If you suffer an injury while visiting a property, that property’s owner can be held legally responsible under premises liability law.
Premises liability protects visitors from unsafe conditions on public and private property. Not all injuries that occur on someone else’s property fall under the category of premises liability.
But anybody who suffers an injury due to property negligence should know what legal options are available to them. What is premises liability? And what are the premises liability laws in the state of Florida?
Types of Premises Liability
Premises liability law covers many different situations. One of the most common among these is a slip and fall accident. A slip and fall can be covered by liability law when a visitor is injured in a fall on another individual’s property.
Unsafe conditions which can result in a slip and fall include loose rugs, wet floors, and uneven flooring or sidewalks. The property owner must provide reasonable notice of these conditions in order to not be at fault for injuries.
The property owner can be held liable for any other unsafe conditions on their property which they are aware of. Improper maintenance, inadequate security, and swimming pool accidents are all further examples of premises liability cases. Cases involving inadequate security are most common in apartment and office buildings.
Animal bites (most commonly dog bites) can also fall under premises liability law in some cases. There are a few conditions that can cause a dog bite to meet the requirements of a premises liability case. If the dog’s owner fails to inform the victim of the dog’s known tendency to bite, the owner may be liable.
The owner may also be liable if it is found they were negligent with regard to the animal’s behavior. A “beware of dog” sign can count as an adequate warning and protect property owners in some cases.
Florida Premises Liability Law
Premises liability law can vary from state to state, with distinctions between the status of the visitor to the property. Under premises liability law, there are three categories of visitors to a property.
Invitee – An invitee is an invited guest to the property. At a home, this is any social guest of the property’s owners. At a business, this can be a shopper or any customer or guest of the business. Property owners should provide invitees with reasonable care in order to assure their safety on the property.
Licensee – A licensee has the owner’s permission to access the property, but does so for their own personal gain. A salesman or solicitor would be an example of a licensee. A licensee has many of the same protections in most states as an invitee.
Trespasser – The trespasser category is where states tend to differ in terms of premises liability law. A trespasser is anyone who enters the property without the owner’s permission. In Florida, the property owner still has a legal obligation to provide reasonable protection to trespassers. The property must be kept in a reasonably safe condition, and any known hazards should be properly marked.
A complication to premises liability laws regarding trespassers involves child protective laws. Because children can often trespass unknowingly, a property owner can be found negligent if a child is harmed on their property unknowingly.
Pool accidents are another common category of premises liability cases, particularly involving children. This is why most states, Florida included, require all outdoor swimming pools to be surrounded by a fence. An unsecured pool can be a major hazard to a curious child who wanders onto the property.
Premises Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one suffers an injury on public or private property, a lawyer can help you. Wood, Atter & Wolf is a Florida-based law firm specializing in personal injury law.
Premises liability incidents are all too common, but many victims are unaware that they can receive compensation. Our attorneys will make sure you understand your rights and get you the settlement you deserve.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether your case is complex or straightforward, hiring a personal injury lawyer is always the correct decision. A knowledgeable lawyer will help you navigate the more complicated areas of your case during your difficult times.
And when the time comes for a settlement, a skilled personal injury attorney will get you the compensation you deserve.
What Can You Do?
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury and are concerned about the long-term emotional and financial consequences, you need to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to learn about all of your options.
Our Jacksonville personal injury law firm will work to protect your legal rights and pursue rightful compensation for long-term medical bills, wage loss, disfigurement, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of life.