Have you ever been to someone’s house and heard the words “careful where you step”, but thought nothing of it? As it turns out, the responsibility isn’t always yours, but you may be wise to pay attention to those words. Whether the property belongs to a private homeowner, business, or government entity, the owner has a responsibility to make sure the area is safe — a responsibility that not all of them take seriously. When they don’t, it’s time to turn a premises liability lawyer. Miami is full of beautiful landscapes and intricate properties, but not all of them are safe. Visitors shouldn’t have to be the ones to pay the price for that neglect.
Property Owner Responsibility
Where does the responsibility of the property owner begin and end? You do need to use common sense, but you should be able to navigate the property within reason and not suffer for it. With that being said, a simple statement of “watch your step” isn’t always enough. That’s why there are building codes and home owner’s insurance regulations. For example, if you are walking up a set of stairs that are soft and rotten, and the homeowner tells you to watch your step, they haven’t met their obligations. It was nice of them to warn you, but they have a responsibility to provide a means by which to safely reach the front door without getting hurt.
All property owners have an obligation to keep their property safe for others to navigate in a reasonable manner. That means if you decide to go climb a tree and go out on a rotten limb, they may not be responsible because that’s not something that is normally navigated on the property. Details such as these are one of the many reasons you need premises liability attorney Boris Lavent to help with clarification and legal representation.
Indirect Property Damage
Sometimes the damage isn’t to your person, but to your property. For example, assume you just bought a brand new car and you bring it to a friend’s house to show it off. The property is safe to walk on and the driveway is safe to drive on. Then the dog comes out. He climbs on the door of your car and scratches your thousand dollar custom paint job. Who is responsible?
This is something your own car insurance might cover, but why should it? You weren’t negligent, and if your insurance covers it, your premium could increase. The homeowner was negligent by not keeping their dog properly trained or restrained, so the responsibility should be his. How are you going to prove it? Again, this is where professionals like Boris Lavent come in. This is a complicated matter that really comes down to who is responsible. The defense will claim you knew there was a dog on the property and should have anticipated what the dog would do. A savvy Miami premises liability lawyer will know how to put the responsibility where it belongs.
Mixing Friendship and Liability
Thankfully, not all premises liability issues involve friendships. Some cases include businesses and public entities. However, when a friendship is involved, it’s usually best to just avoid the person until the matter is completely resolved. This keeps you both from saying things that might damage either side of the case, and it prevents the case from being a topic in the friendship.
Keep in mind that Lavent Law has quite a bit of experience in situations like this, so you’ll get plenty of advice on how to navigate the friendship while the case is pending. Remember that this isn’t personal. It’s about recovering from a loss. Since that loss can come in the form of a one-time monetary loss to replace an item that was damaged, or a significant medical issue that will be ongoing and costly, it’s best to let the professionals manage it.
If you feel as though you may be in a position to have suffered from some type of property negligence, it’s time to look for help from a Miami premises liability lawyer. Miami has plenty of property to explore, and there is no reason at all that you shouldn’t be able to explore it safely. Lavent Law is an experienced Aventura law office that can help you with every part of your premises liability case. Call us to set up an appointment with Boris Lavent at 305-440-0450.