Those who own property in New Port Richey have an obligation to warn and protect people they invite onto the property. When a hazardous condition on their land causes harm, the owner may be liable for the consequences.
If you suffered an injury on property owned by another, it is a good idea to consult an experienced New Port Richey premises liability lawyer. A personal injury attorney could analyze the facts to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical bills, pain and suffering, and other consequences of the accident.
Understanding Premises Liability
The degree of a landowner’s duty to protect those on their property depends on the status of the visitor.
When businesses “invite” someone onto the premises, they have a general duty to keep the property reasonably safe. If they knew or should have known of a dangerous condition, they must take steps to remedy the situation or warn people of the hazard. This duty often includes the obligation to inspect periodically for hazards.
The law considers someone to be invited onto the property even if the invitation is implied. For example, when stores open for business, they effectively invite customers onto the premises to shop. A New Port Richey premises liability attorney could present evidence to show that an injured person was an invitee and was therefore owed the highest duty of care by the property owner.
Licensees and Social Guests
If someone comes onto property for their own purposes, they may be considered a “licensee.” For example, if a sales representative enters a store not to shop but to try to convince the owner to carry new merchandise, then that representative was not invited but is not trespassing because the store is open to the public.
Social guests are also often classified in this category. The property owner still owes a duty of reasonable care to licensees but may not have the same duty to inspect for dangerous conditions.
Finally, a property owner even has certain duties to watch for the safety of those trespassing on the property. Landowners are required to prevent some types of reckless or intentional injuries. The duty is greater when children are involved. Steps must be taken to protect children from harm by a dangerous situation which may be attractive to them, such as a swimming pool.
Statutory Premises Liability Law
Much of the specific detail regarding a landowner’s obligations to people on their property comes from prior case law. However, state lawmakers enacted a statute to clarify the obligations of business owners and managers when there is a “transitory foreign substance” on the floor.
Under Fla. Stat. §768.0755, when someone suffers an injury after slipping on a transitory foreign substance in a business, such as shampoo on the floor of a drug store, then the injured person may recover damages if they can prove the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the danger posed by the substance and should have taken steps to make the area safe.
Constructive knowledge has been interpreted to mean that the owner would have known of the condition if they had acted responsibly. A New Port Richey premises liability attorney could prove constructive knowledge through evidence demonstrating that the condition was foreseeable. This could be because the condition occurred regularly or that the condition existed for long enough that through the use of ordinary care, the business should have known about it.
Work with a New Port Richey Premises Liability Attorney
Dangerous conditions on property can take many forms. While slippery substances on floors frequently provide grounds for premises liability, a property owner may also face liability for harm caused by lack of adequate security, dog bites, falling objects, poor maintenance, inadequate lighting, and other factors.
When someone suffers an injury while on the property of another person or business, the insurance company is often required to provide compensation to cover medical expenses, lost wages due to time off work, pain, suffering, and other effects. Talk to a New Port Richey premises liability lawyer now for a free case analysis to learn the potential in your situation.