Premises Liability Law in Florida
Injuries often occur as a result of dangerous conditions existing on a property (or, premises), including loose or broken flooring and stairs, uncovered openings, defective building structures, improper maintenance, and other unsafe conditions. When injury occurs on the property of another, liability will depend upon who was in control of the premises and under what circumstances the injured party entered the property. The collection of statutes and case law that govern the liability for these personal injuries is known as Florida premises liability law.
Who is responsible for the premises?
Is the property owner always responsible for injuries that occur on the property? What if you were injured on a rental property? From the injured person’s perspective, the answer to these questions depend upon who was in control of the premises at the time the injury occurred. Generally, the party who occupies and controls the premises is liable for the injuries occurring on the property, regardless of whether that party actually has legal ownership of the property. Of course, there are exceptions in many circumstances, including where the property owner has retained responsibility or control over the portion or feature of the premises that gave rise to the injury. The primary test in any situation will examine which party, the owner or the occupier, exercised control over the part of property where the injury occurred.
Why was the injured person on the premises?
The second issue that will determine liability is what status the injured party had in relation to their presence on the property. Florida law classifies a person who enters another’s property into several different categories, including a public invitee, business invitee, licensee by invitation, uninvited licensee, or trespasser.
A public invitee is a member of the public invited on property open to the public. A business invitee is someone invited on the property to conduct business. A licensee by invitation is typically a social guest. A person in control of the property owes anyone classified as a public invitee, business invitee, or a social guest a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and to correct and warn against dangers on the property.
An uninvited licensee is a person who enters the land without invitation for their own convenience. A trespasser is a person without any sort of license or invitation who intrudes upon the property for no purpose other than their own. With regard to uninvited licensees and trespassers, the person in control of the property owes only a duty to prevent known willful or reckless conditions.
Did the injury relate to the dangerous condition?
Once you have determined who owes the duty to persons entering the premises, and what duty that is based upon the visitor’s classification, the last consideration is determining whether the injury resulted from a dangerous condition the person in control of the premises had a duty to warn against, or correct. This will involve an analysis of whether the injury was caused in part by the injured person’s own conduct, or as an unavoidable result of a dangerous condition on the property.
Contact a Florida Premises Liability Lawyer
If you or someone that you know has been injured on another person’s premises near Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, or West Palm Beach you may have a right to compensation for your injuries due to unsafe conditions. Get the help of the experienced lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm who will aggressively pursue the facts of your case and get the compensation you deserve. Call or contact the office today for a confidential consultation regarding your injuries.