Under premises liability law in Florida, property owners and occupants have legal duties to visitors of all kinds—invited or otherwise. The extent of the landowner’s legal duty depends upon the status of each visitor. Florida’s Premises Liability Law sets out the responsibilities landowners have to the three main visitor statuses: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
If you have been injured on another person’s property, you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. A Pinellas County premises liability lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and responsibilities and help file a claim.
Visitor Statuses: Invitee, Licensee, Trespasser
A visitor is an invite if the owner/occupant leads the visitor to believe that the premises are intended to be used in the way and for the purpose the visitor is using them. Visitors that commonly fall under the status of invitee include shoppers at a store or visitors to a park or hospital.
For invitees, an owner/occupant generally must use ordinary or reasonable care in keeping the premises reasonably safe and warn visitors of any hazards. A licensee is a visitor who enters a property for their own benefit. There are two subcategories of licensees: invited and uninvited. One common example of an invited licensee is a social guest at a person’s home. The duty owed to an invited licensee is the same as the duty owed to an invitee.
An example of an uninvited licensee is a salesperson who goes around knocking on doors, uninvited. The duty an owner/occupant owes here is simply to avoid “willful or wanton harm” and must not intentionally expose the licensee to danger, nor neglect to warn of dangerous conditions that are not obvious. A trespasser enters another premises without permission or a right to be there. In cases of trespassing, the property’s owner/occupant does not owe a duty to the trespasser other than to avoid causing “willful or wanton injury.”
Common Premises Liability Cases
There are several common situations that lead to premises liability cases. These types of cases which a Pinellas County premises liability attorney may be able to assist with include:
- Dog bites or attacks
- Slips and falls
- Premises in disrepair
- Inadequate building security
- Escalator/elevator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Accidents caused by snow and ice
- Defective curbs and sidewalks
- Poor building materials
Speaking with a Premises Liability Attorney in Pinellas County
Generally, personal injury claims are based on negligence. In that sense, premises liability cases are no different. What is unique about personal injury claims resulting from premises liability is that the duty of care the owner owes to each visitor can be very different based on the reason for the visitor’s presence on the property. If you have been injured on another’s property and would like to know more about your rights, you should consult with a premises liability lawyer.
A good premises liability lawyer is able to sift through all of the facts unique to your case and correctly apply all of the appropriate statutes and case law in order to fight for justice. As there are legal time limits associated with personal injury claims, it is best to contact a lawyer who can begin working on your behalf as soon as possible. If you would like to learn more about how a Pinellas County premises liability lawyer can help you.