About Premises Liability Suits in the State of Florida
Under Florida state law, personal injuries sustained due to neglected and/or dangerous properties are called “premises liability” accidents. These accidents often take place at commercial buildings (i.e. shops, offices, etc.), residences (i.e. homes, apartment complexes) or on public property (i.e. parks, libraries, bus stops, etc.). There are numerous reasons in which a premises may be considered dangerous, such as faulty design, poor construction and/or inadequate maintenance. Left unchecked, dangerous premises may lead to slipping, falling, tripping and/or being hit by a falling object.
Obligations of the Property Owner(s)
The owner of a Florida property has a legal obligation to ensure that anyone who enters his or her premises, either as a tenant, customer or personal guest, is not subjected to an unreasonable risk of injury due to its design, construction or overall condition. This is because the property owner has control over the safety of the premises and the visitor (obviously) does not. Because of this, the premises owner has a non delegable duty to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.
Obligations of the Injured Party
It is important to remember that guests and patrons have obligations to act responsibly, too. If a Floridian fails to use due care and is found to be negligent, this may be used as a defense to limit the premises owner’s liability or avoid it all together.
Responsibility for injuries suffered at a store, office or other business is usually determined by where the accident occurred and who has possession or control of the premises. It is highly recommended that you notify the business of your injury right away, and seek out medical attention as soon as possible.
If you are a guest or tenant who suffers an injury while on a rental premises, the party responsible for maintaining the area that caused your accident may be liable. Under Florida law, landlords are generally responsible for common areas outside the apartment, such as hallways, stairwells, entrances and exits, as well as for immovable things like floors, walls, fixtures and appliances. Conversely, the tenant is generally responsible for any and all movable things located within the apartment.
Additionally, if someone is injured while on the property of a private home, the homeowner may be held legally responsible if the homeowner failed to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition.