Florida property owners are required to keep their premises free of hazards. If the property owner cannot readily remedy a dangerous condition, the owner has an obligation to warn visitors of the presence of the condition. If a visitor suffers an injury because the premises was not safe and secure, the owner may be responsible. A property owner who knew or should have known about a hazard but did not repair or provide a warning to visitors is considered negligent.
Property owners owe visitors to their premises a duty of care, but the level of care required depends on the type of guest:
Invitees: When a business enterprise invites customers onto the property for commercial benefit, the customer is called an invitee. A customer to a mall or a gas station would be considered an invitee because the proprietor actively invites the public for monetary gain. To these invitees, the property owner owes the highest level care. An owner who fails to conduct regular inspections and warn of any hazards can be held liable if an invitee suffers an injury.
Licensees: Licensees are social guests, like friends and family members. Licensees can be invited to enter the property for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. Property owners must fix and maintain any hazards on their property that they know about. Unlike invitees to a commercial establishment, property owners are not liable to licensees for dangers that they should have known about.
Trespassers: A property owner does not owe a trespasser a duty to repair or warn of a hazard. However, the owner cannot intentionally set up a hazard to cause injury to the trespasser.
Common premises liability claims include:
Slip and Fall: When uneven pavement, icy surfaces, wet floors, or slippery spots can cause visitors to slip and fall, the property owner can be held liable for failure to warn of the danger. Learn more about slip and fall.
Swimming Pools: Property owners are required to properly secure a pool with a fence or barrier. When a visitor suffers an injury because an owner failed to protect a pool, the property owner can be held liable.
Negligent Security: Property owners must provide adequate security in any area that harbors dangerous criminal activity. The owner can be held liable if a visitor is attacked on a property that lacks adequate security.
Elevator and Escalator: Visitors injured by an elevator or escalator malfunction may be entitled to compensation from the owner and from the manufacturer.
Amusement Parks: The potential for serious injury at amusement parks and theme parks is high. These properties often claim that by purchasing a ticket and voluntarily entering the premises, an invitee waives the right to hold the property owner liable for accidents. These broad waivers are designed to deter injured visitors from seeking remedies and compensation. If you or a loved one is hurt at an amusement park, contact us. A qualified premises liability attorney can help you understand your rights and determine if a waiver is effective.
It may become necessary for you to file a lawsuit against a West Palm Beach area property owner. A premises liability attorney may be able to help you recover compensation for:
Medical Bills: You may be able to recover the cost of medical treatment like visits to the doctor, hospital stays, surgery, medication, physical therapy, and future needs.
Lost Wages: You can recover lost pay for the time you are off work. In addition, you may also be able to collect if your future earning capacity is decreased.
Pain and Suffering: If you experience continued pain and emotional trauma as a result of your injury, you may be entitled to compensation.
Wrongful Death: If someone dies as a result of the negligence of a property owner, the victim’s family may be entitled to compensation for damages including loss of the victim’s income. The surviving loved ones may also be entitled to compensation in their own right for pain and suffering.
Our law firm can help:
1) Evaluate the damages you’ve suffered and estimate the value of your claim;
2) Collect evidence to prove that the property owner is responsible for the condition that led to your accident; and
3) Represent you in settlement negotiations.