Premises liability is the responsibility that a property owner has towards their guests to provide them with a safe and properly maintained property during their visit. Under premises liability a property owner is liable for injuries or damages sustained by guests in a preventable or foreseeable accident. There are a few things that are considered during premises liability cases including:
- Negligence on behalf of the property owner (or their employees)
- Negligence on behalf of the victim
- Reasonable efforts made to provide a safe environment
- The duty of care that the property owner (or their employees) is considered to have towards the victim
Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability can be confusing and those who are injured may not be sure if they even have a case. There are essentially two ways for a premises liability case to occur:
- Anytime an individual is injured as a result of a hazard on someone else’s property (personal or business) and that hazard could have been or should have been removed.
- Anytime an individual is injured as a result of a hazard on someone else’s property (personal or business) but the hazard could not be remove or corrected, then the property owner has the obligation to clearly mark the hazard in order to prevent an accident.
Types Of Premises Liability Cases
Types of premises liability cases include (but are not strictly limited to):
- Slip and Falls
- Wet Surfaces
- Loose Railings
- Unsecured Carpet or Flooring
- Overgrown Bushes
- Unfenced Pools
- Leaf or Yard Debris Buildup
- Exposed Electrical Components
- Unsecured Fire Pits
- Gas Leaks
- Tripping Hazards
- Obstructed View of Body of Water
- Hazardous Materials
What Is Duty Of Care?
Duty of care is a measurement used to gauge how much a property owner is liable for a visitor’s injuries. Social guests and visitors on the property for business purposes are awarded a higher standard duty of care than a trespasser or burglar. However, an exception is made for children – even if they are trespassing; property owners owe children a higher duty of care to prevent an accident from occurring involving kids. Adult trespassers may earn a higher level of care if they can prove that the property owner set a trap and placed hazards on their property with the intent to injure.
How To File A Premises Liability Claim
In the State of Florida, you have four years from the date of the accident to file for a premises liability claim. If you are considering filing a premises liability claim to seek recompenses for your injuries then there are a few things for you to consider:
- Have you sought medical care and received treatment for your injuries? Determining the value of your case requires knowing what your diagnosis is, how much your medical costs are, and if there will be future damages (continuous medical care, loss of job or career field). This is why the statute of limitations is several years, so that these issues are given time to provide answers.
- Does your case involve negligence on the part of the property owner? In order for there to be a valid premises liability case, the property owner must have neglected to care for the property to reduce the risk of a preventable or foreseeable accident.
- Are you partially at fault for your own injuries? Was the wet floor clearly marked with a wet floor sign while an employee was retrieving a mop – but you were distracted by a text on your cell phone and did not see the wet floor sign warning? Sharing part of the blame can affect the outcome or the ability to try your case.