All property owners must maintain their premises and make appropriate repairs to keep guests safe. However, property owners frequently delay checking, detecting, and correcting complicated problems. Only when someone is wounded does the property owner take action to fix a hazardous condition or secure suitable security.
Regardless of whether they receive complaints, owners or occupiers must regularly examine their property to detect unsafe circumstances.
What Are Property Owners Responsible for?
Inadequate maintenance of property can contribute to premises liability incidents include, but are not limited to:
- Railings and/or barriers that are broken or missing
- Signs that are missing or fading
- Stairs or steps that are broken
- Damaged fences
- Counters that are sharp or damaged
- Pavement cracks
- Icy sidewalks
- Wires that are exposed
- Failure to install or replace smoke alarms
- Broken locks are not repaired or replaced
- Parking lots, walkways, and business entrances should not have snow, ice, or water
- Failure to install or repair security cameras, lighting, railings, or fence to keep property secure
- Failure to repair or replace damaged carpets or other floorings
Where Can Injuries Occur?
Inadequate maintenance of property can cause injury or death in the following situations:
Workplace – The most prevalent cause of these accidents is a failure to properly maintain work equipment or work environments. A lack of cleanliness might result in slips and falls or malfunctioning equipment, which can result in significant damage.
Common Areas in Public Spaces – Slips and falls are prevalent in these locations. Many injuries are caused by the failure to clear snow and ice or to restore sidewalks and pathways. These spaces must be adequately maintained to safeguard the persons who utilize them. Condominiums or homeowners’ organizations can also be held accountable if they fail to maintain a shared space or keep it free of foreseeable risks.
Stores – Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are common at grocery stores and other retail establishments. Stores must be maintained clean and orderly to assist customers and reduce the danger of damage. Spills on the floor or poor product placement might result in catastrophic injury to consumers.
Landlord/Tenant – The landlord maintains many responsibilities for keeping the property safe as a tenant. This involves ensuring that roofs and windows are safe, and that stairs, pathways, floors, and doors are properly maintained so that tenants or third parties are not injured.
Who Is Held Liable?
Liability is generally established if the property owner caused the hazard or knew or should have known about it. Someone, for example, may protest to the condominium board that the steps on the communal swimming pool ladder are damaged. If the condominium board fails to perform repairs or carelessly does repairs and someone is hurt, the board may be liable.
Maintenance requests or repairs that go unfilled or undetected are perhaps one of the most dangerous concerns for property owners and visitors alike. When a potentially hazardous condition is brought to the property owner’s knowledge, the problem must be repaired quickly. Delaying a repair increases the possibility that one or more individuals may be hurt. In an accident, a property owner or management who has been told of a problem that has to be repaired but fails to do so may be held particularly accountable.
Maintenance repairs must not only be completed swiftly but also correctly. This may include engaging a professional to do the repair rather than doing it yourself, as well as double-checking the repair to ensure it is adequate and long-lasting. Putting a bandage on a more significant maintenance problem will do little to reduce the property owner’s culpability in the case of a future injury. Additionally, it is a good idea to place temporary safety measures such as signs or barriers to keep people away from the element being repaired while it is being repaired.
Holding a Property Owner Accountable For Inadequate Maintenance of Property
Negligent property owners typically neglect maintenance. You can seek damages for injuries if you can establish fault. You must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, broke it, caused your injuries, and caused actual damages.
Florida property owners and possessors must maintain their premises reasonably. The job involves warning about property issues and fixing them. You can hold a property owner accountable for your injuries if you can establish you were given a duty of care and that the owner breached it.
The property owner may argue you caused your injury. The owner may claim the fault was clear. Open and evident defects cannot be used to avoid culpability. They must keep their goods safe. The Florida courts will evaluate everyone’s carelessness and assign blame. If you’re partly responsible, you can still recover losses you didn’t cause.
Damages You May Recover
You can sue a negligent property owner or possessor for compensation for your injuries. Potential losses include compensation for current and future medical expenses, lost income, loss of earning ability, and pain and suffering. A badly kept home may end in death in extreme cases. If a relative died because of his or her injuries, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim and get compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, burial expenses, and loss of companionship. In wrongful death litigation, you must file your claim within two years of your relative’s death. If you or your loved one were injured, you have two years from the date of the incident to file your case. If you fail to comply with the deadlines to file your case under Florida law, you may be prevented from pursuing the claim. Florida lawmakers recently changed the statute of limitations from four years to two years if the loss occurred after 3/24/23.
How Attorney Nerina Smart Can Help
It might be challenging to establish the obligation of a property owner, landlord, or company to compensate you if you were injured because they failed to maintain the property. A skilled premises liability lawyer like Nerina Smart can assist you in winning your case.
Contact The Law Offices of Nerina Smart, P.A. today for a comprehensive consultation regarding your accident resulting from inadequate maintenance of a property. Nerina is aware of the proof you will want, such as accident reports and maintenance records, to demonstrate that the owner’s breach of duty to you caused your injuries.