Florida Premises Liability Laws Explained
If you or a loved one have been hurt while on someone else’s property, you have the option to take legal action to pursue compensation. According to Florida law, all property owners have a legal duty to keep their properties safe for visitors. This legal concept is called premises liability.
Ignoring this concept means acting negligently. Personal injury law establishes that individuals who have been injured by someone else’s negligence have grounds for a lawsuit. The defendants will try to put the blame on you, and it would be in your best interests to speak with a lawyer like the team at Gross & Schuster, P.A. before proceeding.
Proving Your Premises Liability Case
The majority of premises liability claims are filed after a slip-and-fall accident, but other conditions like falling debris, unstable walls, or exposed electrical wiring also cause injuries. Like every legal issue that takes place because of negligence, you’ll need to prove that Florida premises liability laws were ignored or violated.
Unsure what defines a premises liability case? Here’s a list of the fundamental elements needed to establish liability.
Duty of Care
Property owners need to create a safe environment, but it’s important to remember that they don’t owe the same duty of care to everyone. It depends on the circumstances and the reasons behind a visitor’s presence. Under Florida law, invitees are owed the highest duty of care.
When you’re visiting a public place, you’re considered an invitee, which means property owners must eliminate dangerous conditions that could result in injury through regular maintenance work. They should also warn you of all possible dangers they’re aware of or should have been aware of that are still present in the building.
Licensees are also owed a duty of care. According to Florida law, you’re considered a licensee when you’ve been invited into a specific building, or you’re there for a specific purpose. If you’ve been invited, you’re owed the same duty of care as an invitee.
The same can’t be said for trespassers or uninvited guests who unexpectedly show up on the private property. All property owners need to do in this situation is exercise a reasonable amount of caution in order to avoid injuries due to reckless behavior.
Breach of Duty of Care
Once you’ve established what category you fall under, your next step will be to prove that the owed duty of care was breached.
This can be done by obtaining footage from surveillance cameras, interviewing neutral witnesses who saw what happened and have a clear recollection of the accident, or through pictures of the dangerous conditions that caused your injury. Your lawyer will gather any available evidence of your injuries for your lawsuit.
Your Injuries Are the Direct Result of a Breach
Proving that you were owed a duty of care and that it was breached may not be enough to win your Florida premises liability claim. State laws establish that if you want to be compensated, you also need to prove that your injuries happened because of a breach of duty of care.
Because of this, you should always visit a doctor after an accident involving premises liability, even if you’re not showing any symptoms. It’s not unusual for victims to start feeling the consequences of a slip-and-fall accident a few days after it happened.
Your medical records will prove that your injuries are compatible with a building’s dangerous conditions. A doctor’s statement can be the key to success when you’re looking to receive a good settlement offer.
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Your premises liability claim is subject to a statute of limitations, which means that you’ll have four years from the date of an accident to file a claim and pursue compensation. Wasting time means losing your right to recover the money you need in this difficult situation.
You have four years at your disposal, but don’t waste time. Doing so can result in losing evidence and making it more difficult to recover financial compensation. Witnesses may be unavailable, and dangerous conditions can disappear with time or be fixed.
Get in Touch with a Premises Liability Attorney in Florida
Premises liability laws can be complex, and filing an effective claim without knowledge of the legal system can be nearly impossible for an injury victim. A mistake can diminish your claim’s value and result in a waste of time while medical bills and other expenses keep piling up.
Experienced personal injury lawyers at Gross & Schuster, P.A. know that you’re struggling and will make sure that you’re compensated for all damages, like lost wages, your pain and suffering, and any other expenses related to your accident. You can get started with a free consultation by calling our office at 850-434-3333, or by completing the online contact form below.