Premises liability claims arise when visitors to public or private property are injured or killed due to the negligence of the property owner or the property owner allowing an unsafe or dangerous condition to exist. And while you may have reasonable expectation that the property owner can be held liable for injuries you sustain, premises liability claims in Florida hinge mainly on your status as an injured visitor. In a nutshell, your reason for being on the property largely determines whether your case is viable or not.
If you have experienced a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need to seek quality representation for your case. A Plantation premises liability attorney understands the nuances surrounding premises liability law and is your first line of defense in helping you lodge a claim for any injuries you sustain on someone else’s property.
Premises Liability and Visitor Status
The Florida court system assigns different degrees of property owner responsibility based on the status of people who enter the property. There are five statuses of visitors, including public and business invitees, licensees by invitation, uninvited licensees, and trespassers. Business and public invitees must receive the highest duty of care under the law, while trespassers other than children are owed nearly no duty of care at all.
Public and Business Invitees and Invited Licensees
Per the Florida Bar Association, a public invitee is someone who is on the premises for the purpose of which the premises exists. For example, a visitor to a hospital or someone using a public park’s facilities. Public invitees do not have a specific business purpose for being there, but the premises is open to the public. By contrast, a business invitee is on the premises for a specific business purpose. For instance, a shopper at a local department store or a visitor to a tourist attraction. For these visitors, property owners must keep the premises free from danger or warn invitees about potential dangers. An invited licensee comes to the property by invitation, such as when a guest is invited to the property owner’s home. The same level of care for invited licensees as business and public invitees is expected under the law.
Uninvited Licensees and Trespassers
Uninvited licensees and trespassers, however, are not invited and comes to the property of his own accord, such as an uninvited salesman. The only duty of the property owner to both uninvited licensees and trespassers is to guard against wanton or willful injury. An exception for children exists. Property owners must use reasonable care to prevent children from accessing dangerous areas of the property, such as a swimming pool.
Premises Liability Scenarios
Premises law applies to both residential and commercial property owners. Some common scenarios that set the stage for a liability claim include:
- Slip-and-fall injuries when a customer slips on spilled liquid while shopping
- Trip-and-fall injuries when a patron trips over the edge of a frayed rug
- Fall injuries when a visitor falls due to a broken stair step
- Electrocution injuries when a tenant handles a live or faulty wire
- Burn injuries and smoke inhalation when a rented home catches fire due to faulty wiring
- Dog bite injuries when a dog attacks a letter carrier
Because of the complexity of Plantation premises liability law, choosing a seasoned attorney with experience litigating personal injury claims is important. The Law Office of Bradley S. Hartley has helped hundreds of clients claim thousands of dollars in compensation for medical bills and lost wages due to premises liability accidents. Contact our Plantation premises liability team for a free initial consultation now.