Florida Premises Liability Cases: Understanding the Basics

Premises liability law deals with the legal responsibility of property owners, tenants or managers to maintain their premises in a safe condition and to warn visitors of any potential hazards. If you are injured on another person’s property due to a dangerous condition, you may have grounds for a Hollywood, Florida premises liability lawsuit. Here is what you should know before filing your claim.

Who Can File a Premises Liability Claim?

In Hollywood, Florida, there are three main categories of visitors to a property:

Invitees

These are individuals who are on the property for the benefit of the owner, such as customers in a store or guests at a home. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, which means they must take reasonable steps to keep the property safe and warn them of any known or latent (hidden) dangers.

Licensees

These are individuals who are on the property with the owner’s permission but not for the owner’s benefit, such as social guests or repair workers. Property owners owe licensees a duty to warn them of any known dangers and to avoid creating new dangers through their actions.

Trespassers

These are individuals who are on the property without the owner’s permission. Property owners generally have no duty to protect trespassers from harm, except in limited circumstances, such as when they know or should know that a child is trespassing and is in danger.

What Must Be Proven in a Florida Premises Liability Case?

To be successful in a  Hollywood, Florida premises liability case, the injured person (the plaintiff) must generally prove the following four elements:

  • The owner of the property had a duty of care to the plaintiff. As discussed above, the duty of care owed varies depending on the plaintiff’s status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
  • The owner breached the duty of care. This means that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to keep the property safe or failed to warn of known or latent dangers.
  • The breach of the duty of care caused the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff must be able to show that their injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence of the owner.
  • The plaintiff suffered damages as a result of their injuries. These damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

property owners should keep their premises safe for visitors

Comparative Fault in Florida Premises Liability Cases

Florida is a modified comparative fault state, which means that the plaintiff’s own negligence can reduce the amount of damages they can recover.

If the jury finds that the plaintiff was partially at fault for their injuries, they will be awarded a percentage of their damages that is equal to the percentage of fault attributed to the owner. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover any damages.

Common Types of Premises Liability Cases

Some of the most common types of premises liability cases in Hollywood, Florida include:

  • Slip and fall accidents: These accidents can occur on wet floors, uneven surfaces, or due to debris or spills.
  • Swimming pool accidents: Drowning, diving injuries, and slip and falls around pools are all common types of premises liability cases involving swimming pools.
  • Dog bites: Florida has a strict liability law for dog bites, which means that dog owners are liable for any injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the owner knew or not that the dog was dangerous.
  • Negligent security: Property owners may be liable for injuries caused by criminal acts if they knew or should have known that the crime was likely to occur and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent it.

Seek Help from a Hollywood Premises Liability Lawyer

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, consult with an experienced Hollywood, Florida premises liability attorney at Klotzman Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys can help you investigate the accident, gather evidence, and determine whether you have a valid claim. Contact us at 954-915-7405 for a free case review.