Premises liability law is one of the most complicated laws, and negligence and liability can vary based on the circumstances. Essentially, property owners are responsible for making sure their properties are safe for visitors, customers and patrons. These laws apply to homeowners, business owners and landlords. Even if an owner leases the property—like a shop in a strip mall, for example—the tenant can still be liable for any injuries that occur on the property.
Negligence can be open to interpretation, and there is a lot of gray area. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, to collect damages, you may have to prove some or all of the following:
- The property owner or tenant should have been aware of any hazardous conditions.
- The owner/tenant failed to repair any damaged property that could be dangerous.
- The hazardous conditions caused injury.
Business owners are held to the highest standard. Any customers must be protected from hazardous conditions, including slips and falls on wet surfaces. The owners must provide notice to any visitors of hazardous conditions.
Private property owners owe their invited guests a similar duty as well. The owner is still obligated to give warning to guests, invited or “stopping by,” of any potential hazards. Special duty is owed to children; this is especially important to home owners with things like swimming pools and trampolines.
So the next time you notice ice on your front step or a broken handrail on a staircase, you may want to address the issue rather than put it off. Have you or a loved one ever been injured on someone else’s property? Could the owner have prevented the injury or at least warned you?
Wooten, Kimbrough & Normand, P.A.—Orlando personal injury attorneys.