All landowners have a duty to keep their visitors safe from harm. These duties combine to form the body of law called premises liability. An owner who fails to perform this duty and causes an injury is liable to provide compensation for all a person’s losses.
However, the fact that an injury occurs on the property of another party does not guarantee success. Plaintiffs must prove that they had permission to be on the land and that a defendant landowner failed in their duty of care. As a result, these personal injury cases cases can become complex.
A Pasco County premises liability lawyer may be able to help after an injury that happens on another’s property. They can help to explain the state’s laws and to promote your claims for damages every step of the way.
The Obligations of Landowners to Protect Visitors
As a general rule, a landowner must keep their land safe for other people who may enter the property. However, the extent of this obligation changes with the visitor’s motivations for entering the land. State law separates visitors into three categories, each with their own levels of protection.
Trespassers are people who enter or remain on land without permission. Landowners must only refrain from causing intentional or wanton harm to these people. As a result, trespassers may have a difficult time collecting compensation following an injury.
Licensees are social guests on a property. These people have permission to enter land, but that entry must not be for a business purpose. Here, the landowner must keep the property in a reasonably safe manner and warn visitors of any known dangers.
Finally, invitees have the greatest protection under the law. These are people who enter land to conduct business or for an official purpose, such as mail carriers. Landowners must keep the property safe, repair known dangers, and regularly inspect their land.
Florida Statute §768.0755 places an increased burden on plaintiffs who are shoppers. Here, the plaintiff must prove that the owner had an actual or constructive notice about any temporary hazards that caused a slip and fall. These hazards include standing water or broken floor tiles. Constructive notice occurs when enough time passes that an owner should have discovered a foreseeable hazard. A Pasco County premises liability attorney could provide more insight into visitors’ rights.
Common Examples of Premises Liability Accidents
A landowner must keep their land safe in all respects. This includes:
- Keeping the structure of the land safe in places where visitors are likely to go
- Providing adequate security in the form of personnel or locks
- Keeping proper fire escapes or doors
- Having strong lighting to discourage attackers
As a result, every landowner must remain aware of their obligations. In some instances, a property owner may even be liable for the actions of a third party if they did not take sufficient steps to prevent them.
All premises liability claims examine the actions of all involved parties to assign blame. Just because the injury was the result of a landowner’s carelessness does not mean that the plaintiff could not have protected themselves. Florida Statute §768.81 says that courts will reduce a plaintiff’s award in court if a jury believes they contributed to their own injuries. A Pasco County premises liability attorney could help gather the evidence needed to show that a landowner’s negligence was the sole cause of a person’s losses.
A Pasco County Premises Liability Lawyer May be Able to Help
Claims for damages after an injury on another’s land can be deceptively complex. Plaintiffs must show they had a right to be present on the property, and the landowner’s conduct allowed the injury to happen. Furthermore, injury victims must defend themselves from allegations of comparative negligence.
A Pasco County premises liability lawyer could help explain the law as it applies to your case and promote your legal rights before insurance companies and in court. However, you must be sure to act quickly. No matter how severe your losses may be, Florida law places strict deadlines on personal injury claims. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.