premises liability

Slip and Falls in a Condominium

Category: premises liability |

Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death or unintentional injury worldwide. Falls can happen anywhere, even where you live. If you live in a condominium, chances are there is an association that is responsible for keeping the common areas of the complex safe and free from hazards. Condominium boards or associations have a duty to repair any dangerous conditions or to at least warn residents and visitors of such conditions. Hazards and dangerous conditions are an unfortunate consequence of someone failing to do their job, and they can be present in any area of a condominium complex. Dangerous Conditions in Condominiums Some common areas in condominium complexes where hazards can cause slip and fall accidents include: Lobbies—uneven flooring, torn floor mats, slippery floors, and debris on the floor can all cause falls Elevators—uneven flooring, improperly maintained, or uninspected elevators can cause serious injury Tennis or Basketball Courts—cracks in the pavement or holes on the courts can lead to injury Pools—damaged tiles, broken steps and ladders, inadequate signage, and the lack of anti-slip mats can lead to falls and other accidents Grassy Areas—holes that are not visible can easily lead to falls Breezeways, Walkways, and Hallways—debris on the ground, broken staircases, missing handrails, loose pavers, and clogged drains can all be dangerous conditions. Gyms—loose electrical cords, broken equipment, and slippery surfaces can cause injuries. Parking Lots and Garages—holes or cracks in the floor, out of place and broken wheel stops, uneven flooring, and oil spills can all be hazardous. Sidewalks—cracked and uneven pavement can lead to serious falls. What if You’ve Been Injured? If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you report the dangerous condition to the condominium board. Make sure to take pictures of the hazard that caused your fall and get the contact information of any witnesses to the incident. It is also crucial that you receive medical treatment, even if you’re unsure whether you’ve been injured. Once you make a report to the condominium association, they will get their insurance company involved. The insurance company is in the business of not paying out claims so you may want to have an experienced injury attorney on your side. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have over 30 years of experience helping the victims of slip and fall accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.

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Swimming Pool Accidents

Category: premises liability |

Swimming pools are the sites of fun and relaxation. However, the presence of water and concrete can be a dangerous combination. Drowning is a leading cause of death among children ages 1-4. Those who own and operate swimming pools are responsible for ensuring that the pool is a safe place. They should keep the area around the pool clear and warn swimmers of potential dangers.  Common Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents Swimming pool drownings and accidents can result from things such as swimmer inexperience and a disregard of warning signs. Swimming pool accidents can also result from negligence on the part of the swimming pool owner or operator. Some common causes of swimming pool accidents include: Lack of Proper Barriers—people, especially children, need to be protected from the dangers a pool can present. A proper barrier around a pool can prevent drownings. Barriers should be at least 4 feet in height and should not have any openings big enough for a child to slip through. Pool barriers should also have locks. Lack of Proper Supervision—if there is no lifeguard on duty, then a pool owner or operator must post a sign warning people. If lifeguards are on duty, then they are responsible for keeping swimmers safe. Lifeguards who are distracted or not doing their jobs can lead to tragic consequences. Lack of Anti-entrapment Devices—all swimming pools should have devices installed that protect swimmers from swimming pool drains. If proper devices are not installed, then a swimmer’s hair, clothing, or limbs can be caught in the drainage system. This could lead to serious injury or death. Uneven or Excessively Slippery Surfaces—the areas around a swimming pool can also be dangerous. While wet surfaces around a swimming pool are to be expected, some surfaces such as tile can become excessively slippery and lead to slip and fall accidents. Uneven or cracked pavement and surfaces in and around the pool can also lead to dangerous falls. The proper precautions should be taken to minimize slip and fall accidents around the pool.   Contact an Experienced Florida Injury Attorney If you or someone you love has been injured in or near a swimming pool, you may want to have an experienced injury attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping the injured, and they are here to help you. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 to set up your free consultation today.

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When is a Business Responsible for a Slip and Fall?

Category: premises liability |

Slip and falls can happen anywhere, but oftentimes they occur on somebody’s business premises. Dangerous situations such as torn carpeting, spilled substances, and broken fixtures can all lead a slip and fall victim to suffer severe injuries. If someone has been injured at a business, when can the business be held responsible? When the Business Owns the Property If the business is the owner of the property where the slip and fall injury occurred,then it would make sense that the business may be held responsible for the injury. The essence of a premises liability claim is that a property owner has a duty to keep their property reasonably safe from dangerous conditions so that people who enter the property aren’t injured.  When the Business Leases the Property Sometimes smaller businesses lease the property where their business is located from a landlord who owns the property. However, the business can be liable for unsafe conditions that cause injury to someone even if they don’t own the property. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to hold the landlord responsible for any damages, despite the business’s control of the property. When the Business has acted Negligently If the injured party was lawfully on the property, especially as a customer, that party is owed the highest duty of care. If the business owner acted negligently in either failing to repair a dangerous condition or failing to warn others about the condition, they are subject to premises liability. In order to establish liability, it must be shown that the business owner knew about, or should have known about, the dangerous condition. For example, if a customer spills something on the floor and another customer immediately slips on the substance, there may not have been sufficient time for the business owner to have been aware of the dangerous condition and taken steps to remedy it. In addition, the injured party will also have to show that the business’s negligence was the cause of the injury in question.  Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall at a business, you may need a trusted personal injury attorney on your side. The experienced attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk will evaluate your case for free. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-800-753-5203 to set up your consultation.

