Premises liability is the area of law which holds property owners responsible for maintaining safe conditions for visitors. In general, property owners may be held liable when their negligent actions result in an injury to a visitor of the premises.
These laws apply to a variety of property owners and managers, including:
- Small business owners
- Property managers of large commercial properties
- Shop owners leasing a property in a strip mall
- Tenants of a residential rental property
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, the premises liability lawyers at Colling Gilbert Wright can help ensure your rights are protected so that you receive the compensation you deserve. Please call (407) 712-7300 today to schedule a free consultation at our Orlando office.
Different Levels of Care for Different Types of Guests
Under Florida law, there are different duties of care which property owners owe to different types of visitors. In general, visitors to a property fall into one of three categories:
People who visit a property for business purposes are considered invitees. Property owners must adhere to the highest levels of care when invitees visit their property.
Licensees are friends, family members, and other people who visit a property for social reasons. These individuals are owed the second highest standard of care.
Trespassers are individuals who visit a property without permission from the owner. While these individuals are owed the lowest standard of care, property owners still have a limited duty to prevent trespassers from being injured on their property.
Duty of Care Owed to Trespassers
Property owners must take the following actions to prevent injury to trespassers on their property:
- Once discovered, trespassers must be warned of any known dangers on the property that cannot reasonably be detected through ordinary observation
- Property owners must not create dangerous conditions which previously did not exist in order to harm trespassers
- Warning signs for dangerous conditions or “no trespassing” signs must be posted when necessary
Failure to adhere to this limited duty of care may cause a property owner to be liable for injuries to trespassers.
Special Duty Owed to Children Who Trespass
Under Florida law, special duties of care apply when trespassers are children. Property owners must take special care to maintain safe conditions for children who visit their property, regardless of whether the child is an invited guest or a trespasser, since many children lack the ability to recognize dangerous conditions.
According to the “Attractive Nuisance Doctrine,” property owners must protect children from potentially dangerous conditions which are likely to attract children to the property. Common examples of “attractive nuisances” include swimming pools, trampolines, or old appliances. Property owners must take reasonable steps to prevent children from accessing these “attractive nuisances.” Often, this may involve putting up a fence.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, please contact Colling Gilbert Wright today by filling out our online form or calling (407) 712-7300 to schedule your free initial consultation. We serve clients in Orlando, Florida.