes an injury.
To illustrate this concept, let’s sketch out a quick example: a slip and fall in a grocery store.
Imagine that a shopper at a supermarket slips on spilled milk on the floor. The spill had been
there for twenty minutes and there was no sign warning of the hazard. The owner in this
instance likely acted negligent in failing to dry the floor and in failing to warn
patrons of the spill. Because of their negligent failure, the shopper fell and suffered an injury. In this case, liability is pretty cut and dried.
Now, imagine the same situation as above, but with a couple notable differences. First, the wet
floor is properly marked and cordoned off to dissuade customers from entering the dangerous
area. Second, instead of walking in the store, the shopper decides to roller skate into the store
to grab a drink while out for some exercise. Despite signs prohibiting roller skating in the store,
they do it anyway. Otherwise, the situation is the same: the shopper slips on the wet floor, falls,
and breaks their leg.
In this situation, the chances of holding the store owner liable for the accident is slim to none
because the shopper acted negligently. First, they failed to follow the store’s rules by skating in
the store. Second, they failed to obey the markings that closed off the area of the store with a
wet floor. The store owner did what they could to maintain a safe premises, but due to the
shopper’s negligent actions, they suffered injury. In this instance, again, liability is pretty cut and
dried, but will likely fall the opposite way.
Are Premises Liability Calculators Accurate?
The short answer is no. You may have come across premises liability calculators or other personal injury settlement calculators online. These tools are tempting to use, but the accuracy of their results are highly questionable. This is because personal injury calculators simply cannot factor in all of the relevant circumstances of each case. Thus, we recommend against using any sort of personal injury or premises liability calculator. The surest way to get an accurate estimate of your settlement value is with the help of an experienced premises liability attorney.
What Is It Like to Work with Insurance Companies in Premises Liability Lawsuits?
Insurance companies are often very difficult to work with in premises liability cases. This is because insurance companies make their money by paying out the least amount possible on any given claim. As a result, if they find a corner they can cut or a weakness they can exploit, they will do it.
We already discussed how some commercial parties, including insurance companies, try to slow down settlement negotiations with the hope that the statute of limitations will expire. They know that as that deadline gets closer, if you don’t have an attorney yet, you will grow more desperate. Their bet is that you will accept whatever settlement they offer you to get your money sooner, even if that settlement doesn’t cover your damages fully.
The best way to avoid being taken advantage of by an insurance company is to retain the services of an experienced premises liability attorney as soon as possible after your injury.
File Your Florida Premises Liability Lawsuit Today!
If you need help with a Florida premises liability claim, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has you covered. Don’t wait to receive a lowball settlement offer from an insurance company or subject yourself to harsh negotiating tactics that such companies often use. Instead, let us do the negotiating for you.
In our more than 30 years of operation, we have helped more than 20,000 clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Our top priority is fulfilling your needs and taking care of the legal process so you can focus on getting your life back on track.
For more information on how we can help you, check out our case results and client testimonials pages to see how we have helped our other clients in the past. If you think we might be a good fit or have any other questions whatsoever, give us a call to schedule your free consultation.
We’ll let you know what we can do to help.