Dealing with the aftermath of a premises liability claim can leave you with a lot of questions. Do you know what to expect when you need to file a premises liability claim after an accident? What support can an attorney offer along the way? Take a look at the FAQ below, or contact Frank and Jennifer Fernandez now to learn more about how we can help.
1. What responsibility do Tampa premises owners have to visitors to those properties?
Tampa premises owners, whether the owners of popular vacation attractions or the owners of smaller establishments like restaurants and stores, bear a high duty of care to visitors to those properties. They must ensure that they provide a safe environment: one free of common fall hazards, items that could drop down on the head of an unsuspecting victim, or potential fire hazards that could pose a serious danger.
Business owners must take basic steps to ensure the safety of their guests, including conducting regular maintenance on the property and checking frequently for potential hazards. Furthermore, they must offer warnings about potentially unsafe areas of the property, including slip and fall hazards like spills or water tracked in on the floor on one of Tampa’s rainy summer afternoons.
A premises owner that fails to take those vital precautions, resulting in serious injury to others on the property, may bear liability for those injuries.
2. Can I file a premises liability claim if I suffer serious injuries on private property, rather than in a business?
Private homeowners also bear a duty of care to their guests. While private property owners may not bear the same high duty of care as the owners of larger public establishments, they must still ensure that their guests can safely visit their property.
You may have grounds for a premises liability claim against a private homeowner if you suffer serious injuries while visiting a property you have the legal right to visit due to the negligence of that property owner.
Premises liability claims against private property owners may include:
- Dog bite injuries
- Injuries due to improper swimming pool maintenance, including drowning injuries
- Injuries that occur because of poor maintenance on the home
- Injuries that occur because the homeowner failed to warn you about potential dangers on the property
Keep in mind that many private property owners may try to convince you not to file a personal injury claim. While they likely carry homeowner’s insurance that will provide some protection in the event of a premises liability claim, they may fear that their insurance premiums will increase as a direct result of the claim.
However, if you fail to file a claim, you may end up having to take care of your medical bills and related expenses on your own, which can leave you struggling financially in the aftermath of your accident.
Consult an attorney after an accident involving serious injuries on private property so you can get a better idea of the compensation you really deserve for those injuries and how to move forward with a premises liability claim against a Tampa homeowner.
3. What should I do about my medical bills after a Tampa premises liability accident?
Medical bills can quickly grow after a Tampa premises liability accident. If you suffered severe injuries, including spinal cord injuries or amputation, you may have ongoing medical costs, some of which can last for the rest of your life.
Handling those medical bills can quickly hit the top of your priority list. Unfortunately, your medical costs may grow overwhelming. How should you handle paying those necessary expenses?
As the injured party, you need to make arrangements to cover your medical expenses. However, you may have some options that can alleviate the stress of your medical costs and make it easier for you to pay those bills.
Use your health insurance. If you carry private or employer-sponsored health insurance, that insurance can offer vital compensation and assistance in paying your medical bills.
Make sure you contact your health insurance provider as soon after your accident as possible to get a better idea of what coverage you have. Ask questions about specific elements of coverage related to the injuries you sustained in your Tampa premises liability accident.
For example, you might want to ask about:
- In-network versus out-of-network coverage
- Coverage for in-home care
- How many physical or occupational therapy sessions your insurance will cover each year
- What coverage you have for durable medical equipment
Use the funds from your premises liability claim. Filing a Tampa premises liability claim takes time, and you may find yourself with medical bills coming due before you have the funds from your premises liability claim in hand. Fortunately, you have options that can make it easier for you to put off collections options on your bills.
Talk to your medical care providers and ask whether you may have time to pay your bills. If necessary, your attorney can write a letter of protection that will establish your intent to pay those bills once you have the funds from your premises liability claim in hand. A letter of protection can help put off collections until you have a chance to recover those funds.
4. If I fall on the sidewalk outside a Tampa business, can I file a personal injury claim against that business?
Tampa has a wide number of businesses and attractions: stores, restaurants, and hotels that cater to the thriving tourist population as well as a variety of attractions that visitors might enjoy. Those businesses have a high duty of care to visitors to those premises—and in many cases, that duty of care extends to the sidewalk outside the business.
If you suffer injuries in a fall on the sidewalk due to poor maintenance, including broken or dangerous sidewalks, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the business.
