Homestead residents who attend a church, synagogue, or other place of worship turn to their faith to help them grow spiritually with others. No one attends a service or religious event expecting to be injured, yet this situation affects many people of faith every year. Whether you are attending a place of worship for a religious event or regular service, a social event, for volunteer work, or for another cause, if you have been injured by the organization’s negligence, you may have a claim.
Types of Injuries On Religious Organization Grounds
No matter what kind of faith service you are attending, you have a reasonable expectation to be safe and your church, mosque, or other place of worship has a duty to take reasonable steps to keep you safe. Despite this, there are many types of injuries that happen at places of worship:
- Child abuse: When employees or volunteers or anyone associated with a place of worship harms a child, the organization may be found liable, especially in situations where the organization failed to investigate a person’s background or covered up the criminal activity.
- Slip and fall and trip and fall: Organizations, including places of worship, need to keep premises clean and reasonably free of debris and spills. If a worship center or any organization fails to do this, they can be found liable if visitors are injured.
- Violence: Unfortunately, places of worship are sometimes targeted by violent acts or even mass shooters. In these cases, courts sometimes side with injured parishioners and attendees if a place of worship did not take reasonable steps to protect members and visitors.
- Parking lot and car collision injuries: After an event or service, visitors crowd into the parking lot and an organization needs to ensure the exits and signage are there to ensure a reasonably safe exit. If someone is injured due to poor design or maintenance, the organization may be held liable.
- Issues caused by building maintenance: If ceiling tiles fall, stair railings are poorly constructed, pews or chairs break, or other building maintenance problems cause injury, an organization can be held liable.
Deciding to File a Claim
Some of the injuries people suffer in places of worship can be life altering. People have lost their lives at religious events or have suffered serious head injuries or permanent back injuries. Unfortunately, in many cases plaintiffs hesitate before pursuing a claim they may be entitled to or may even face pressure from their faith community to not pursue a legal claim.
Since religious organizations do much good and since plaintiffs are often members of the place of worship where they are injured, they may hesitate before filing a claim. However, without a claim, injured persons may be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost income, and other losses. If these losses were caused by someone’s negligence, there is no reason why a plaintiff should need to pay all the costs themselves.
Some potential plaintiffs also mistakenly think they cannot pursue a claim because faith-based organizations are non-profits. This is not the case. Just like any public space, religious organizations have liability insurance and a duty of care to those who visit them.
If you have been injured in any place of worship in Southern Florida, Contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead premises liability attorney. Your first consultation comes with no cost and no obligation.