What duty of care does a Florida hotel owe to someone visiting a hotel guest?

Posted By on June 22, 2016

According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, a person entering a hotel to communicate with a registered guest is required to receive the same degree of care that the guest is entitled to receive from the hotel. This principle is based upon the fact that the operator of a hotel is required to anticipate that a registered guest would have business and social callers. Generally speaking, hotels owe a duty to all invitees to provide reasonably safe ways of ingress and egress for those legally entering and leaving the hotel premises.

See: Steinberg v. Irwin Operating Co., 90 So. 2d 460, 58 A.L.R.2d 1198 (Fla. 1956)

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
 
 
 
 
 
If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

How do I write a demand letter for personal injury without hiring a lawyer?

Posted By on June 21, 2016

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: How do I write a demand letter for personal injury without hiring a lawyer?

A: Well, while not often done, if you want to write your own demand letter, you need to set forth how the accident occurred, why you believe it is the other driver’s fault. You need to explain what the injuries are using the medical records and specifically stating what is put down as the diagnosis in the medical records, you need to detail what those medical expenses are. If you’ve had no-fault or PIP insurance pay, you must detail that. If you’ve had your own health insurance company pay some of the medical bills, you need to include that as your health insurance company may be entitled to receive all or part of its money back if you obtain a settlement, and then you need to include a statement as to how your injuries affected your life and then put down an amount for which you would settle the case.

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

Can the owner of a dog be held liable for injuries by his or her dog if the injured person provoked or aggravated the dog?

Posted By on June 20, 2016

According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, the owner of a dog cannot be held liable for injuries by his or her dog if the injured person was negligent in provoking or aggravating the dog.

See:  Harris v. Moriconi, App. 1 Dist., 331 So.2d 353 (1976)  

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

How Do You Know If A Business Acted Reasonably In Trying To Prevent a Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accident?

Posted By on June 16, 2016

According to a study on parking lot injuries, which focused on parking lots located at schools and college campuses, over half of all parking lot claims involved some type of slip and fall or trip and fall (the next most common parking lot claim is criminal assault).

What caused these accidents to happen? According to the study, many of these falls were the result of:

  • Poor lighting
  • Potholes
  • Broken concrete, gravel, or curbing
  • Uneven surfaces
  • Unsecured parking bollards
  • Ground holes, such as manholes, water meters, or drainage grates with defective coverings.

 

GatePetro

Here in South Florida, the odds are high that you’ll drive past dozens of parking lots on your way to work or school.


 

Risk of Loss from Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accidents

Fortunately, most parking lot owners carry some type of liability insurance that covers this type of event.  When an accident happens, the first thing a business owner normally does is contact its insurance company which then assigns an insurance adjuster to process the claim, including assessing the cause of the accident and reviewing the victim’s damages.

Over the years, insurance companies have developed their own research studies examining the risk of harm from a fall in a parking lot, which they have compiled into “risk manuals” and similar documents and have shared with their policyholders. Some of this risk research is available online, such as the one published by Traveler’s Insurance. One reason for sharing this information, is to help its policyholders reduce the risk of these injuries by providing guides to evaluate the effectiveness of the policyholder’s policies and procedures for preventing a slip and fall from occurring on their property.

Using Insurance Risk Manuals to Help Build Your Slip and Fall Accident Claim for Compensation

When someone is hurt in an parking lot, it’s important for the victim to know that Florida’s premises liability law will help them recover compensation for their injuries. The damages that may be recovered in a premises liability claim include things like medical expenses, emergency room treatment, therapy costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and more.

For more on proving up a Florida premises liability claim, check out our earlier posts including, “What Type Of Legal Duty Does A Florida Property Owner Have For Injuries To Visitors? Florida Premises Liability’s Invitee, Licensee, Trespasser Distinctions.”

In a Florida premises liability claim, the burden of proof can be different depending on the type of claim (i.e. a slip and fall from water on the floor of a grocery store may have different requirements than does a slip and fall on a sidewalk). The accident victim may be required to prove certain types of facts in one type of premises liability case versus another type of case (for example, proving the business owner knew about the dangerous condition or should have known about the condition).

Accordingly, as part of proving a parking lot slip and fall claim, a victim may want to review these insurance company risk manuals to discover how the insurance companies assess the risk of harm in a parking lot slip and fall.

