What Is Premises Liability Law?

What Is Premises Liability Law?

Premises liability law holds property owners and occupants liable for accidents and injuries that occur on their property. In Florida, as in many other states, property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for those who come onto their property.

If they fail to do so, and someone is injured, the victim can file an insurance claim or premises liability lawsuit to recover money for their damages. If this happens to you, discuss your rights and options with a premises liability lawyer from our team. We protect our clients' rights and fight for the compensation they deserve.

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Who Do Florida’s Premises Liability Laws Protect? 

Florida premises liability laws are designed to protect visitors from preventable hazards on someone else’s property. The types of injuries and potential hazards vary widely, and these incidents can occur in many ways. According to Florida Statutes § 768.075, property owners owe different levels of care depending on the visitor's status.

Wooden blocks reading "Premises Liability" in front of a judge's gavel and scales.


Invitees are invited onto the property for business or commercial purposes. This includes potential customers in a store, diners in a restaurant, and contractors working on a home.

Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees. For this reason, they should regularly inspect their property, especially any areas where invitees might be. 

They should address any potential hazards quickly to keep guests safe. They should also maintain liability insurance—renter’s, homeowner’s, or business liability policies—to cover the costs if something happens.


These are social guests or those who enter the property with the owner’s permission but for non-commercial reasons. One example would be friends visiting another party’s home for a cookout. Another might be someone who went into a gas station to use a restroom without purchasing anything.

Florida property owners must ensure the premises are safe and free from known hazards for licensees.


Trespassers enter the property without permission. While property owners and occupiers must not willfully harm trespassers unless their life or property is threatened, they generally do not owe a duty of care to them. 

Certain duties apply when the trespasser is a minor based on the attractive nuisance doctrine. For example, a homeowner might be responsible if a teenager came onto their property and suffered injuries in their pool if they did not take the required steps to prevent this from occurring.

Who Is Liable for a Premises Liability Injury in Florida?

In Florida, the party liable for a premises liability injury is typically:

  • The property owner
  • The occupier or lessee of the property
  • The party tasked with maintenance of the property

This includes business owners, homeowners, landlords, and property management companies.

Liability is generally based on their ability and duty to provide a safe environment for guests. This can vary based on the circumstances.

For example, a restaurant built on leased land likely has a responsibility to maintain the building and its interior, but the property owner might manage the parking lot. Who owes the victim the duty of care is a common question of fact in these cases.

To recover compensation, victims must show that the party who owed them the duty of care was negligent in maintaining their property or failed to warn of potential hazards, which led to their accident and injury.

What Damages Can a Victim Recover Under Florida’s Premises Liability Laws?

When someone is hurt on another party’s property, they may hold the liable party accountable and recover money to cover various damages.

This could include:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for current and future medical bills related to the injury. Examples include ambulance transportation, hospitalization, surgery, therapies and rehabilitation, and more.
  • Lost Income: Victims can recover reimbursement for lost wages, gig work, and other income if they miss work. They can also recover compensation for reduced earning ability if they suffer long-term disabilities because of their accident and injury.
  • Pain and Suffering: Injured victims can receive compensation for their intangible damages, including physical and emotional distress caused by the injury. Their spouse might also qualify to recover non-economic damages under some circumstances.

Wrongful death damages may be available for families who lost loved ones in premises liability accidents. Some of the injuries suffered in a premises liability case can be catastrophic or fatal. Families of victims who died can pursue compensation through a Florida wrongful death action.

How Do Premises Liability Cases Work Under Florida Law?

When a premises liability injury occurs, this is the trigger for many steps to come. The injured victim must navigate a specific process to heal their wounds and regain their physical, emotional, and financial health.

Person lying on the floor after tripping over a cable in a workplace.

These steps include:

  1. The party suffers a preventable injury due to a hazardous condition.
  2. They seek medical attention for their injuries and follow the treatment plan prescribed.
  3. They consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss their legal options.
  4. They hire the law firm to manage their premises liability claim or lawsuit
  5. The attorney investigates the incident, gathering evidence such as video, witness statements, and medical records.
  6. The attorney files a claim with the property owner’s insurance company. Alternatively, they could choose to file a lawsuit at this point based on the circumstances of the case and the case strategy.
  7. The attorney negotiates with the insurance company, often reaching a fair settlement for the victim.
  8. When necessary, the case goes to trial. A judge or jury decides the outcome and could order the property owner or occupier to pay the victim for their damages.

Personal injury lawyers generally work based on contingency. Victims do not need to pay their attorneys a retainer or track the hours their lawyer spends on the case.

Instead, the firm receives a portion of the payout secured in the case. The firm assumes all the financial risks. The firm does not get paid if their lawyer does not secure a payout for the client. 

Do I Have a Viable Premises Liability Case?