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Injuries in Gyms and Health Clubs

Category: premises liability |

By now our New Year’s resolutions are in full swing. For many people, these resolutions involve membership in a gym or health club to stay fit and healthy. We go to a gym to get healthy, but unfortunately, we can also get seriously injured. Unmaintained gyms can be dangerous, and people can sustain injuries that range from bumps and bruises to bone fractures and head injuries. Injuries at a gym or health club can occur in a number of different contexts from unsafe premises to negligent staff. Dangerous Gym Conditions  If you are injured while getting in shape at the gym, it may not always mean that the gym is liable. However, gyms and health clubs have a legal duty to keep their premises safe and reasonably free from dangerous conditions. Some common situations where a gym or health club may be held responsible for an injury include: Broken, defective, or improperly maintained gym equipment such as weight machines, treadmills, and elliptical machines Wet or uneven floors Torn carpeting Shoddy electrical work Debris and exercise equipment left in high traffic areas Improper spacing between exercise machines Using unqualified personal trainers or fitness instructors Incorrect setup of equipment Negligent hiring and failing to properly train staff  Failure to warn of the potential risks involved in the use of exercise equipment Even if gym or health club owners were not immediately aware of an unsafe condition, they can be held liable for an injury if proper observation or inspection would have uncovered the dangerous condition.  What if I Signed a Waiver? Some gyms may require members to sign a waiver releasing the gym or health club of liability for any injuries sustained on their premises. These waivers, however, are not blank checks that allow a gym to injure its members or users. Depending on the language of the waiver, you may still be able to bring a claim. If you’ve been injured at the gym and you signed a waiver, you should consult with an attorney to determine your rights.   Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured at the gym or at a health club, it’s important to contact and experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation and we’ll evaluate your case.

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Escalator Accidents

Category: premises liability |

Escalators are a convenient way to move between floors without waiting for an elevator or climbing up the stairs. But escalators can be a more frequent cause of injury than people think. It is estimated that 10,000 escalator accidents per year in the United States result in visits to the emergency room. Escalator accidents can result in significant injury and trauma and are frequently the result of someone’s negligence. Types of Escalator Accidents Escalator accidents that can cause serious injury can happen in a number of different ways including: Debris on the escalator Loose steps Broken railings Entrance or exit plates on the escalator that are not close enough to the steps Escalator stopping and starting suddenly which can lead riders to lose their balance and fall Defective design that makes it easy to get trapped when two steps fold together Any of these conditions can lead to severe injuries including entrapment injuries, fractures, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and serious lacerations. Product Liability Sometimes the escalator is defectively manufactured or defectively designed. In these cases, the manufacturer of the escalator may be held liable for any injuries in a product liability claim. This is frequently the case with the escalator stairs are too close together, or there is too wide of a gap between the end of the escalator and the ground. Premises Liability Property owners and businesses have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and this includes a duty to ensure that escalators on their property are in safe, working condition. The safe operation of an escalator depends on regular and proper maintenance. When a property owner cuts costs on the upkeep of the escalator, there can be serious consequences. An improperly maintained escalator can make it more likely that accidents will occur. If an escalator maintenance company failed to properly maintain the escalator or make appropriate repairs, it might also be held liable if an injury is caused by a broken elevator. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured in an escalator accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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Negligent Landlords in Florida

Category: premises liability |

When you rent a house or an apartment, you expect that it will be maintained in a reasonably safe manner by your landlord. Under Florida Law, a landlord is required to keep its premises in a livable and safe condition. When a landlord neglects this duty, tenants and their guests can become seriously injured. Landlord’s Duty Landlords must maintain their rental properties and protect their tenants and their guests from harm caused by dangerous conditions on the property. Landlords must also abide by applicable housing codes. If a landlord learns about a dangerous condition or should be aware of a dangerous condition on the property, then the landlord has a duty to repair the condition in order to keep tenants and their guests safe. Landlords are responsible for maintaining the properties they rent including: Leaking or unsafe roofs or ceilings Broken staircases or handrails Cracks or damage in walkways and sidewalks Proper locks and fencing around pool areas Torn or worn carpeting Broken or defective appliances Electrical problems Fire hazards Tenant’s Duty Landlords should be aware of any dangerous conditions in the common areas of a rental property. However, if there is a dangerous condition inside a rental unit, then the tenant should give the landlord notice of the condition. If there is a broken appliance or a leaky ceiling, a landlord would probably not be aware of it if not informed by the tenant. If there is a dangerous condition in your rental unit, be sure to notify your landlord in writing. Once informed, the landlord must then be given a reasonable amount of time to repair the condition. Proving a Landlord’s Negligence In order to legally prove that a landlord has been negligent, it must be shown that: It was the landlord’s duty to maintain the area of the premises where the accident occurred and that the landlord knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. The landlord did not take reasonable steps to prevent the accident from happening by either repairing the dangerous condition or warning others that the condition existed The landlord’s negligence was the cause of the tenant’s or visitor’s injury. Contact a Trusted Attorney If you’ve been injured as the result of a landlord’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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Defenses in a Premises Liability Case

