Premises Liability Issues In The State Of Florida

Premises Liability Issues in the State of Florida

Florida Premises Liability Statute

According to Florida law, property owners are required to ensure that their properties are safe for visitors. If they fail to do so they may be held liable for any injuries that result from their negligence. This subsection of law dealing with these injury suits is called premises liability law. According to Florida Statutes 768.0755 a person injured on another's property must prove the landowner knew of the dangerous condition and that landowner should have done something about the dangerous condition. This dangerous condition must have:

  • Existed for long enough that the landowner should have reasonably known about it
  • The dangerous condition happened often making it a problem that was foreseeable for the landowners

If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence, our Daytona Beach premises liability lawyer possesses the skills and experience to help you build a successful case. At the Law Offices of Keith C. Warnock, P.A., we offer free case evaluations, so feel free to reach out to us with your questions and concerns—at no obligation to you.

Call (386) 223-1651 or write to us online to speak with a premises liability attorney today.

How Do I Know If I Have a Premises Liability Case?

Premises liability law is an area of legal consideration that everyone should be aware of, as it applies to homeowners, small-business owners, property managers of large commercial properties such as hotels or malls, grocery store owners, and those who run bars, gyms, restaurants, and more. Tenants who run a business out of a leased property such as a strip mall, or even a tenant leasing a rental property for another purpose, could be held liable for visitor’s injuries.

In a premises liability lawsuit, the visitor, or party, that sustained an injury must prove that their injuries resulted from a failure by the property owner to make their property safe.

To be successful, in a premises liability case, the injured party needs to prove the following:

  • The property owner was aware of or should have known about the hazardous condition
  • The property owner failed to make necessary repairs or provide a warning about the hazardous condition
  • You were injured because of the hazardous condition

Typically, a property owner is not legally responsible for any injuries caused by conditions on their property of which they were not aware or had no reason to be aware of. It is expected that anyone who enters another person’s property will exercise sensible care for their own safety and well-being.

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An Additional Duty Is Owed to Children

Swimming pools on one’s property should be carefully considered by property owners. Property owners must be especially cautious regarding the protection of all children who enter their property as a guest or even a trespasser. To this point, the “attractive nuisance doctrine” states that property owners are required to exercise extreme care to protect children from potentially hazardous conditions or dangers on their property that may attract children such as swimming pools, trampolines, abandoned appliances, old vehicles, or any other dangerous item or area that children may find intriguing.

Property owners must take sensible steps to deal with the potential hazards by either removing the hazard or hazardous condition from the property altogether or by protecting children from the hazard. For example, a sensible way to deal with an “attractive nuisance” such as a swimming pool would be to secure the pool with a fence and gate that locks.

Types of Premises Liability Cases

Property owners assume liability for both the inside and outside of their premises/property and must maintain both sufficiently. For example, let’s consider a motel or hotel owner. The owner obviously must maintain clean and safe rooms for guests, but the owner is required to also provide upkeep and repairs if needed to the sidewalks and entryways, including the parking area, to ensure guests are properly protected from hazards or potentially dangerous conditions. Annually, some of the more common liability suits involve injuries sustained due to slipping or falling, thus it is important to provide proper upkeep and maintenance to avoid potential liability issues.

A partial list of some common conditions that could trigger a liability case include:

  • Uneven sidewalks
  • Broken sidewalks
  • Insufficient lighting in any area
  • Obstructions, objects, or debris on stairways, sidewalks, or within aisles and passageways
  • Overflowing or spilled water, or other slippery conditions on floors and/or walkways
  • Broken or damaged handrails on stairways or other areas required to have handrails
  • Uneven steps that pose a risk for walking or improperly built stairways
  • Poor lighting for entryways or in stairwells
  • Doors or windows that do not operate properly, that stick or pose a danger

Dangerously Displayed Merchandise & Items

Anyone who runs or owns a shop where potentially dangerous goods are sold must take steps to ensure their customers are safe. Additionally, a homeowner may be held liable for defects or hazardous conditions outside or inside his or her home, including the driveways, yards, and more. Dogs pose an additional liability risk for property owners and homeowners in general. A dog bite or dog attack can certainly result in a premises liability suit against the dog’s owner.

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