No Winter Weather Does Not Mean No Accidents
While the rest of the U.S. is experiencing frigid winter weather, Florida largely remains pleasant and mild, with the average December highs in Tampa hovering around the mid-70s F (21-26 C). While the weather may not be frightful, some people tend to forget that even pleasant weather can hold pitfalls, especially for active people who are out enjoying the temperatures. If you are injured while you are out enjoying the Florida weather, in any season, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, depending on the specific situation.
If you decide to enjoy the weather by visiting shopping centers, amusement parks or public beaches, and you are injured, you may be able to seek compensation from the owner or operator of the venue. This is referred to under the law as the theory of premises liability – that is, the legal theory that someone who allows others onto their land or into their business is at least partly responsible for keeping their guests free from harm – they have a duty to treat guests a certain way. If that duty can be shown to have been breached, the owner or operator may be held liable.
There are three types of guests on another person’s property. An invitee must be given the highest degree of care; they are those who are invited either for a public purpose, or for a business purpose – for example, amusement park guests are considered invitees, because they are patronizing a business. The landowner must actively take steps to keep invitees from harm. A licensee, who comes onto someone’s property for their own pursuits, must not be negligently harmed, but does not have to be warned of dangers. An example of a licensee would be a door-to-door salesman. A trespasser, the third type, is not owed any duty except to refrain from maliciously harming them.
While anyone who owns a place that is open to the public faces certain rules as to guest safety, something that is often overlooked is pool safety, in both public and private homes. Because Florida’s weather is so mild year-round, many people (especially snowbirds coming from northern points) enjoy swimming at all times, but it can be easy to forget or ignore the steps that must be taken to ensure a pool is always safe. Drowning is a frequent cause of death, especially for very young children and the elderly.
If you are in a public pool, or in a private pool where you have been granted access, it must have at least one of four required safety devices: a barrier isolating the pool (such as a fence or a wall), a pool cover that fits properly, an exit alarm for all access points to the pool, and a “self-closing, self-latching” lock on all doors or gates. However, it is not uncommon to find a situation where none of these are present. If you or a loved one has an accident in a public pool, knowing your rights may ensure that your medical bills are paid.
Contact A Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Florida is a beautiful state with countless options to make memories all year round. However, it is important to know your rights and your options if you or your loved ones are unfortunate enough to meet with an accident. The Tampa personal injury attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are happy to try and answer your questions and direct you down the right path for you and yours. Call our office today for a free consultation.