Duty of a Florida Property owner to Anyone Injured on the Premises
Florida commercial and public businesses have to maintain their duty of a Florida property owner by keeping their property safe. There’s a good reason for this. These companies make good money from the sales of their products and services. Consumers who visit their locations focus on what they’re buying or the care they need. They don't focus on cracks in the floor, merchandise that may fall, or railings that are loose.
Florida allocates a different duty of care to property owners depending on the reason someone enters the property. Consequently, understanding these different standards can be the difference between winning or losing your case.
Categories of property owners
Property owners include:
- Apartment complexes
- Shopping malls
- Retail stores
- Movie theaters
Categories of property visitors
Visitors are classified as follows:
- Business and property owners owe the highest duty of care to anyone they invite onto the property for any reason. Invitees include anyone who makes a purchase, does repairs or participates in an event organized by the owner. The highest duty means that the owner is liable if they failed to take reasonable steps to make the property safe. Property owners have a safety duty even if they didn’t have direct actual knowledge of the dangerous condition. Therefore, the key is that the owner should have known about the danger. Safety includes making repairs and providing clear warning signs.
- A licensee is someone who has the right to be on your property but wasn’t invited onto the property. Someone who walks across the property owner’s sidewalk is a common example. Consequently, the premises owner must repair known dangers and risks that they have actual knowledge of.
- Trespassers do not have the right to be on the owner’s property. Unless rare exceptions apply, such as that the property is an attractive nuisance to minors, the owner has no safety duty to trespassers.
Examples of property care negligence
The duty of a Florida property owner includes the duty of care. This duty extends to the inside property and the outside property. Common reasons visitors slip and fall or suffer an injury while on someone else’s property include:
- Wet and slippery surfaces
- Torn carpets and loose tiles
- Stairways with loose railings or uneven floors
- Merchandise that isn’t shelved securely
- Poor lighting
- Broken flooring
- Inadequate security such as doors that aren’t locked and the lack of video cameras
Common property liability injuries
Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord damage
- Nerve and muscle damage,
- Torn ligaments
- Damage to internal organs.
Victims who are attacked may suffer disfiguring cuts and bruises. In the worst cases, someone falls down an elevator shaft or dies due to property negligence. Hence, this is why it is so critical that property owners know, understand, and focus on the duty of a Florida property owner.
Who is liable for your injuries?
The duty of a Florida property owner applies to for-profit companies and nonprofits. Homeowners may be liable. The federal, state or local governments may also be liable. Governments should protect riders of public transportation. Also, they should protect people who visit courthouses and other public places.
Maintenance and repair crews may also be liable if they failed to protect the public.
Contact a respected Florida premises liability attorney as soon as possible
Our premises liability lawyers understand how to prove a property owner breached its duty of care. We examine past accidents at the property and analyze what safety steps should have been taken. For help now, call Lulich Attorneys and Consultants. Our lawyers can guide you through this difficult time. Please phone 772-589-5500 (Sebastian) or 772-774-7771 (Vero Beach) to discuss your case.