Property owners in Florida have a responsibility to keep their property in a condition that is reasonably safe so that people who enter the property are not injured. This responsibility is also called “premises liability” and holds property owners liable when their negligence causes injury to occur on their property. Premises liability claims can range from slips, trips and falls on a public sidewalk to an injury suffered at a theme park. But what needs to be proven to bring a case for a slip and fall?
Duty of Care
A duty of care is the property owner’s obligation to keep someone safe. How the duty of care is defined depends on the status of the person on the property:
- Invitee—is someone who has been invited to be on the property for the purpose of the owner’s business. A customer at a store is considered an invitee. The property owner must exercise reasonable and ordinary care to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition. The property owner must be sure to protect visitor by warning them of risks that they would not have been able to discover on their own.
- Licensee– is someone who has the owner’s permission to be on the property, but it is not necessarily for a business purpose. A guest at a party would be an example of a licensee. Property owners must use reasonable care and warn licensees of any dangers on the property.
- Trespassers–this is a person who does not have the owner’s permission to be on the property. The owner only has a duty to avoid any wanton or willful misconduct that would place a trespasser at risk of injury. In the case of child trespassers, however, the duty of care may be higher.
Breach of the Duty of Care (Negligence)
To establish a slip and fall case, it must be proven that the owner of the property breached the duty of care or, in other words, acted negligently. Issues that sometimes arise under this element involve whether the owner was aware of the dangerous condition in question. Courts will look at whether the condition of the property was reasonably safe and what steps, if any, the property owner took to keep people safe. The evidence to prove a breach will depend on the duty of care in question and the type of property involved.
Neglect Caused the Injury
If someone is injured on another person’s property, a connection between the injury and the dangerous condition on the property would also have to be proven.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim. It’s important to contact an experienced Florida attorney to evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk or call us 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.