Specifically, these risk studies can help a claimant understand the risk control measures that an insurance company believes are considered reasonable for a parking lot owner or manager to take in order to protect against these accidents, and then apply that information as leverage when dealing with an adjuster.

What Steps Should A Business Take To Avoid A Parking Lot Slip and Fall?

Below are some questions for someone who has suffered an injury after falling down in a Florida parking lot to consider as they prepare their damage claim and as they try to convince an insurance adjuster that the business owner didn’t act reasonably to protect them (from material provided by Travelers’ Risk Evaluation Guide, as well as online information provided by AmTrust, Society Insurance, and Chubb).

  1. Were there speed bumps in the parking lot to prevent people from driving too fast?
  2. If so, how easy was it to see these speed bumps? Were they painted in bright colors? Did they have reflectors?
  3. Did these speed bumps contrast visually against the surface of the parking lot or space so that they were easily seen?
  4. How were these speed bumps designed? Were they “low-profile,” where they are very long across the traffic path but not that high, with only a short rise?
  5. How about parking stops, those concrete bumpers that prevent a vehicle from pulling too far into the space. Did they extend past the space, sticking out between the parked cars?
  6. Were they longer than the customary six feet?
  7. What about those metal grates with holes in them to drain rain water? Where were they? Did they have paint or reflectors? How visible were they as compared to the surface of the surrounding parking lot?
  8. Did the parking lot have any potholes? Cracks? Dips or depressions?
  9. Could you see any repairs in the parking lot, where past potholes, cracks, or dips had been fixed?
  10. Does the parking lot operator have a repair record?
    What does this repair record show about repairs made to the parking lot?
  11. Does this record also have any scheduling for regular and routine checks of the parking lot to see if repairs are needed?
  12. How fast are repairs made and the need is discovered? Day, weeks, sporadically?
  13. What’s the budget that has been set aside to maintain this parking lot each year?
  14. What’s the budget to repave this parking lot?
  15. How often is this scheduled to take place? Is it even on the calendar?
  16. What about the lighting for the parking lot – is there any?
  17. What kind of lighting is provided for the parking lot?
  18. Where all the lights working at the time of the accident?
  19. What is the repair and maintenance schedule for replacing burnt out light bulbs?
  20. What is the repair and maintenance schedule for electrical issues with parking lot lighting?
  21. Are these repair and maintenance schedules being followed?
  22. Who is assigned to do these repair and maintenance checks?
  23. Who is assigned to do the actual work of repair and maintenance?
  24. Are there any islands in the parking lot?
  25. Do these islands have curbs?
  26. Do these islands contrast visually against the surface of the parking lot or space so that they are easily seen?
  27. Are the curbs to the island painted? What color? Does this help to make them easier to see at night? During the day?
  28. How often does someone check the parking lot to see if these curbs need to be repainted?
  29. What kind of paint is used in the parking lot? Is it easily seen? Is it slip resistant?
  30. Are there any barriers or pylons in this parking lot?
  31. How are they used? Are they easily seen by those using the parking lot?
  32. What about the overall surface of the parking lot, is it even?
  33. Where are there uneven surfaces?
  34. Are there protections in place here to help anyone walking over these uneven surfaces?
  35. What about sand – is there a procedure in place to keep sand and water off the parking lot surfaces?
  36. How is this done? Who does this?
  37. Is it done at the same time that customers or employees are needing to walk on the parking lot surface?
  38. What companies are involved in the overseeing, inspection, repair, or maintenance of this parking lot?
  39. What are their addresses and phone numbers?
  40. Is this parking lot in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  41. Is this parking lot leased by or to another entity? Who?
  42. Where is the lease?
  43. What does the lease provide as parties responsible for the inspection, repair, and maintenance of the parking lot?
  44. Are there any signs on the parking lot explaining who is responsible for its upkeep?
  45. Are there any signs on the parking lot that warn you of a dangerous condition on the property?
  46. Were any signs in place on the parking lot at the time of your accident that warned of a danger (like a “wet surface” sign)?
  47. Was there an accident report made after your fall?
  48. Who wrote it? What is their name and address?
  49. What other accident reports have been made regarding this parking lot in the past five years?
  50. Who wrote them? What is their name(s) and address(es)?

