Premises Liability

In the State of Florida, property owners have legal responsibilities to people entering their property. However, the responsibilities owed are different for trespassers, guests, patrons, and tenants. In short, what steps a property owner must take in order to protect you while you are in the owner’s property depends upon your reason for being there, or what attorneys simply call your status.

If you are a trespasser and have no invitation to be on the premises of another, the owner of the land merely has the duty to refrain from causing you any willful or wanton injury, unless the injured person is a child, who was attracted to something, such as a swimming pool or even a pile of construction debris, on the owner’s premises.

However, if you have been invited onto someone else’s property as a member of the public or as a business visitor, the owner of the property owes you a greater duty. Specifically, the owner of the property has a duty to discover dangerous conditions on the property and must either repair or properly warn you about them. The owner does not have an obligation to look for dangerous conditions that may harm you. However, if the owner knows of a dangerous condition that could be harmful, the owner must take reasonable steps to make the condition safe and to properly warn you of the danger. If you are a tenant, your landlord has the duty to exercise reasonable care to inspect and repair common areas, stairways, elevators and passageways under the landlord’s control.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for damages arising out of the negligence of the landowner or management company. It may be possible for you and/or your family to recover compensation for your permanent injuries, medical bills, as well as pain and suffering. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is usually a good idea. The attorneys at Silva & Silva are experienced in premises liability cases that have occurred in different settings. Landlords of apartment buildings who have neglected the common areas, and as a result the tenants have suffered serious injuries; the negligent maintenance of an elevator in a building, causing the elevator to free fall, resulting in injuries to its occupants; or the negligent injuring of children in swimming pools, leading to the drowning of innocent children when the drain has caught their hair, limbs, or even their swimwear, exemplify some of the numerous cases we have successfully handled.

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