In St. Petersburg, property owners are expected to maintain the premises and ensure the grounds are safe for visitors. They are required by law to fix any vulnerabilities on their property and adequately warn guests of any risks. A landlord can be considered negligent when they knew or should have known of a hazard and failed to repair it or failed to provide warning. An individual who was injured under these circumstances may have legal grounds to file a premises liability claim or lawsuit against the possessor of the property.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a property owner, it is highly advisable to contact a knowledgeable St. Petersburg premises liability lawyer. A skilled attorney can fight to help you obtain a full financial recovery for the damages you endured.
Determining Liability in Premises Liability Cases
For plaintiffs to file a personal injury claim, they must be able to prove that the possessor was negligent, or that they breached their duty of care. However, owners and persons in control of business establishments are not always subject to the same level of liability under Florida premises liability law.
How much the property owner will be held liable to compensate the victim for their damages generally depends upon how the victim is legally classified in relation to their status on the land. A St. Petersburg premises liability lawyer can examine the facts of a case to help determine liability.
Status and Duty Owed in St. Petersburg
Two directly related elements in a premises liability case are status and duty owed. The status of the entrant determines the level of responsibility the possessor of the property owes to the entrant. Generally, there are three different legal classifications of entrants, and the property owner owes a different duty to each. They include:
The highest duty of care is owed to an invitee, who is someone the property owner has invited onto the premises for their benefit, such as a business owner opening their store for shoppers. When an entrant is considered an invitee, the property owner owes them a duty to perform reasonable maintenance and repairs on the property so that the invitee is not injured during the visit.
The lowest duty of care is owed to a trespasser, who is a person that enters the property without an implied invitation for the possessor. The possessor is only under a duty not to use excessive force when defending their property or themselves and typically has no obligation to warn them of any dangers or hazards.
Licensees are individuals who are permitted to be on the premises if they so choose, but were not specifically invited, barring certain exceptions. A property owner is under a duty to warn the licensee of dangers or hazards on the property. A person invited for a social occasion can be considered a licensee, not an invitee.
Call a St. Petersburg Premises Liability Attorney Today
Property owners may be held liable for damages if they were aware of a potential threat that was present on their land. If you or a loved one were injured on someone else’s property, a skilled St. Petersburg premises liability lawyer can help.
A compassionate attorney can help you file a premises liability claim or lawsuit against the negligent party. To learn more, call today to set up a free consultation. One conversation can help you determine your rights and next steps.