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What does premises liability mean?

What premises liability means Premises liability is the legal term for the responsibility for an injury on someone else’s property. Under premises liability laws, you have a right to seek payment from the owner if you suffer an injury in the owner’s house, business, or land.

Florida Premises Liability Cases

The most common accidents in premises liability cases are falls, such as trip and fall and slip and fall incidents. However, victims can suffer a wide range of injuries on someone else’s property, including injuries from falling debris, slick snow or ice, broken gates, faulty wiring, or even assault.

Property owners have a duty to make their homes and commercial buildings reasonably safe for visitors. If an injury was caused by a landowner or property manager’s negligence, there's a good chance the injury qualifies for a premises liability claim.

There are many different important factors involved in these types of cases, including:

  • Who can bring a premises liability claim? While pretty much anyone who suffers a severe injury can bring a premises liability claim, property owners have a different duty of care to different types of visitors. The highest standard of care is given to guests invited onto a property for business reasons, such as shoppers in a grocery store or patrons of a restaurant. It also applies to people invited to the property in order to do work, such as repairmen. The second-highest level of care is given to social guests or people invited onto a property for social reasons for a specific period of time, such as inviting friends and family members to a party. In many cases, people who show up on the property unexpectedly like a friend or neighbor can also be considered a social guest. The lowest tier of care is given to trespassers, or people who were not invited and have no reason to be on the property.
  • Who can be liable? Many different people who have control or rights over a property can be held liable for a premises liability injury. Owners of homes and businesses; property managers who oversee several shopping malls, condominiums, or hotels; and landlords can be liable if they fail to remedy a dangerous condition on the property within a reasonable period of time. If an injury occurred in a shop, liability may fall on the shop owner, the owner of the leased property to house the shop or both.
  • What do I need to prove? Property owners and other liable parties generally cannot be held responsible for injuries resulting from a dangerous condition on their property that they didn't know about. In order to collect payment in a premises liability case, you will first need to prove that the owner/liable person knew about—or should have known about—a hazardous condition on the property. Next, you must prove the owner/liable person failed to fix the condition and/or warn others of the danger. Finally, there must be proof that you were directly injured by the hazardous condition.
  • Are there different laws for trespassers or children? Trespassers may not have permission to enter a property, but that doesn't mean property owners don't have any liability for their safety. Owners have a duty to warn anyone on their properties about potentially dangerous or lethal conditions and can be liable for any intentional injuries to a trespasser. Owners have a special duty of care toward children, since children may not recognize conditions as harmful—such as trampolines, swimming pools, or discarded appliances. A property owner is responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect nearby children by installing preventive measures around it (such as a fence with a locking gate) or by removing dangerous conditions from the property.
  • What can I recover? Injuries in a premises liability case can be extensive. Damages may include compensation for medical treatment,  physical rehabilitation, lost wages and income, disability, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, and other remuneration.

If you were injured on another person’s property, our personal injury attorney can advise you on options and get the compensation you need to recover. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to set up a consultation and get answers to your questions.

 

Paul R. Cavonis
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Injury Law and Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney