All landowners have a duty under the law to maintain their property in a way that makes it safe for visitors. When they do not, they may be liable for injuries that occur on their property. Personal injuries that happen on another’s land are governed by Florida’s premises liability laws. These laws determine liability by examining not just the actions of the landowner that led to the incident but also the visitor’s intentions for being on the land. If you suffered a severe injury on another individual’s property contact a skilled Clearwater premises liability lawyer.
A dedicated personal injury attorney could help you understand rights as a visitor and examine the actions of the defendant. Using this knowledge, experienced personal injury attorneys could pursue a fair compensation on your behalf.
Common Ways that Injuries Happen on Others’ Land
Perhaps the most obvious example of a premises liability incident is one involving a slip and fall injury. However, there are various other ways a landowner’s poor property maintenance can cause injuries. Temporary hazards such as spills or standing rainwater can cause a visitor to fall.
Another major source of injuries is structural defects. These are conditions are often fixed less quickly and can prone to causing injury if there are no warning signs. Examples include broken steps, faulty handrails, and potholes in parking lots.
Landowners may also be legally liable for the actions of third parties on the property that affect a visitor. This may involve ensuring the safety of a visitor by protecting them from crime. Especially in places generally held open to the public such as bars or restaurants, landowners should employ security staff, have functioning locks, and utilize security cameras to dissuade criminal activity and protect their visitors.
A Clearwater premises liability lawyer could help an injured person examine the sources of their injuries. By doing so, they can determine if a landowner is at fault for not taking measures to prevent the dangerous situation.
The Rights of Visitors
An injured visitor can never assume that a landowner is automatically at-fault for an accident. In fact, to be successful in a premises liability case, a plaintiff must first demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care. The extent of this duty depends upon the visitor’s status on the land. The three types of visitors are trespassers, licensees, and invitees.
Trespassers are people who enter or remain on the owner’s land without permission. To not be liable for trespassers’ injuries, landowners must only refrain from intentionally or wantonly injuring the visitor. This includes both direct attacks and setting up traps.
Licensees are those who have been invited onto a property for a non-business purpose. This can include guests at a social gathering on private land. Property owners in this instance must protect visitors from all known hazards but have no duty to proactively survey their property for potential problems.
Invitees are those who enter land for a business purpose such as to shop or attend a show. Landowners must protect invitees from all known hazards. In addition, landowners must also know about all potential hazards on their land and should patrol the premises to fix or warn of any danger.
An injured plaintiff of any category only has a limited time to file a case in court. A rule known as the statute of limitations states that a court will not consider a case if a plaintiff does not act on time. According to Florida Statute § 95.11, plaintiffs in a premises liability case have four years from the date of injury to make their claim.
Speak with a Clearwater Premises Liability Attorney
Landowners always have a duty to prevent injuries to invited visitors on their land. This duty requires a landowner to protect visitors from temporary hazards, structural defects, and even crime. Depending on the visitor’s reasons for being on the land and whether they were invited, this duty may vary.
A Clearwater premises liability lawyer could work with you to examine the facts that led to your injury, determine the defendant’s liability, and evaluate the losses you have suffered. A skilled legal team then works to engage in settlement negotiations to get you the necessary compensation. Lawyers are also ready to take your case to trial if necessary. Call today to learn more.