Premises Liability Attorneys Litigate Slip & Fall Cases in Tampa, FL
Accomplished accident lawyers hold negligent landlords accountable
Premises liability is the area of the law that makes landlords responsible for hidden hazards on their property that injure lawful visitors. At Sessums Law Group, our experienced injury attorneys take an aggressive approach to slip and fall accidents and other premises liability claims. Our legal team draws on more than 35 years of accident litigation to build a compelling case for full, fair compensation. With close, personal attention to every detail of your case, we take the worry out of the legal process so you can concentrate on getting well again.
Common venues for premises liability cases in Tampa
Tampa is a lively community of about 360,000 people with a variety of amenities to enjoy. Sports fans can take in a Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium, see the Rays play ball at Tropicana Field or the Lightning skate at Amalie Arena. If you prefer the arts, you can take in a stage show at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, the Tampa Theatre, the Gorilla Theatre, or the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre. The city features a variety of quality restaurants and bustling shopping areas. But besides being places of enjoyment, all of these venues are the types of sites where premises liability accidents often occur.
If you suffer a slip and fall at the theatre, cinema, a sports facility, a restaurant, or a shopping mall, seek medical attention immediately, and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Premises liability cases are notoriously hard to prove, and any delay on your part could allow crucial evidence to be lost.
What you must prove to win a slip and fall injury claim
As with auto accidents and other injury or wrongful death claims, a plaintiff in a premises liability claim must prove various elements of the case by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Duty — Historically, the law assigned landlords different duties of care depending on whether the injured party was a business client, a social guest, or a trespasser. Today, the landlord’s duty of care is virtually the same toward anyone who has a lawful right to be on the property. The landlord has must be reasonable in discovering hazardous conditions hidden on the property and either warning visitors or removing the hazard. The only duty a landlord has toward an adult trespasser is to refrain from causing intentional harm. However, a landlord has a higher duty to child trespassers if there is an “attractive nuisance” (such as a swimming pool) that might lure children onto the property where they could be hurt.
- Breach — A plaintiff must prove the landlord was not reasonable. Depending on the circumstances, this could mean the landlord gave inadequate warning about the hazard, didn’t know about the hazard when he should have known, or was too slow in removing it.
- Causation — The fact that a hazard exists and is hidden must lead directly to the plaintiff’s injuries. Landlords are generally not responsible for “open and obvious” hazards because a reasonable visitor will avoid dangers they can plainly see. Likewise, the landlord is not responsible when a clumsy visitor falls on a perfectly safe staircase.
- Damages — The injury event, such as a slip and fall, must directly cause the plaintiff’s injuries. If a visitor fell and broke an ankle, the landlord could be liable for all losses related to the injury, but not for food poisoning the visitor got at the hospital. The visitor could argue that “but for” the slip and fall he wouldn’t have been in the hospital, but the food poisoning would have an intervening cause, negligence in the hospital kitchen, for which the hospital would be responsible.
Proving liability in a slip and fall case is often more complex than in a vehicle accident, because the plaintiff must prove the landlord was unreasonable. Such proof is very specific to the circumstances, and could require the plaintiff to prove a timeline of events or that the landlord had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard. You can rely on our knowledge and experience as we work diligently to build a compelling case.
Contact a determined Tampa law firm for your premises liability claim
If you have suffered a debilitating slip and fall, you may be eligible to receive full compensation. Let Sessums Law Group evaluate your case for free. Call us today at 813-435-5058 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. If your injuries prevent you from visiting our Tampa office, we can see you at home or in your hospital room.