Premises Liability

fotolia_40458003Every day people are injured due to dangerous conditions such as improperly maintained sidewalks, stairways, and walkways, which may lead to a slip and fall or a trip and fall. People are also commonly injured due to dangerous conditions such as unsafe playgrounds, parking lots, swimming pools, elevators, or even private homes. Shopping malls, stores, amusement parks and restaurants are also places where people can be injured due to unsafe conditions on the premises.

A property owner or a tenant who possesses a particular piece of property may be legally responsible for injuries that occur on that property. Those persons who have control over the property are expected to take reasonable precautions to eliminate dangerous conditions and to warn people of those conditions, such as wet floors, slippery steps, uneven floors, inadequate lighting, debris or other obstacles on the floor or ground, or a hidden hazard, such as a hole in the ground that is difficult to see.

If you suffered an injury due to a property owner’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for the injury. We will seek to prove that the owner was negligent in maintaining the property, and that the owner’s negligence caused you injury. Florida law gives great protection to people who are “invitees.” An “invitee” is a person who is present on the property for the owner’s commercial benefit. A common example of an invitee is a customer in a store. A property owner owes the highest duty possible to an “invitee.” A property owner has a duty to inspect the property for any dangerous conditions and take action to eliminate those conditions or worn visitors of them. A property owner is responsible for dangerous conditions that he/she knows of, or of which he/she should have known. A property owner also owes a duty to protect a “licensee.” A” “licensee” is a person who was either invited onto the property or who was allowed to come onto the property for a non-commercial purpose. A property owner can be held liable for injuries to a social guest who is injured by a condition that the owner knew about and failed to correct, or if the property owner failed to give adequate warning about the dangerous condition.

ladyA property owner even owes a trespasser a duty not to intentionally or recklessly hurt a trespasser. If a property owner is aware that there is a dangerous condition on the property, and is further aware of the fact that trespassers often enter the property, then the property owner also has a duty to warn trespassers of existing dangers.

Because of their tender age, Florida law gives heightened protection to children with respect to the duty that a property owner owes them. Certain characteristics of a property may be considered “attractive nuisances” to children. An attractive nuisance is something such as a pool or trampoline that draws children onto the property. If children are drawn onto the property by an attractive nuisance and is harmed by that nuisance, then the property owner may be held liable for the children’s injuries, even if the children were trespassers.

Victims of crime may sue property owners who took in adequate security measures to protect others on the property, which thereby allowed the crimes at issue to occur more easily on the property.

If you have been injured on someone’s premises, then important steps need to be taken to preserve your rights. Contact us immediately at (561) 721-0201.