Property owners, or even property managers or renters, can be held liable for your injuries if you venture onto their property and get hurt. These kinds of accidents, called premises liability accidents, or slip and fall accidents, happen all the time. In Florida, nearly a million injuries and 17,000 deaths occur every year in slip and fall accidents on someone’s property.
In Florida, property owners or managers are required to keep their property in a safe condition so no one who comes onto the property gets hurt. How much responsibility they have to keep you safe often depends why you are on their property – if you have been invited to someone’s house or business, or they are economically benefiting from your presence, then they have more responsibility to keep you safe than they would if you came onto their property of your own accord.
If you have been invited to come onto someone else’s property, or they are economically benefiting from you being there, then you are called an “invitee.” When it comes to invitees, property owners not only have to keep their property reasonably safe from hazardous conditions, like broken staircases or slippery floors, but they must also take steps to keep you from being the victim of a crime while on their property. Additionally, if you are an invitee, they have to warn you about any defects in the property that can hurt you, if the defect is hidden or not obvious.
If the property is just a house, the owner can prevent premises liability by doing basic yard work and maintenance, and making sure that any potentially dangerous situation is fixed quickly. If there is a hole in their front yard from a stump that they pulled out, marking it off with a bright flag or filling it in can prevent an injury from happening. If one of the steps in their stairwell is broken, they can fix it quickly, and let their visitors know about it until it’s been repaired.
If the property is a business, the steps needed to prevent premises liability are a little more extreme. Not only do property owners still need to keep their property safe from hazardous conditions, they will also likely need to take extra precautions to make sure that other people – third parties – do not injure you while you are on the property. Preventive steps may include installing security cameras, hiring security guards, or installing lights around the property to keep it lit.
If you have not been invited onto someone else’s property and you are not economically benefiting them with your presence, then you will be considered a trespasser. Property owners have less responsibility for the safety of a trespasser, than they do for invitees. They only need to refrain from deliberately causing harm to you, while you are on their property.
Premises Liability Attorney
Hancock Injury Attorneys specializes in cases involving personal injuries, including premises liability cases. A property owner’s negligence can have a serious impact on your wellbeing if you get injured as a result of their oversight. We have won millions of dollars in successful premises liability lawsuits, getting compensation for countless clients victimized by a property owner’s inability to keep them safe.