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What Is Premises Liability?

Not everyone understands what premises liability in Florida entails. Allow us to explain: When you visit a store, walk outside your apartment complex, or enter a public building, you expect to be kept safe from unforeseen, dangerous conditions. Generally, this holds true. However, there are times when a property is not managed well and your safety is unnecessarily put in danger.

While being injured on someone else’s property—whether a neighbor’s home, a business, or another premises—does not automatically mean you have a right to recover compensation, there are situations when it might. Here, we are going to review some of the more important things to understand about premises liability in Florida.

If you believe you have a premises liability claim, please reach out to the Orlando premises liability lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright as soon as possible so we can help ensure your rights are protected. Call us today at (407) 712-7300 for a FREE consultation. We are proud to serve folks throughout Florida.

Premises Liability in Florida

In Florida, property owners and businesses are required to keep their properties reasonably safe for guests, visitors, and patrons. All states have these laws in place, though there are some rules that are unique from state to state.

There are a few Florida premises liability laws you should be mindful of:

Comparative Negligence

Florida follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if you are partially responsible for your accident, the amount you can recover for economic and non-economic damages is reduced by the percentage you are deemed to be at fault. For example, if you suffer $100,000 in damages but are deemed to be 25% at fault for your accident, then you would only be able to recover $75,000 in compensation.

However, should you be found more than 50% at fault in an accident, you would be ineligible to receive any damages for your injuries at all. If you are 51% liable or greater, you wouldn’t be awarded compensation.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a time limit for how long after an accident you can pursue compensation. The statute of limitations for premises liability in Florida is typically two years. As such, we encourage you to begin reviewing your legal options with an attorney as soon as possible.

Children & Premises Liability in Florida

Generally, if someone is injured due to an unsafe condition while trespassing on a property, the property owner is not held responsible for any damages resulting from the trespasser’s injuries. With children, however, it is different.

Per the attractive nuisance doctrine, if a child trespasses on a property because they were enticed by an object to enter the property—such as a swimming pool, trampoline, playground, or anything else that may cause a child to be interested—then the property owner would still be held liable for any injuries sustained by the child.

Why Is Premises Liability Important?

Premises liability is important as both a deterrent and a means of recovering compensation:

  • It acts as a deterrent because it encourages property and business owners to keep their premises safe for visitors and patrons. If they fail to do so, they could face significant costs to cover the damages caused by an accident or criminal attack. As such, if they discover an unsafe condition, they are much more likely to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
  • It acts as a means of recovering compensation for those who do, unfortunately, suffer from injuries due to unsafe premises. No one who is injured due to the fault of another should have to pay for the costs of their medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses. Premises liability gives accident victims an avenue through which to recover the compensation they deserve.

Unfortunately, even with these laws in place, property owners and managers still occasionally fail to ensure the safety of their properties. If you have been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone’s property, it is in your best interest to consult an Orlando premises liability lawyer. They can help to ensure you pursue every opportunity to recover your losses.

Examples of Premises Liability Claims

Premises liability claims can come in many different forms. including:

Slip & Falls

The most common type of premises liability claims, slip and falls happen when an unsafe condition—such as moisture causing a slippery surface or a crack in the sidewalk causing an uneven surface—leads to someone slipping, falling, and sustaining an injury.

Inadequate Security

A good example of inadequate security is if an apartment complex does not adequately light its parking lots or fails to provide secure locks on windows and doors. If someone is attacked because of this inadequate security, they may be able to sue the property owner or manager for premises liability.

Drowning Accidents

Sadly, drowning accidents are far too common in Florida. This is why Florida has specific laws regulating swimming pool design, barriers, and maintenance.

Additional types of premises liability include:

Ultimately, if you are unsure if your situation would fit under Florida’s premises liability laws, we recommend speaking with a qualified Orlando premises liability attorney.

Read More: What Is the Most Common Premises Liability Injury?

Is Florida a Strict Liability State?

Strict liability is mostly discussed around dog bite accident claims in Florida. Florida is a strict liability state, meaning a dog owner can be held liable for any injuries caused by their dog whether they had reason to suspect their dog would be violent or not. Even if a dog has never shown signs of aggression, if they bite a person in a public place or a non-trespasser in a private residence, the owner would be responsible for any damages.

In a unique provision under Florida’s dog bite statute, a dog owner would not be liable for injuries caused by their dog on their private property if they had a prominently displayed sign saying, “Bad Dog.” However, that provision does not apply when the injured person is under the age of 6.

Challenges in a Florida Premises Liability Case

Simply being injured on someone else’s property does not mean you qualify for compensation in a premises liability claim. Instead, you must be able to prove some key things, including:

  • The owner or property manager knew about—or should have known about—the dangerous condition and failed to remedy the condition within an appropriate time frame.
  • The dangerous condition is what led to the accident and the accident is what resulted in injuries.
  • Those injuries led to damages.

Premises liability in Florida can be challenging to prove, particularly when it comes to determining what the owner or property manager did or did not know—or, for that matter, what they should have reasonably known.

How Can a Premises Liability Attorney Help You?

A good lawyer will be able to, first and foremost, help you know if you have a viable claim. Having handled many premises liability cases in the past, an experienced attorney will quickly know what the likelihood of success is and how the claim may be won.

Beyond this, a skilled premises liability attorney can help you by:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Interviewing witnesses and subject matter experts
  • Calculating damages
  • Filing paperwork
  • Negotiating with the insurance company
  • Arguing your claim in court (if necessary)

Winning a premises liability claim is not easy or simple, but a knowledgeable lawyer can help simplify your options and do much of the heavy lifting required when pursuing compensation.

Read More: What Types of Cases Do Premises Liability Lawyers Handle?

Contact Colling Gilbert Wright for Matters Involving Premises Liability in Florida

At Colling Gilbert Wright, we are committed to achieving justice for injured victims. We have vast experience with premises liability in Florida, and we take pride in treating every client with compassion and respect. Our goal is to give you peace of mind, knowing that your rights are being protected, so you can focus on healing.

Contact the Orlando premises liability attorneys at Colling Gilbert Wright today to schedule a FREE consultation. We are dedicated to seeking justice for our neighbors and will do everything we can in pursuit of rightful compensation for your losses.

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