Fort Lauderdale Premises Liability Lawyer
When you enter another person’s property, whether it’s a local store or someone’s home, you expect to be safe. However, when a property owner fails to protect visitors from dangerous conditions on the premises they may be liable for damages. The Fort Lauderdale premises liability lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez hold property owners accountable for causing their victims harm and fight for their clients’ rights to compensation.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the legal liability of a property owner and their required duty of care to their guests. Generally speaking, property owners must make sure that their property is safe for visitors, and if a person is hurt on someone else’s property they may be able to sue for damages. Premises liability applies to private property owners, small business owners, large commercial property owners, and anyone else who owns or occupies a property.
Generally speaking, a victim injured on the property of another must prove the following elements in a premises liability case:
- That the property owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the premises
- That the property owner failed to repair or warn visitors about the dangerous condition
- As a result of this dangerous condition, the victim was injured on the property
Premises Liability: Standards of Care
Florida requires different standards of care depending on the type of visitor to a property, which can be a business invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
A business invitee enters a property for business purposes, and property owners or occupiers owe them the highest standard of care. This includes any type of business, from malls and grocery stores to gas stations and small businesses. Property owners are required to keep the premises in safe condition and either fix or provide notice of any hazardous conditions. The property owner must regularly inspect the property and are liable for any hazardous conditions they knew or should have known about.
Licensees are social guests invited onto a property and require the next highest standard of care. This applies to private and public property owners and to any guests there for a social purpose. It also applies to any uninvited guests, such as a neighbor or unexpected plus-one. A property owner must maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition and repair or warn of any known dangerous conditions on the premises.
Trespassers are not allowed or invited onto a person’s property, but they are still owed a certain level of care. Property owners or occupiers have a duty to protect trespassers from intentional or reckless injury. The most common example of this is setting up wire traps attached to firearms to prevent trespassers from entering the property. If a trespasser is discovered, the property owner must warn of any known dangerous conditions that would not be detected with reasonable observation.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases
Slip and falls are the most common type of premises liability case, but victims can be injured on another person’s property in a number of ways. This can include being hurt by uneven sidewalks, inadequate lighting, malfunctioning doors or windows, uneven or broken steps, broken or missing handrails, debris or unknown liquids in aisles or hallways, obstructions on the floor, or negligently displayed merchandise.
Contact Our Lawyers Now
If you were injured on another person’s property you may have a case for compensation, but the clock is ticking on your claims. Call or contact the Fort Lauderdale office of Leifer & Ramirez today to schedule a free consultation of your case with one of our expert personal injury attorneys.