What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a set of laws that apply to slips, trips, falls, and other incidents that can happen on others’ property. After suffering injuries, you could file a claim with the property owner, manager, or occupier. Your legal options depend on your situation.
If you were injured on another party’s property, you could pursue damages with the help of Meldon Law. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews where you can explore working with our personal injury lawyers. Dial (352) 373-8000 to get started.
These Situations Could Call for a Premises Liability Claim or Lawsuit
The term “premises liability” is admittedly broad. Yet, it applies to situations that involve:
- Dog bites
- Poor security measures
- Negligent maintenance
- Swimming pool accidents, such as drownings
- Elevator or escalator accidents
- Falling objects
- Exposure to toxic substances, like asbestos
What do all of these situations have in common? The property owner’s negligence. If another party’s actions or omissions led to your injuries, you could have the basis of a premises liability case.
Understanding What Constitutes a Premises Liability Case
To have a successful premises liability case, you must have evidence that supports these four factors:
- You were lawfully on another party’s property, and they had a duty of care to prevent injuries.
- The other party allowed a hazard to threaten your safety.
- You suffered injuries because of said hazard.
- You have damages, such as medical bills and lost income, resulting from the incident.
Here’s a premises liability case in action. You were invited to a friend’s house and met their large German shepherd. Upon walking through the door, the dog jumped up and knocked you over, causing you to hit your head and suffer a brain injury.
Even though the property owner didn’t intend to hurt you (and didn’t expect the dog to cause your injury), you have legal rights. You could claim that because the property owner didn’t secure their dog (or warn you about its potential danger), you were hurt and deserve compensation.
Recoverable Damages in a Premises Liability Claim
Ultimately, your compensable losses depend on the severity of your condition, the cause of your accident, and your financial losses. Florida does not cap compensatory damages in personal injury cases, meaning there’s no limit to what you could possibly recover.
You may recover economic damages, such as:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage expenses (if applicable)
- Anything you spent out of pocket
- Modifications to your family home or vehicle
You could also recover the cost of non-economic damages. These losses don’t come with documentation in the same way that economic damages do, but they’re still compensable. Examples of these losses include:
- Pain and suffering
You Have a Limited Time to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit
If you wish to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered on someone else’s property, you have two years from the date of the injury to act. There are exceptions to this rule that could extend or shorten your filing period, so it’s in your best interest to explore your options promptly.
When you entrust your case to Meldon Law, you get an advocate who manages each of your case’s deadlines. Additionally, we do everything in our power to fight for a settlement that accounts for your losses.
Who Can File a Premises Liability Case After Getting Hurt?
Your injury may have occurred while you were on someone else’s property, but that doesn’t automatically give you the right to seek damages. The law considers why you were on the property—what your role or purpose was at the time of your injury. Here’s what to know:
Invitees are on the property at the express or implied invitation of the owner. If you’re a customer in a grocery store buying pickles or a delivery person dropping off cases of pickles, you are an invitee and are due the highest level of care.
A licensee is usually a social visitor, such as a guest invited to a property for a celebration or an acquaintance stopping by for a chat. This visitor is on the property for their own “convenience, pleasure, or benefit,” not to participate in a business for which the property is known. Premises law dictates that licensees are owed the second highest level of care.
Even Trespassers (With Exceptions)
A trespasser is someone who goes onto another’s property without invitation. The property owner or occupant is usually unaware the trespasser is on the property and owes them the lowest level of care.
Still, whether the trespasser’s presence is known or not, the property should be kept in a reasonably safe condition, with warnings posted where repairs are not yet made. The property owner or occupant also cannot deliberately create dangerous conditions that may injure someone on the property.
Potentially Liable Parties in Premises Liability Cases
If you were injured on someone else’s property, depending on your situation, you could pursue damages from the property’s:
- Commercial tenant
Product manufacturers could also be partially or wholly responsible for an injury. For instance, imagine that you were at the gym, and a treadmill malfunctioned and hurt you. Here, you could have a case against the product’s manufacturer because the item didn’t work as expected. Yet, you could also have a case against the gym’s owner if they knew (or should have known) that the treadmill would malfunction.
It’s easy to get caught up in the many details of an injury case when you don’t have legal representation. That’s one of the many reasons why Meldon Law offers free case reviews. We’re here to listen to your case’s details and advise you on a path moving forward.
Meldon Law Manages Premises Liability Cases in Florida
If you suffered an injury on another party’s property, you can pursue damages from the property’s owner. Yet, while dealing with a serious condition, you don’t have time to manage the details of a complicated legal matter alone. That’s where Meldon Law comes in.
Since 1971, we’ve recovered millions for injured claimants in situations just like yours. Call (352) 373-8000 to begin your free consultation. We won’t back down from a fight and will treat you with the compassion and integrity you deserve.