If you or a loved one sustained injuries on someone else’s property, you may be able to file a claim under Florida’s premises liability statutes.
These laws dictate the level of care that property owners and managers must exercise to protect visitors from harm.
If a property owner fails to exercise appropriate care and, as a result, someone sustains a serious injury, the owner can be held liable for any resulting damages.
Common types of damages that you might recover from a premises liability claim in Florida include:
- Medical treatment and care,
- Lost wages and benefits,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Future loss of income.
A personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining whether you have a valid legal claim and demonstrate the at-fault party’s liability for your damages.
What Is Premises Liability Law?
This area of the law holds property owners and managers responsible for the reasonable safety of those people who visit their property.
To bring a premises liability claim or lawsuit, the injured party must demonstrate that the responsible party:
- Owed the plaintiff a duty of care,
- Failed to uphold that duty, and
- Caused their injury as a result.
If the responsible party or parties failed to uphold their duty of care, an injured party can seek compensation for any financial, physical, and emotional harm that results.
The extent of a property owner’s duty of care to any given individual depends on the circumstances under which the victim was on the property.
What Duties Does a Property Owner Have?
Both residential and commercial property owners owe visitors a duty of care to protect them from harm. The extent of that duty depends on the type of visitor who sustains an injury.
The law requires that property owners extend the highest level of care to individuals invited to transact business at a given location.
Owners must maintain their property in a safe condition that does not pose the threat of harm to invitees.
If a potentially hazardous condition exists, the property owner must correct known problems or provide clear warnings.
These warnings can include a posted notice, barricade, or cone. Property owners may have liability for invitees’ injuries even if they were unaware of the hazard if they should reasonably have known the problem existed.
Common types of business invitees include:
- Shoppers at the supermarket,
- Patrons at a restaurant or nightclub, and
- Motorists at a gas station.
It is important to note that even homeowners may deal with business invitees and the duty of care they require.
Anyone you invite to your property for business purposes, such as a repair technician or mobile groomer, is entitled to the same level of care that a commercial facility owner must extend.
Invited licensees are individuals that a property owner invited to visit for non-business-related purposes, such as a social call.
When invited by the property owner, licensees are owed the same duty of care as invitees.
Property owners are not obligated to provide the same duty of care to uninvited licensees, however. Uninvited licensees include door-to-door salespeople, solicitors, and unknown persons who show up on the doorstep.
Owners only owe these licensees protection from deliberate, willful, or reckless injury.
Trespassers enter a property without permission from the owner. Property owners owe trespassers the same duty of care as uninvited licenses, which is protection from intentional or reckless injury.
When a child enters a property, whether as an invitee or a trespasser, the property owner has an obligation to extend extra care. Any hazard or dangerous condition that might attract a child’s attention or curiosity requires protection.
For example, homeowners must fence their swimming pools and remove the doors from discarded appliances.
Examples of Florida Premises Liability Cases
In Florida, some of the most common types of premises liability claims include:
- Slips and falls,
- Dog bites,
- Swimming pool accidents,
- Elevator/escalator accidents, and
- Maintenance or construction-related injuries.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
If you sustained serious injuries on someone else’s property, you may have a valid claim no matter what the circumstances may have been.
For help from one of our knowledgeable premises liability lawyers, call on Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon.
We offer a free consultation to answer your questions and provide the information you need to pursue compensation for your Florida premises liability claim. Contact us now to learn more.