Premises liability is the legal concept under which an injured person may be eligible to sue someone for compensation if they are injured due to that party’s lack of reasonable care in maintaining their property. These cases may involve store managers, private property owners, or even large corporations backed by significant financial and legal resources.
Fortunately, the law is often on the victim’s side when the negligence of a property owner causes them harm. With the help of a well-versed injury attorney, you may be better positioned to fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact a St. Johns County premises liability lawyer if you sustained injuries due to the irresponsibility of a landowner.
Invited Guests vs. Trespassers
A property owner in Florida is legally obliged to keep their property free of hazards and reasonably safe, and to exercise appropriate care by investigating their property and remedying any unsafe conditions that arise. When a person on the property is there for an expressly commercial transaction, such as a customer in a grocery store, this obligation becomes particularly important under the law.
However, as a St. Johns County premises liability attorney could affirm, no such obligation is owed to a trespasser on the property. Florida Statutes §768.075 distinguishes between “undiscovered” and “discovered” trespassers when determining the legal obligations of property owners.
Obligations to Discovered Trespassers
Discovered trespassers are those who are detected by the property owner within 24 hours prior to the accident that led to their injury. In these types of cases, the landowner is required to refrain from directly harming them, as well as warn them of any hazards existing on their property.
Obligations to Undiscovered Trespassers
An undiscovered trespasser is a person illegally on someone else’s property who has not been detected by the landowner. The landowner must still refrain from causing such a person direct harm, but they do not have to tell them about dangerous conditions on the property. In other words, an injured undiscovered trespasser cannot use the fact that the owner never told them about a dangerous condition to file a claim against the owner.
Comparative Negligence Issues
Even if a landowner was negligent in their duties to maintain a safe environment, the victim may have acted in a careless way as well. Fortunately, Florida uses a comparative negligence system and does not prevent partially liable civil plaintiffs from recovering compensation.
However, Fla. Stat. §768.81 states that fault or negligence can lower a plaintiff’s total recoverable compensation. For instance, if the court considers an injured person 20 percent responsible for their accident, their total available compensation would be reduced by 20 percent as well. A property liability lawyer in St. Johns County may be able to explain how comparative negligence may affect an injured person’s case.
Talk to a Compassionate St. Johns Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you were injured on property belonging to someone else, you should not have to pay for any medical treatment necessitated by the carelessness of the respective landowner. Whether you have significant medical debt, lost wages, emotional turmoil, or other harms, the at-fault property owner may be liable for the damage their negligence may have caused. Get in touch with a skilled St. Johns County premises liability lawyer as soon as possible to start building a case for the compensation you deserve.