Ditch and Pothole Accidents
Ditches, potholes, or other wear and tear in the ground’s surface are unavoidable occurrences that develop over time. However, a failure to fix or warn of these dangerous hazards may lead to serious injuries for people unaware of their presence. Falls due to a ditch or pothole may cause a great deal of harm to a victim, especially an elderly person. The Miami premises liability attorneys at the Law Offices aim to ensure that property owners responsible for these kinds of injuries are held liable to victims. The team assist South Florida residents throughout all stages of their legal journey, from investigation to settlement and litigation if necessary.Pursuing Compensation for Ditch and Pothole Accidents
Potholes result when a combination of heavy traffic, either of foot or vehicles, from above and water from the soil below causes asphalt to give way. Potholes are common anywhere that these two elements are present, including in crosswalks and parking lots. Similarly, ditches are formed when soil or dirt are pushed by waterfall in certain directions to form sometimes massive pits. Because of Florida’s year-round tendency for rainfall, potholes and ditches are frequently present. These hazards often involve sharp differences in height, which may not easily be detected by sight and therefore cause many trip and fall accidents.
If someone trips due to a pothole or a ditch on someone else’s property that is not readily visible, that person may be able to pursue a premises liability claim for any damages sustained. Depending on the property, and depending on the type of visitor, owners owe differing degrees of care to ensure the safety of their guests. Business owners owe the highest degree of care to patrons visiting the premises for a business purpose, such as a grocery store or mall. These owners are required to conduct regular inspections of the property and fix any dangers within a reasonable timeframe, or otherwise warn visitors of their existence. In these circumstances, plaintiffs must prove that an injury was caused by the dangerous condition, such as a pothole in a parking lot, and that the owner either knew or should have known of its existence but failed to address it in a timely manner.
A duty of care also exists in social settings, such as when guests are invited to a dinner party or another gathering. These property owners are expected to keep the premises reasonably safe from hazards and warn guests of known dangers. However, owners are not responsible for injuries caused by defects that are open and obvious, which are those that an individual should have taken measures to avoid. For instance, tripping over a large pothole in broad daylight after noticing others walking around it may be considered open and obvious.
If a property owner is found liable, a victim may recover compensation for medical expenses, loss of income and earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other economic and non-economic damages arising from the accident.Seek Guidance from a Premises Liability Attorney in the Miami Area
If you have been injured after tripping over a pothole or ditch, the Miami premises liability lawyers at the Law Offices can help determine your next legal steps. Call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to set up a free, no-obligation consultation and see how we may assist you. Our injury attorneys serve people throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, including in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.