Were you or a loved one recently hurt on the property of another due to a hazard encountered on that property? If so, you may have the right to recover for your injuries and damages through a premises liability claim.
Premises liability is an area of law that allows property owners and others to be held liable for negligently failing to protect visitors from foreseeable, dangerous acts or conditions on their property or by failing to warn visitors about those risks. However, pursuing a premises liability claim in Florida can be a complex undertaking. It requires the assistance of a skilled, experienced lawyer.
This is why you should contact the law firm of Frank M. Eidson, P.A., if you believe you may have a premises liability action. Attorney Frank M. Eidson serves clients in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. He will personally handle your case from beginning to end, starting with a free and timely consultatio
What Duty Were You Owed as a Visitor?
The first step in seeking compensation in your premises liability case is to determine your status as a visitor. This status determines what duty you were owed by the property owner or by the person or company that was managing the property on the owner’s behalf.
In Florida, visitors fall into three categories:
Invitees – If you are invited to the property as a member of the public for the purpose for which the land is held open to the public, you are a “public invitee.” An example is a visitor to a city playground. If you are invited to the property for a purpose directly connected with the owner or occupier’s business, you are a “business invitee.” An example is a customer at a store.
Licensees – If you are invited to someone’s property as a social guest, you are a “invited licensee.” The best example is a friend who goes to another friend’s house for a party. However, if you go on another’s property solely for your own reasons – for instance, you go to a store to get change for a $20 bill – you are considered an “uninvited licensee.”
Trespasser – If you go on another’s property without any right to be there – whether by invitation or by license – you are a trespasser.
A property owner owes the highest duty of care to public and business invitees and to invited licensees. The owner must fix or warn about any dangerous conditions the owner knows about or should have reason to know about and which you, as a visitor, would not reasonably know about. For instance, if there are holes you could fall into, the owner should at least post a warning sign.
However, if you are an uninvited licensee or a trespasser, the property owner merely owes a duty to refrain from willfully or wantonly harming you. For example, the owner could not put holes in the grounds as “traps” that are aimed at injuring intruders.
There are some exceptions. For instance, a property owner may be held liable in some situations where a child trespasser is able to access an “attractive nuisance” such as a swimming pool.
To evade liability, a property owner may argue that you were merely a licensee instead of an invitee, and a lesser duty of care was owed to you. It is important to work with a lawyer who will vigorously fight such claims.
Additionally, the property owner may assert that you were injured by an “open and obvious” danger on the property, which could bar your right to a recovery. It will be important to establish a case that refutes that argument.
Did the Property Owner Breach Its Duty?
Once your status is determined, you must establish whether the property owner breached the duty owed to you as a visitor. This can occur in many ways. For example:
Slip-and-fall accidents – When a spilled liquid, wet pavement, hole, object or other hazard causes you to suffer a fall
Negligent security – When an owner fails to protect visitors from foreseeable crimes such as assaults
Swimming pool accidents – When an owner allows visitors to be harmed by dangerous conditions at the pool (defective diving boards, for instance, or hazardous chemicals or bacteria in the water) or fails to provide proper lifeguard supervision
Amusement park accidents – When a visitor is harmed by defective rides or other hazards that are not addressed by the company that owns the park (this is an especially serious concern in the central Florida area).
Your lawyer must thoroughly investigate your case to determine all parties who should be held liable for a personal injury. This may include the property owner, a manager (landlord or company leasing the property) and other parties such as a company that was hired to provide security or cleaning services.
Contact an Orlando Premises Liability Attorney
Attorney Frank M. Eidson will work diligently to pursue full and fair compensation for you or your loved one after an injury on another’s property in Orlando, Winter Park or elsewhere in Florida. This includes compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and more. To schedule a free consultation and discuss your case, simply contact Frank M. Eidson, P.A.
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If you have been injured in an accident, turn to Frank M. Eidson P.A. Whether your case is a simple collision or a complicated auto wrongful death case, contact personal injury lawyer Frank Eidson today to schedule your free consultation.