In almost any situation where a victim is hurt because of a hazard on another person’s property, they may file a premises liability case. Falls are the most common example, but many other accidents and incidents also support these claims and lawsuits.

Some ways these injuries occur include: 

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These occur when someone slips, trips, or otherwise falls because of a hazardous condition like a wet floor, uneven pavement, or trip hazard. They are among the most common ways injuries occur. Other types of falls are also possible, such as on stairs or falls from an elevated porch or balcony. While generally relatively minor, these injuries can be catastrophic or even fatal.
  • Inadequate Maintenance: Injuries often result from poorly maintained property, such as broken stairs, loose handrails, or malfunctioning elevators. Parking lot injuries due to poor upkeep are common, too. Potholes and broken pavement are common causes. 
  • Inadequate Security: Injuries or assaults due to insufficient security measures, such as poor lighting or lack of security personnel, can cause serious injuries or death. Under Florida law, these cases can be difficult to litigate, but recovering compensation is possible for many victims.
  • Dog Bites: Injuries caused by dog bites fall under Florida’s premises liability laws. Generally, you can hold the dog owner legally liable for injuries under Florida Statutes § 767.04
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: Property owners with a swimming pool must properly maintain the pool, taking measures to keep others out by installing fences and gates. You can hold property owners liable for drownings or injuries resulting from unsafe swimming pool conditions.

The best way to learn if your injury accident can support a premises liability case is to speak to an attorney familiar with these laws in your area. Most personal injury law firms provide complimentary initial case consultations.

Handling Your Own Premises Liability Injury Claim Is Challenging

Navigating your own claim after a serious premises liability injury can be challenging for several reasons. They include:

Premises liability law involves complex legal principles and specific statutes that can be difficult to understand without a legal background. Understanding the nuances of Florida’s premises liability laws, including the different duties owed to invitees, licensees, and trespassers, requires knowledge, experience, and skill.

Proving Negligence Is Difficult

To win a premises liability case, you must show the insurer, judge, or jury that the property owner acted negligently. This requires gathering and presenting evidence that the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to address it.

Collecting this evidence can be time-consuming and costly. Building a strong case and developing an effective legal strategy requires experience, time, and resources.

Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side

Insurance companies often have experienced adjusters who want to save as much money as possible for their company. It is their job to close your case and pay as little as possible. They may use various tactics to dispute liability or the extent of your injuries. Without legal representation, you may find it difficult to negotiate a fair settlement. 

You’ll Need Strong Medical Documentation

Accurately documenting your injuries and related medical expenses is crucial for your claim. This requires not only your relevant medical records but also expert testimony to establish the extent and long-term effects of your injuries. 

You’re Likely Under Intense Emotional and Physical Stress

Recovering from a serious injury is physically and emotionally taxing. Handling a legal claim while trying to heal can add significant stress. This could potentially hinder both your recovery and your ability to manage the claim effectively.

There’s a Tight Statute of Limitations

In Florida, there is a short time when you must file a premises liability claim. This is usually within two years of the injury. Missing the deadline can result in losing your right to compensation. 

Without legal training and experience, you may make mistakes that could jeopardize your claim. This could include overlooking critical evidence, failing to meet procedural requirements, or accepting a low settlement offer because you did not know how much your case was really worth.

You Will Want to Maximize Compensation

An experienced personal injury attorney understands the scope of damages you deserve, including medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, future costs, and more. They can ensure you pursue the maximum compensation available, fighting for the payout you need to cover your expenses and losses.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your Florida Premises Liability Case

A skilled personal injury attorney is often invaluable when navigating a premises liability case.

Playground slide cordoned off with caution tape, indicating a potential hazard.

If you hire a lawyer, you can count on them:

  • Evaluating the Case: Your personal injury lawyer will assess the case facts and determine the viability of the claim.
  • Gathering Evidence: They will identify, collect, and preserve all key evidence needed to support the claim.
  • Handling Insurance Companies: Your attorney will manage all communication with the insurance carrier and ensure they do not use unfair tactics to reduce or deny your payout.
  • Negotiating a Settlement: Your lawyer will negotiate with insurers to seek fair compensation for your damages.
  • Filing Lawsuits: Your attorney will file all necessary legal documents and represent you in court if necessary.
  • Recovering Compensation: They will ensure you receive the full extent of damages you are entitled to based on the case facts.

Florida premises liability law is complex, and each case is unique. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, your best resource is an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. They can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and fight for the justice you deserve.

Contact Our Team to Learn More About Your Potential Premises Liability Case

Lulich & Attorneys provides free, confidential case consultations for victims hurt in a Florida premises liability case. Learn your rights and how we can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries and financial losses by connecting with our firm. We are here for you when you need us following an accident on someone else’s property.

You can contact us online or call our Vero Beach or Sebastian, FL, location to speak to our personal injury lawyer today.

Schedule A Consultation Today!