Contact an experienced Tampa premises liability attorney to learn more about your right to compensation after a serious accident.
5. Do I have the right to file a premises liability claim if I suffer injuries at work?
In addition to the heavy responsibility businesses have to visitors to their premises, businesses also bear a high duty of care to their workers. Not only must they provide the same safe environment for their workers that they do for visitors to the property, they must adhere to OSHA regulations to ensure a safe working environment.
If your employer fails in that duty of care to you, however, that does not necessarily mean that you have grounds for a premises liability claim. In most cases, if you suffer injuries at work, you will need to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation claims differ noticeably from personal injury claims.
First, in a workers’ compensation claim, it doesn’t matter who bears liability for the accident. Unless you deliberately caused your injuries, you can file a claim for compensation through workers’ compensation.
Next, rather than offering a set settlement and payment, workers’ compensation usually covers all of your medical costs and a percentage of your lost wages while you recover from your injuries.
In some cases, however, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim against your employer, especially if your employer commits a direct act of negligence that ultimately results in your injuries.
Contact The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys to talk to Frank and Jennifer Fernandez and their team about the compensation you should expect after a workplace accident, including whether you should move forward with a workers’ compensation claim or a premises liability claim.
6. If I suffer injuries due to an attack from another patron in a Tampa business, do I have the right to file a premises liability claim against the business?
If you suffer injuries in an attack at a Tampa business, you may have grounds to file a premises liability claim if the business failed to provide adequate security for its guests. In general, you have grounds for a premises liability claim if the business could reasonably have anticipated the attack and failed to provide the security needed to protect its visitors.
If you suffered injuries in an attack while visiting a Tampa property, from an amusement park or zoo to a store, get in touch with The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys to learn more about your rights and the compensation you can pursue.
7. How long does it take to receive compensation from a premises liability claim in Tampa?
Filing a premises liability claim takes time. While you may need the funds from your claim as soon as possible, you should expect it to take some time to resolve the claim. At The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer can help walk you through the entire claim process and give you a better idea of what your Tampa premises liability claim will look like.
You may need time to recover. Did your Tampa premises liability accident involve injuries like burns or spinal cord injuries that could take a long time to heal? If so, your doctors may not have the ability to tell you how much you will eventually recover or what that recovery will look like until several months after the initial accident.
Often, your attorney will recommend waiting until you know what your recovery will look like, including the potential medical expenses associated with complications you may face along the way.
Your attorney and the liable party’s insurance company will need to investigate the claim. To determine who bears liability for your injuries and what compensation you deserve, both your lawyer and the liable party’s insurance company will need to investigate your claim. It can take time to conduct a full investigation, especially if your lawyer has a lot of information to look at regarding the building’s history, specific laws governing upkeep on the building, or the specifics of your injury.
You may need time to negotiate for the settlement you really deserve. Often, insurance companies will not simply offer the compensation you really deserve as part of their first settlement offer after the accident. You may need time to negotiate the compensation you really deserve, rather than simply accepting a low offer.
Each round of negotiation may add to the time needed to settle your claim, but it may provide you with a much better chance of getting the compensation you really deserve. A lawyer can help you learn more about what negotiation looks like and how long it may take.
If you have to go to court, it may take time to secure a court date. Sometimes, it takes considerable time to secure a court date and move forward with your claim in court. If you have to wait for a court date, it may take longer to settle your claim.
8. How often do Tampa premises liability claims go to court?
Most of the time, insurance companies want to settle premises liability claims out of court if at all possible. Going to court to settle a premises liability claim not only extends the time needed to process the claim, it may increase the cost the insurance company ultimately faces as a result of the claim.
By settling out of court, they can avoid costly court expenses.
However, you may need to go to court to resolve your claim if:
- The insurance company attempts to dispute liability concerning the claim and will not accept evidence that the party they covered caused your accident and your injuries.
- The insurance company tries to dispute the extent of your injuries and the limitations they cause you.
- The insurance company tries to fight the high compensation you claim after a serious premises liability accident in Tampa.
Even if you face circumstances under which your claim might have to go to court, many insurance companies will remain open to negotiation. Having a lawyer on your side substantially increases the odds of a favorable resolution to your Tampa premises liability claim, in or out of court.