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What is Premises Liability?

If you have been injured because of unsafe conditions at a location, you may have a premises liability case.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability law in Florida refers to the body of law in which a property owner or resident has a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition so as to avoid injuring others.

Premises liability holds property owners and residents liable for injuries that occur on their property. The property owner and resident owe a duty to certain people on their property to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.  If the property owner or resident breaches this duty and failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and this breach is the direct cause of injures to another, then the property owner or resident is liable for damages as a result of those injuries caused by their failure to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition.

What types of cases fall under Premises Liability?

Premises liability covers a wide range of case types, and it’s important when researching prospective lawyers to find an attorney with experience in the area that is most relevant to your claim. At Michles and Booth, we handle many types of premises liability cases including but not limited to:

  • Slip and fall cases
  • Staircase accidents
  • Defective sidewalks, and/or manhole covers
  • Insufficient security

What to do if injured?

Under Florida law, if you have been injured on someone’s property, the first place to look is to see if you are a person to whom a duty is owed.

In Florida, if you have been injured on someone’s property because of their failure to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner, you can file a claim against them for compensation of your medical bills and future care and treatment. The legal standard that is used and given to juries in Florida to decide a property owner or residents negligence in premises liability cases,  under Florida Standard Jury Instructions,  401.20, is:

“whether the defendant negligently failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition,  or the defendant  negligently failed to correct a dangerous condition about which defendant either knew or should have known by the use of reasonable care or  negligently failed to warn the Plaintiff of a dangerous condition about which Defendant  had, or should have had, knowledge greater than that of Plaintiff  and, if so, whether such negligence was a legal cause of loss, injury to or damage to Plaintiff”

What if I am a renter, who is responsible where a third party is injured when I am renting a property? Landlord or tenant?

The landlord is responsible for dangerous conditions existing on the premises and is also responsible if he/she exercises control over the operation of the tenant. However, the tenant is responsible for operations conducted on the premises, as well as for dangerous conditions while in possession of the premises.

What if I am a tenant renting from a landlord and I am injured on the property I am renting, who is responsible landlord and tenant?

Here are some areas where a landlord is responsible:

  • A landlord has a duty to protect a tenant from reasonably foreseeable criminal conduct. T.W. v. Regal Trace, Ltd., 908 So.2d 499 (Fla. 4thDCA 2005.)
  • A landlord can be liable for a child’s burns from hot water which was being carried from the stove by the grandmother, when the landlord failed to repair the hot water heater. The duty to provide hot water imposed by an ordinance created the duty when breached. Lifter v. Varnado, 480 So.2d 1336 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991).
  • A landlord has a duty to deliver the premises in a safe condition and to make repairs of unsafe conditions upon notice of their existence by the tenant. Mansur v. Eubanks, 401 So.2d 1328 (Fla. 1981).

If you’ve been injured, get help!

If you or someone you know has been been injured due to someone’s failure to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner, contact the Attorneys of Michles & Booth today for a FREE case evaluation.


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