Fireworks Burn Down Million-Dollar Home – and Remind Residents about Premise Liability

Fireworks are meant to be fun and exciting. They are used throughout July to celebrate our nation’s birthday, but also tend to be the number one cause of residential fires during the summer.

On July 6th, fire crews and investigators were looking into a fire that took down million-dollar home. Investigators believed that bottle rockets and Roman candles were to blame for this waterfront property in Sewall’s Point being destroyed.

The blaze was spotted by a fisherman around 1:30am in the morning and the damage is estimated to be around $500,000. The home was listed only a few months ago with a purchase price of $2.25 million.

premise liability lawyer

Unfortunately, this costly event has served as a reminder to those that set off fireworks for any holiday – there are risks. Also, it has highlighted the potential issue of premise liability – and how setting fireworks off can put numerous individuals at risk.

Fireworks Cause Injury

Fireworks are known to cause injury and property damage. In this event, if someone was burned or died while in the house during the fire, the homeowner’s would be liable for those injuries.

Even if the house had not caught fire, if someone is injured by fireworks on a person’s property, they have a potential premise liability case.

Identifying the Property Owners

To bring a premise liability claim to the courts, it is important that the attorney identify the person that is responsible for the property.

The law states that a person is in possession of the property when:

  1. They occupy that land
  2. They have previously occupied the property with the intent to control it and no one has occupied with the intent to control it since then
  3. They are entitled to occupation of the property and no one else is in possession of the property

Determining a Victim’s Right to Be on the Property

Not all injured parties are eligible for premise liability claims. A person must be invited or a licensee of the property in order to file a claim against the property owner.

For example, a guest at a home that is burned by a firework would be eligible to collect compensation under a premise liability claim.

But, if a person had no permission to be on the property or was trespassing and injured by fireworks, they would not have a valid claim for premise liability – because the owners were under no requirement to provide care or reasonable care to a trespasser.

What About Liability Waivers?

In Florida, to purchase fireworks you must sign a waiver of liability – stating that you will not sue the company selling you the fireworks for any injuries or losses.

This protects the retailer from anyone’s unauthorized or misuse of the fireworks, but what if the firework itself was defective?

If the firework was defective and the retailer knew this, a liability waiver may not protect them from a lawsuit. Also, if the waiver has ambiguous or misleading wording, it may not be honored by the courts.

Injured by Someone’s Firework Show? Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured by someone’s fireworks or by faulty fireworks, contact the personal injury lawyer at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates today for a free consultation.

We will assess your case and help explore your options for compensation. Call now to get started.

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Are Minors Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Florida?

Workers’ compensation benefits are there to help those who need medical care, rehabilitation, or even disability coverage after suffering from a work-related injury. As a minor, you may be wondering if your age will affect your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Florida.

Are Minors Eligible?

Yes, under Florida law a minor is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits as long as they were injured while performing within the parameters of their job. Therefore, if you work retail as a 16-year old and you are injured at work from lifting a heavy object to stock shelves, you would qualify for workers’ compensation just as much as a 30-year old.

Minor Injured at Work

Age does not affect eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and if an employer leads you to believe that your age status will, you should contact an attorney right away.

Understanding Eligibility

Florida law requires all employers with four or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance. In construction, however, the requirement falls to just one employee. Only employees are eligible for workers’ compensation, regardless of age. These can include:

  • Contract employees
  • Full-time and part-time employees
  • An alien
  • A minor
  • An individual on work-release

There are instances when a person will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. These situations can include:

  • Freelance workers
  • Independent contractors
  • Professional athletes
  • Domestic workers or nannies in private residences
  • Volunteer workers
  • Casual laborers (those hired for specific jobs that last less than ten days)

Injuries Must Arise Out of Job-Related Tasks

The law clearly states you must have an injury that occurred while performing a job-related task in order to qualify for workers’ compensation. If you are injured at home and it is not related to work, then you cannot claim workers’ compensation. Also, you must notify your employer within 30 days of the work-related injury with the effects of the injury, the date it occurred, and the date you received medication attention and a diagnosis.

If you do not report your injury within the 30-day window, then the employer’s insurer is not liable for covering your injuries and you could lose your opportunity to receive any benefits. Therefore, it is imperative that you notify a supervisor immediately to avoid any issues with eligibility.

What Benefits Am I Entitled to as a Minor?

You are entitled to the same level of benefits as an adult. These benefits can include medical care, lost wages, and even disability if you are permanently injured. If you are unable to return to work, then you will receive a lump sum payout rather than weekly payments. Also, depending on your work history and work restrictions after the accident, you may receive permanent disability.

Injured at Work? Contact the Workers’ Comp Attorneys at Sternberg & Associates

If you were injured on the job, contact Boca Raton work injury attorneys at Scott J. Sternberg & Associates today for a free consultation. Even if you are a minor, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. So call us for your appointment at 561-687-5660 now.