Every time we enter a building, whether it is a store, an office, or someone’s home, we are placing trust in the property owner or manager of that premises. We trust that the owner or manager has kept the building, and its surrounding property, in a reasonably safe condition. We also trust that if any dangerous conditions are present, we will be warned about them.
In spite of this, people still can and do suffer injuries as a result of dangerous or insecure building conditions. These may be structural defects in the structure itself, or a condition resulting from poor maintenance. Local and state building codes often prescribe minimum requirements for construction and maintenance, partly to protect the public from injury risks. The law also allows people injured because of dangerous building conditions to recover damages from a property owner or manager. A Florida premises liability attorney can help you identify the liable party, evaluate your damages, and pursue your claim.
The legal theory of premises liability is that property owners and managers are required to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner. This means that they must repair dangerous conditions when they either know, or should know, about them. It also means that, if a dangerous condition is irreparable or waiting to be repaired, that they must warn people coming onto their property about the hazard. If they fail to do these things, they could be liable for injuries that happen to people due to the dangerous conditions.
Types of Conditions and Legal Obligations
Insecure building conditions that property owners or managers must remedy or repair include, but definitely are not limited to:
- Cracks, gaps, or foreign substances on the floor that cause a slip and fall;
- Structural flaws or degradation causing wall, floor, or ceiling collapses;
- Stairwell accidents due to loose steps or railings;
- Injuries caused by third parties due to poor building security
- Unrestrained, dangerous domestic animals;
- Unsafe building components, like lead paint; or
- Environmental conditions, such as mold.
Laws at the local, state, and federal level govern different aspects of building security and safety. Local and state building codes do not typically deal with the issue of injuries to visitors, but non-compliance with building codes may support an injured person’s claim for damages. Regulations related to lead paint, mold, and other hazardous environmental conditions in buildings provide standards for a property owner’s responsibilities. Local and state laws regulating domestic animals, including pets and livestock, often include provisions for restraint of animals known to be dangerous to humans. Evidence that a property owner has breached duties under relevant laws or regulations may also help in a claim for damages due to premises liability.
The Deerfield Beach injury attorneys at Goldman & Daszkal, P.A. represent people in Palm Beach and Broward County who have been injured by dangerous conditions on someone’s property. Contact the firm through this website, or call us toll-free at 954-428-9333 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.