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Property Relationships in Premises Liability Cases

In Florida, personal injury cases that involve premises liability can be complicated. This is due to the fact that Florida law states that premises liability negligence depends on the relationship of the injured person to the property. The person to property relationship can drastically affect the how your attorney handles your case; as with most personal injury claims, determining negligence is the core of any premises liability case.

Florida law states that property owners must take reasonable care to properly maintain their premises in an effort to prevent accident or injury to the public. If the area is unsafe for any reason, the property owner must post visible warnings to notify visitors of safety risks.

The property owner’s degree of liability depends on the injured person’s relationship to the property. For instance, if a patron of a store is injured due to store owner negligence, the degree of the property owner’s liability is greater than if a trespasser is injured on the premises after store hours.

Relationship Between Injured and Property Explained

  • Invitee: Property owners who run a business are required to maintain a safe environment for customers and visitors. If unsafe conditions exist, and a patron or visitor becomes injured, the property owner is solely responsible for the injuries incurred.
  • Social Licensees: This type of relationship pertains to social guests and visitors who have right to be on the property but are not customers of the establishment. If one of these individuals becomes injured due to unsafe conditions on the property, the property owner may still be liable.
  • Trespassers: Unless the property owner has reason to believe that individuals may enter the property without authorization, the owner may not be responsible for a trespasser’s injuries. Property owners are not required to make repairs to areas of a property for the safety of a possible trespasser.
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