In Florida, the owner or manager of a piece of property must maintain it in a safe condition. When someone is involved in an accident due to the unsafe condition of another’s property, the owner or manager of the property may be liable for any resulting injuries. In this article, we examine premises liability in Florida.
Duty of Care Owed
In Florida, the duty of care a property owner owes to a person depends upon that person’s legal status. A person who enters another’s property is classified as either an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
An invitee is a person who enters a property at the invitation of the landowner. A person may be either a public invitee or a business invitee. A public invitee is a person who enters land that is open to the public. A private invitee is a person who is invited onto a piece of property for business purposes. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. In addition to keeping the property in safe condition, a property owner must warn invitees of any potential dangers on the property. To determine the condition of the property, a property owner must regularly inspect the site. For example, the owner of a grocery store must regularly check the aisles for spills to prevent falls.
There are two types of licensees in Florida: invited licensees and uninvited licensees. An invited licensee is a social guest, and an uninvited licensee is a person who is on a piece of property with permission but without an invitation. Property owners owe invited licensees the same duty of care as invitees. Uninvited licensees, however, are only legally protected from wanton or willful injury and the failure of a property owner to warn of known hazardous conditions.
A trespasser is someone who enters another’s property without permission. The duty of care owed to trespassers is generally the same as that owed to uninvited licensees.
Property Owner Responsibilities Regardless of Status
There are certain things that all property owners must do to keep visitors to the property safe, regardless of their status, including:
- Provide proper notice of all known dangerous conditions that exist on the property.
- Keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.
- Post “no trespassing” signs or warnings of dangerous or harmful conditions that exist on the property.
- Refrain from intentionally or unintentionally creating dangerous or harmful conditions on the property.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Florida, you need an experienced Florida personal injury attorney in your corner. At Staples, Ellis + Associates, P.A., our personal injury attorneys have over half a century of combined experience representing accident victims in Florida. When you come to us for help with your legal issue, you can rest assured that your Florida personal injury claim is in good hands. Please contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.
Posted in: Personal Injury, Premises Liability