Injured On Another Person’s Property In Florida?
In Florida, a landowner or business owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care toward anyone who comes onto their property, though to varying degrees depending on their status. However, liability is not always so clear-cut, and it can sometimes be confusing determining exactly who is liable for your injuries, if anyone at all. Contacting an experienced attorney can help illuminate your options moving forward.
When someone is injured on another person’s property and decides to bring suit, they generally do so under a theory called premises liability. Premises liability in Florida holds that a landowner is responsible for any injuries suffered by visitors to their property (with rare exceptions). There are three categories of visitors recognized in Florida law. Invitees, who are owed the highest duty of care – a property owner must try to correct any dangers on the property, and warn an invitee about any dangers on the property that they cannot fix – are present for business purposes.
Licensees are the middle category, and they come onto property for social purposes or for purposes of their own – for example, a door-to-door salesman is a licensee. They are owed a warning of any potential dangers, but the landowner does not have to make the property safe for them. Trespassers are the third category, and the only duty that they are owed is for the landowner to refrain from intentionally injuring them. If you are injured on someone else’s property, you fall into one of these categories and can file suit against the landowner if you believe that they have breached their duty of care.
Florida Recreational Use Statute
There is one significant exception in Florida premises liability law that can adversely affect your ability to receive compensation from a negligent landowner. Florida has what is called a recreational use statute, which is designed to encourage landowners to open their property to the public by restricting their liability. The statute says that a landowner who allows the public to use their land for “recreational purposes” does not owe any kind of warning or have any duty to make that land safe for visitors.
The recreational use law does not apply in situations where “deliberate, willful or malicious” injury or property damage occurs. It also does not apply if the owner charges for the use of the land – if they charge, it is generally assumed that liability comes with making money. Also, if you were not on the land for a recreational purpose, you may still be able to recover even if the recreational use statute still applies. It is difficult to establish liability if you are injured on land subject to the statute, but it is hardly impossible.
Contact A Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Florida’s year-round weather means that people are out and about constantly, but being on another person’s property can sometimes result in injury. If you have been harmed and you believe you may have a case in premises liability, the Tampa personal injury lawyers at the Rinaldo Law Group can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.