Florida law requires business and property owners to maintain their spaces in a reasonably safe condition, but many of them do not live up to their duties. Non-Fatal Injury Data gathered by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that the top cause of bodily harm for 2017 was accidental slip and falls, followed by unintentional strikes by an object – both of which are common in restaurants, stores, apartment buildings, office complexes, and other locations throughout Miami.
Under normal circumstances, you would file an insurance claim or go to court to pursue your remedies as a victim. However, instead of allowing the process to run its course, a property owner might try to avoid legal action by offering you something of value. There are many reasons Miami premises liability attorneys warn against this, so you should review some important information before accepting anything.
Why a Property Owner Might Offer You Perks
Put simply, a business or property owner wants to avoid the financial implications of paying compensation for your losses. Usually, these individuals or entities have insurance to protect against such incidents, but a successful claim could lead to increased premiums. In some cases, the property owner may have to retain their own lawyers and incur considerable attorneys’ fees.
As such, the responsible party may offer you something for free to entice you not to file an insurance claim or lawsuit in court. For instance, if you’re hurt due to dangerous conditions on their premises:
- A store owner might give you a discount on your current and future purchases;
- Your meal might be comped at a restaurant;
- Your landlord might give you a discount or write off your rent; or,
- You might be offered a free membership at a country club, golf course, waterpark, or other attraction.
What You May be Giving Up
The perks listed above might seem attractive, but keep in mind that they are minor compared to what you are forgoing if you accept. Plus, you may not even know the full extent of your injuries and related losses at the time the property owner makes the offer. Your acceptance could be viewed as an agreement not to pursue your right to recover for:
- Your medical costs, including surgery, physical therapy, pain medications, assistive devices, and other items related to your treatment;
- Your lost wages, if you cannot work because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Losses based upon how your injuries affect your relationships and quality of life; and,
- Many other damages depending on your unique circumstances.
Allow a Miami Premises Liability Lawyer to Handle Your Injury Claim
As you can see, it is a mistake to accept anything of value from a business or property owner when you are hurt while on their premises. You could give up significant rights and receive far less than what you would recover by seeking remedies through the legal process. To learn more, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA to schedule a free case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.