Do You Have an Accident Damages Claim For a Parking Lot Slip and Fall?

If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident in a South Florida parking lot, then you should know your legal remedies under current Florida premises liability law before presenting a claim.  An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can be very helpful here, especially since our premises liability case law and statutory law places specific evidence burdens on the accident victim (for example, proving the business owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition).

Once a victim is able to meet his or her burden, the owner and operator of that parking lot, and their insurance company, will be obligated to cover the victim’s damages, including your lost wages, pain and suffering and medical costs.

A good piece of advice if you or a loved on has been injured in a parking lot slip, trip or fall, is to at least speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to learn about some of the issues that can arise with these claims, including the type of evidence needed to prove a claim and the type and amount of damages you can recover. Most personal injury lawyers, like Alan Sackrin, will offer a free initial consultation (over the phone or in person, whichever you prefer) to answer your questions.

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
 
 
 
 
 
If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

What duty does a hotel operator have towards its guests?

Posted By on June 15, 2016

According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, Florida law imposes a duty on a hotel or similar establishment to keep his or her buildings, premises, and appliances—or at least those parts to which the guests are invited or may reasonably be expected to use—in a condition that is reasonably safe for his or her guests to use.

See: U.S. Sec. Services Corp. v. Ramada Inn, Inc., 665 So. 2d 268 (Fla. 3d DCA 1995)

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

Can I file a police report after an accident?

Posted By on June 14, 2016

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: Can I file a police report after an accident?

A: If a police report has not been completed at the time of an accident, you can go down to the local police station that would have investigated the accident and complete an accident report. There is no requirement that the report be completed at that time. There are requirements that you stay at the scene of an accident if somebody has been hurt. If nobody has been hurt and for example, it’s just property damage, a police report does not need to be completed at that time. In fact, many times your insurance company does not even require that a police report be prepared if you are just claiming property damage, so long as long as you know who the other vehicle involved in the accident was and you’ve exchanged that information.

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

In Florida, who is considered a trespasser?

Posted By on June 13, 2016

According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, a trespasser is a person who enters someone’s premises without permission, invitation, or other rights. A trespasser intrudes for some purpose of their own, their convenience, or merely as a person with no apparent purpose other than to satisfy their curiosity.

See: Barrio v. City of Miami Beach, 698 So. 2d 1241 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 1997)

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

If a person with permission to enter someone’s property brings another person onto the property, are both of them considered trespassers?

Posted By on June 8, 2016

According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, when a person has the right to enter property and he or she allows a third person to enter the property each party becomes a trespasser.

See: Satin v. Hialeah Race Course, Inc., 65 So. 2d 475 (Fla. 1953)

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

What does your insurance company have to do once you tell them you were in a car accident?

Posted By on June 7, 2016

In this video, Alan Sackrin answers a question that he has been asked many times before by clients and visitors to this site. If you have questions after watching the video, Alan is available to talk with you now and answer your questions free of charge:

Q: What does your insurance company have to do once you tell them you were in a car accident?

A: An insurance policy is nothing more than a contract. That contract defines the rights and obligations between the insurance company and the insured. Once you advise your insurance company that you have been involved in an automobile accident in Florida it has the affirmative obligation to undertake to investigate what happened. It has the obligation to let you know that you have certain benefits under that policy in the event you are hurt. For example you have no fault or PIP benefits that will pay regardless of who is at fault in the accident. You also have the obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company. That’s part of your contract. The insurance company has the duty and obligation to determine whether or not there may even be a claim made against you and if so your insurance company will defend you and any claim against you.

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.

 

 

If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.

In a Florida Trip and Fall Does The Victim Have to Show The Property Owner or Business Owner Had Knowledge of The Negligent Condition?

Posted By on June 6, 2016

According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, a property owner or business owner will not be liable for a trip and fall without the victim providing evidence of the owner’s constructive knowledge or actual knowledge of the dangerous or negligent condition.

See: Miami-Dade County v. Herndon, 776 So. 2d 360 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 3d Dist. 2001)

Related:

_______________

Do you have questions or comments? Then please feel free to send Alan an email or call him now at (954) 458-8655.
 
 
 
 
 
If you found this information helpful, please share this article and bookmark it for your future reference.