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Inadequate Maintenance   

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If you get injured while on someone else’s property due to inadequate maintenance, the owner of the premises may be responsible for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. In Florida, premises liability laws impose a duty on property owners to maintain safe premises for visitors. A premises liability attorney in Tampa can help you seek financial justice after your accident.

What Is Inadequate Maintenance?

Property owners have a legal responsibility to properly maintain their premises, meaning to keep them free of any hazards and injury risks that could harm visitors. Inadequate maintenance refers to a landowner neglecting the appropriate and necessary level of care, leading to a dangerous state of disrepair.

The amount of maintenance that an owner has a responsibility to provide depends on what a reasonable and prudent property owner would have done in the same circumstances. If it would have been reasonable for a landowner to repair a broken staircase, for example, it constitutes inadequate maintenance for an owner to ignore this hazard.

What Are the Dangers of Inadequate Property Maintenance?

Adequate property maintenance means an owner regularly inspects his or her land for new, unknown or hidden hazards and defects. If any are discovered, a prudent property owner remedies them in a timely manner to prevent foreseeable accidents and injuries. If immediate repairs cannot be made, the owner should post warning signs in conspicuous places to help visitors avoid injury.

Anything less than these duties of care could result in unsafe property conditions, such as:

  • Broken staircases
  • Cracked or uneven curbs and sidewalks
  • Damaged or slippery floors
  • Loose or ripped carpeting
  • Debris or clutter in walkways
  • Poor lighting
  • Structural problems
  • Unsafe playgrounds
  • Fire or electrical hazards

Inadequate property maintenance greatly increases the odds of an injury or death caused by a defect. Dangerous property conditions can result in many serious injuries, including broken bones, head and brain injuries, internal injuries, lacerations, and back and spinal cord injuries. In the most severe cases, poor property maintenance could contribute to an individual’s wrongful death.

How to Prove Inadequate Maintenance in a Premises Liability Case

A personal injury case based on inadequate maintenance must demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence that the owner or controller of the property owed the victim a duty of care, breached this duty, and caused the victim’s injuries.

Various duties of care are imposed on property owners when welcoming lawful visitors, known as invitees and licensees. However, there are no duties of care regarding trespassers (unless they are under the age of 18). Certain entities—such as schools, businesses, and landlords—have specific duties of care in addition to a general responsibility to maintain safe properties.

Proving this type of claim requires clear and convincing evidence of negligence, or the owner’s failure to properly maintain the area and repair known defects. While every case is unique, evidence may include maintenance logs, eyewitness statements, expert testimony, accident reports, and photographs and videos.

An Attorney Can Take Over Your Insurance Claim

If you suffered any type of injury due to inadequate maintenance while on someone else’s property in Tampa, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Unfortunately, achieving a fair financial recovery from an insurance company can be challenging. Hiring an experienced Tampa personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability law can allow you to focus on healing while your lawyer fights for fair compensation on your behalf.

To learn more about an inadequate maintenance claim, contact Vanguard Attorneys for a free consultation in Tampa.