What is premises liability?
By definition, premises liability is a legal concept that states property owners, managers and landlords are legally obligated to provide and maintain a reasonably safe environment for those who visit their premises, including customers, contractors, employees, tenants, and residents. Failure to keep the property safe for visitors results in “premises liability.”
Premises liability cases can involve:
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Water leaks
- Construction site accidents
- Parking lot accidents
- Inadequate maintenance
- Defective products and furniture
- Toxic fumes
These types of cases can occur anywhere and can lead to serious injuries or even death. Like all personal injury cases, an injured person must be able to prove that negligence was involved in his or her premise liability case. In addition, he or she must show that the property had hazardous conditions that were not disclosed or forewarned by the property owner before visitors entered the property. A good example of this is when a store has a wet floor, knows of the wet floor, and still chooses to not place a caution sign by the puddle or clean it up in a timely manner.
In the state of Florida, for an injured individual to receive compensation in a premise liability case, he or she must prove the following:
- The at-fault person operates, owns or manages the property where the injury occurred
- The at-fault person acted negligently and did not take reasonable precautions to prevent the injury
- The victim sustained injuries that required medical care
- The at-fault person’s negligent acts caused the victim to sustain injuries
Florida also requires all injured victims of premise liability cases to file a lawsuit within four years of the accident date (Florida Statute 95.11(3)a). Once four years have passed, you are no longer allowed to sue a negligent party in a premise liability case. Therefore, it is important to not only file a premise liability claim within the statute of limitations, but to also contact an experienced premise liability attorney who can help you decide when to file the claim, gather the necessary evidence, a secure a higher settlement value for your case.