Premises liability law, casually called property owner’s law, establishes the parameters by which an owner can be held financially responsible for injuries that occur on the property. Owners are required to reasonably maintain safety. Otherwise, they could be targeted with a lawsuit by injured parties. Example scenarios that are common subjects of premises liability include:
- Amusement park injuries
- Defects within the property
- Dog bites
- Escalator/elevator injuries
- Floods or water leaks
- Hazardous chemicals or fumes
- Insufficient maintenance
- Insufficient security, giving rise to assault
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Swimming pool injuries.
Broadly speaking, there are three different ways in which a visitor to the property can be classified under Florida premises liability law: invitee, licensee, and trespasser.
The strongest position for a plaintiff is the invitee, which is further divided into business and public invitees – people who are there by invitation as members of the public or for business purposes.
Licensees, sometimes called uninvited licensees, are people who have not been invited onto the property but are instead there for their own purposes – such as someone who has only entered a business to get change for a dollar. “[A]n owner or occupant owes [a licensee] no duty except not to harm him willfully or wantonly, or to set traps for him, or to expose him to danger recklessly or wantonly,” explains the Florida Bar.
A trespasser is someone who has no right to be on the property. Although trespassing is a crime, it’s notable that wanton or willful injury by the owner is still unlawful.
Are you concerned about your rights and responsibilities related to property owners law? See our page, “What Happens if Someone Gets Hurt on Your Property?” To learn more about the legal ramifications of your specific case, speak with an accomplished premises liability attorney today.