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What Issues Surround Premises Liability Claims in Florida? – Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer

July 15, 2013 Personal Injury

What Are the Issues Surrounding Premises Liability Claims in Florida?

The law surrounding premises liability in Florida can be very complex and it is important that you seek the appropriate legal advice to determine how the law applies to your facts and your case. “Premises liability” refers to accidents where victims are injured due to the negligent maintenance, operation or design of a property that is owned by someone else. This includes accidents such as a slip-and-fall in a grocery store or negligent security that leads to an attack by a third party in a parking lot. It can also include a fall on a homeowner’s or condominium association’s property, such as a trip and fall from a crack or pothole in the roadway, or an injury caused by a stranger committing a crime on someone else’s property, such as a gas station.

The main principle behind premises liability is that property owners are required to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors and warn of dangers. When a property owner fails this duty and a visitor to their property becomes injured, the injured party may seek damages with a premises liability personal injury claim. If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property and you believe your injury is due to the property owner’s negligence, contact Boca Injury Law to speak with a personal injury attorney in Boca Raton. We will thoroughly review your case to determine whether a premises liability personal injury claim is right for your case, all depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your case.

What is a Property Owner’s Duty in Florida?
In general, property owners must use reasonable care to correct any hazards or dangers that the owner knows or should know about, and which the visitor cannot or should not know of by use of reasonable care. Property owners must also warn those that visit their property of any hazards or dangerous conditions that exist on their property. The property owner must also reasonably maintain the premises in a safe condition. However, the degree of care owed to those that are on your property depends on the status of visitor on the owner’s property.

Level of Care Owed to Visitors

The duties of the premises owner will depend on the visitor’s status.

Visitor’s Status                     

  • Public Invitee: A person who is invited to enter or remain on land as a member of the public for a purpose for which the land is held to the public
  • Business Invitee: A person is invited to enter or remain on land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land.
  • Licensee by Invitation: A social guest.
  • Uninvited Licensee: A person who chooses to come upon the premises solely for his or her own convenience without invitation either expressed or reasonably implied under the circumstances.
  • Trespasser: A person who enters the premises without license, invitation or any other right, and intrudes for some definite purpose of his/her own, or at his/her own convenience, or merely as an idler with no apparent purpose, other than perhaps to satisfy his/her curiosity.

Duties of Premises Owner in Florida
For Public Invitees, Business Invitees, and Licensees by Invitation:

  • To correct or warn of any dangers that the owner knows or should have known of by the use of reasonable care, and which the visitor cannot or should not know of by the use of reasonable care.
  • To maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, including to guard against foreseeable third party crimes.

For Uninvited Licensees, and Trespassers:

  • To refrain from willful or wanton injury (e.g. to remove any concealed traps that the owner knows will cause harm and of which the owner has actual knowledge).  However, there is no duty to guard against third party crimes.

An experienced personal injury attorney can review the details of your case to determine whether your injury was caused by the property owner’s negligence and what duty of care was owed to the visitor, depending on whether they were an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser.

Negligent Security
Within premises liability is an area of law called negligent security. Negligent security refers to a property owner’s responsibility to protect visitors on their premises from preventable attacks or crimes caused by third parties including any crime or attack by a total stranger that causes an injury. Property owners may be liable for the act and may be required to implement adequate security measures appropriate for their type of property if the crime or attack was foreseeable. For example, parking lots should have adequate lighting and businesses such as bars should employ adequate security staff to keep visitors safe. If a property owner neglects this duty and this causes a visitor to the property to be harmed, the property owner may be held liable if this type of attack was foreseeable. An experienced personal injury attorney at Boca Injury Law can investigate your case to determine whether the property owner provided adequate security for you as a visitor.

Contact a Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a family member has suffered any kind of injury on someone else’s property and you believe your injury is due to the property owner’s negligence, contact Boca Injury Law to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys. You may be entitled to compensation for your injury including the cost of past and future medical bills, lost and future wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, funeral expenses or other expenses that directly resulted from the accident. Ruben E. Socarras, Esq., managing member of the firm that is based in Boca Raton, Florida, is an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney focusing his practice in the areas civil litigation, wrongful death, catastrophic and personal injury law, among other areas of law.

The AV® Preeminent™ designation is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer review rating based on a legal professional’s skills and ethics. Please contact our firm today for more information about how we can assist you with your accident or injury case at 561-609-3190, or via our online Contact Form. We offer a free consultation and there is no obligation to pay for legal fees or costs unless we successfully recover against the at-fault party. 

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