Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe for visitors. When you get hurt while on someone else’s property, you could seek financial payments from the owner or operator.
These claims can be complicated, so having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side is essential. A Pace premises liability lawyer could review your situation and discuss your legal alternatives. If you decide to pursue a claim, they could ensure you present a robust case for compensation.
Property owners or people leasing premises and controlling access must keep the property safe. However, the reason the injured person entered the property impacts their responsibility. A Pace premises liability attorney must determine the purpose of the injured person’s visit to the property to establish the potential liability of the property’s owner or lessee.
Visitors are called invitees when someone operates a business and invites the public in. Owners and business operators have a heightened responsibility to keep the premises safe for invitees. The owner or operator must make regular inspections to identify potential hazards and fix them as soon as feasible. When they cannot fix the danger immediately, they must warn invitees of the risk.
Someone who is a social guest or enters premises for their own purposes, such as a meter reader or delivery person, is a licensee. An owner or lessee need not inspect the premises looking for hidden hazards to protect a licensee, but they must warn of dangers that are not open and apparent to the licensee.
Owners and lessees must protect people who enter the property with permission from danger, but they also owe a duty to trespassers in some cases. The law governing the obligation to trespassers is complex.
In general, trespassers take their chances when they enter property without permission. Owners will not be liable for a trespasser’s injury or death if the trespasser is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
When an owner knows a trespasser is on their property, they have a duty to warn them of any invisible hazards the owner knows about that would not be readily apparent to the trespasser. Essentially, a trespasser becomes a licensee when the owner becomes aware of them.
Young children often trespass, especially if something on the property captures their interest. Property owners have a special obligation to restrict property access to children too young to appreciate the danger a particular feature poses. This is called the attractive nuisance doctrine.
Florida Statutes § 823.08 designates abandoned appliances like refrigerators, iceboxes, and washing machines as attractive nuisances. However, any man-made feature that could entice a child to enter the property could be an attractive nuisance. Examples include:
When a child is injured due to contact with an attractive nuisance while trespassing, the property owner might be liable. The child’s parent or guardian should consult a well-practiced lawyer in Pace to determine whether they have a viable premises liability claim.
Anytime a property owner or lessee does not provide a safe environment for visitors, they are potentially liable under premises liability law. If a legal professional can prove they did not uphold their duty under the law, a claim for premises liability is possible.
An owner or lessee could owe compensation under premises liability to a visitor who experienced:
Dog bites are also a form of premises liability claim, although the state has laws that deal specifically with dog bites that govern most of these incidents.
Most premises liability claims settle before trial when the property owner’s insurance company makes a reasonable offer. However, if the owner’s insurance coverage does not cover a claimant’s losses, the claimant could hold the owner personally liable in court.
A negligent property owner or lessee owes you compensation if you got hurt while on their premises. You can hold them accountable by filing a legal claim for your injuries.
A Pace premises liability lawyer could ensure you receive appropriate payments. Call today to schedule a case review with a knowledgeable legal professional.