Premises Liability Attorney
When you visit a store, a hotel, an amusement park, or someone’s private property, you shouldn’t have to worry about being injured because of unsafe conditions. Property owners owe it to their guests to identify and address dangerous conditions. If they cannot fix a hazard, they should at least place signage warning you of the danger.
If you were injured because of a hazard on someone else’s property, you could seek compensation for your medical bills, lost work wages, and other expenses. The Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorneys at Phillips | Tadros, P.A., represent those who have been hurt due to the carelessness of property owners and managers. We’ll be ready to demand the full and fair compensation the at-fault party owes you.
Call or contact us online for a free consultation, and a Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorney from our firm will go over the details of your case.
What Is Premises Liability?
A premises liability claim is a specific type of personal injury claim that allows those injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property to seek compensation for the harm they suffer and the losses they incur.
Premises liability laws are based on an assumed duty of care that people and business entities that own, occupy, or control properties owe to visitors. Property owners are legally responsible for keeping their premises safe and secure for those who visit the property.
Florida premises liability laws give injury victims the right to seek financial compensation from property owners, occupants, or controllers who fail to keep their premises reasonably safe. Compensation from a premises liability claim can give victims the resources to pay for medical expenses, lost income, and more.
Where Can Premises Liability Accidents Occur?
Preventable injuries can occur almost anywhere, but many premises liability accidents happen in specific familiar locations. Many of the premises liability accident cases that a Fort Lauderdale lawyer handles stem from injuries that occur in areas including:
- Residential homes and condominiums
- Apartment units and common areas
- Staircases, escalators, and elevators
- Grocery stores and other retail markets
- Shopping malls and department stores
- Restaurants, bars, clubs, and theaters
- Gyms, studios, and fitness centers
- Hotels, resorts, and convention centers
- Amusement parks and theme parks
- Swimming pools and playgrounds
- Train, bus, and other transportation stations
- Parking lots, garages, and sidewalks
What Are the Premises Liability Laws in Florida?
Florida’s premises liability laws come from statutory and state court decisions. The Florida Supreme Court decision in Post v. Lunney outlines some critical distinctions between the status of a visitor. Florida law holds property owners to different standards concerning the duty of care owed to visitors.
Let’s examine the various types of visitors in Florida premises liability law and the duty of care that property owners owe each of them:
A business visitor is someone who visits a property for business dealings. Examples of business visitors include:
- Shoppers who visit retail or grocery stores
- Patrons of bars or restaurants
- Service providers who visit businesses or residential homes to do paid work
Business visitors call on properties for the actual or potential benefit of the property owner, so Florida property owners owe business visitors the highest duty of care. For business visitors, Florida property owners must regularly inspect their premises for hazardous conditions, promptly repair known hazards, and provide warnings for hazards they have not yet fixed.
A public invitee is someone with an explicit or implicit invitation to enter or remain on land that is open to the public. Examples of public invitees include those who visit public parks, libraries, beaches, town squares, and other common outdoor spaces. Florida property owners owe the same high-level duty of care to public invitees as business visitors.
A licensee is someone who visits a property either socially or for their own purposes. Examples of licensees include social guests like friends, family members, and neighbors. Door-to-door salespeople and store visitors who dash in only to use the restroom might also count as licensees. Florida property owners need only refrain from “willfully or wantonly” injuring licensees and intentionally exposing licensees to danger.
A trespasser is someone who visits or remains on a property without the owner’s permission. Examples of trespassers include burglars, unauthorized hunters, and patrons of commercial properties who stay past designated closing times. Florida property owners must not intentionally harm trespassers, but they owe no particular duty of care to unwanted visitors.
Florida property owners also have specific responsibilities toward children if their land is in an area where children are likely to trespass. Legislators presume that children lack the experience and critical thinking skills to recognize and avoid certain risks, so state law requires property owners to remove or secure attractive nuisances on their premises.
An attractive nuisance is an item or feature attractive to children but inherently hazardous, such as an open swimming pool, an old vehicle, or an abandoned refrigerator. Florida Statutes § 823.08 expressly requires property owners to remove the doors from abandoned or discarded units that are airtight when closed, such as refrigerators, deep freezers, washers, and dryers.