Category: premises liability |

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may think that a business or property owner’s responsibility to pay for your injuries is automatic. This not the case. There are elements to your claim that must be proven, and you should also anticipate that the property owner will raise some defenses in response to your claim. Proving a Premises Liability Case In order to prove liability in a premises liability (or slip and fall) case, you must establish that: You were allowed to be on the property The business or property owner owed you a duty of care to inspect the property and keep it in a reasonably safe condition The property owner breached this duty of care because the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on the property Your injuries were the direct result of the owner’s breach of the duty of care Common Defenses The defenses that may be raised in a premises liability case will depend entirely on the specific facts of a case. However, there are some defenses that are commonly raised, including: Assumption of the Risk—this is a very common defense. In order to prove this defense, the property owner must show that you knew about the danger, understood the risks of the danger, and voluntarily exposed yourself to these risks. No Knowledge of the Dangerous Condition—to prove a premises liability case, a plaintiff must show that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. A property owner can argue that they were not aware of the dangerous condition however evidence that they could have discovered the hazard by exercising reasonable care in inspecting the premises or that they had constructive notice of the danger could overcome this defense. Comparative Negligence—a property owner may argue that you are partially to blame for your own injuries. For example, an owner may argue that you were not paying attention when you were walking, that you were on an area of the property where you weren’t supposed to be, the dangerous condition should have been obvious, or you were wearing the wrong footwear. Even if these things are true, Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that even if you are partially at fault for your injury, the owner may be still be held liable for at least a portion of your damages. Trespassing—if someone has no legal right to be on the property than the owner essentially owes no duty of care to that person except under very narrow circumstances Contact a Trusted Attorney Premises liability cases can be complex, so if you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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Was Your Child Injured at Daycare?

Category: premises liability |

When you send your child to daycare, you expect that they will be safe and secure. You likely spent a great deal of time selecting the perfect daycare for your child and daycare providers have the tremendous responsibility to keep your child free from harm. Unfortunately, accidents occur all too frequently at daycare centers across Florida. The most common causes of daycare accidents include: Failure to Properly Train Employees It is hard for a parent to entrust the well-being of their child to another person. When we do so, we expect that the daycare provider will be loving and patient with our child. Caring for multiple children is a difficult job, and workers should be given the proper training in order to provide children with a safe environment. Staff members who are not adequately trained may not know how to prevent accidents or the proper way to respond if an accident occurs. Negligent Supervision As anyone who has cared for a child of any age can tell you, lapses in concentration while supervising a child can have severe consequences. An unsupervised child in an unsecured daycare facility could wander away, and a child who is not properly supervised could climb on equipment at the center and become seriously injured. Parents have a right to expect that their children will be properly supervised at daycare. Slip and Fall Accidents Just like any other business, daycare centers have a duty to maintain their properties in a reasonably safe condition that is free from hazards. In a daycare setting, the duty is even higher. A daycare center should make sure that their premises are childproofed and free from dangers that could be attractive to a child. Conditions that can seriously injure a child include: Broken playground equipment Broken cribs Broken high chairs Uncovered light sockets Liquid spills Toys on the floor Broken or defective toys If your child has been injured at daycare due to someone’s negligence, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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Hotel Accidents

Category: premises liability |

Florida is a popular destination for vacations and business trips. In 2017, Tampa Bay totaled $670 million in hotel revenue. We expect that the hundreds of hotels in the area are a safe environment to spend a night or a convenient place to hold a conference, a meeting, or a special event. However, just like on any other type of property, accidents do happen, and the consequences can be serious. Common Types of Hotel Accidents Hotels often have a large staff of employees, and it is essential that all staff are appropriately trained to be vigilant at all times. Accidents in hotels can happen in a variety of ways. Hotels should be concerned about: Slip and falls in the common areas of the hotel or in a hotel room Inadequate lighting Defective appliances Hot tub or swimming pool accidents including possible drowning Hotel fires Hotel shuttle bus accidents Defective, broken, and unsafe gym equipment Broken locks on hotels doors leading to assaults and robberies Accidents on hotel staircases Elevator or escalator accidents While hotels are not liable for every accident that occurs on their property, they are legally liable in certain situations. When is a Hotel Liable for an Accident? Under premises liability law, a hotel guest is considered an invitee. This means that because guests are invited onto the hotel’s property, guests are owed a high duty of care. This would include to inspect and maintain all parts of their property in a reasonably safe condition. Hotels must repair any unsafe conditions immediately or warn guests of any potential dangers. To receive compensation for an injury that occurs at a hotel, it must be proven that the injury was the direct result of the hotel’s negligence. It also must be proven that the hotel was aware or should have been aware of the dangerous condition and failed to repair it or warn guests. Even if you live outside of Florida and were injured at a hotel while on vacation or here for business, you still have the same right to file a lawsuit in this state. Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you’ve been injured in an accident at a hotel, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk onlineor call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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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 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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