When you sign a lease, whether for an apartment or an office space, your landlord accepts the role of providing a safe work or living environment. You have the right to a safe, well-maintained workspace or home, and the law is clear on the responsibilities of landlords. If you are a visitor to a home or business, you may also be protected by premises liability law in Florida.
Florida Premises Liability
Florida, just like every state, has premises liability laws in place to protect occupants. These types of claims are considered a specific form of negligence under Florida law. In order to claim negligence, you must prove:
- The property owner or landlord owed you a “duty of care.”
- The duty of care was breached by the property owner or landlord.
- The breach led to injury.
- Actual damage as a result of the breach.
Under Florida law, not everyone on the property is afforded the same duty of care. It depends on the reason the injured person is on the property. For instance, invitees are persons who enter the property for a legitimate business purpose, such as a business client, customer or vendor. Licensees are people who have permission to be on the property for a social purpose, such as dinner or birthday party guests.
Trespassers are those who do not have permission to be on the property at all. The highest duty of care is due to invitees, followed by licensees. Trespassers, since they do not have permission to be on the premises, are due the least duty of care.
Duty of Care Breach
In order to make the claim of premises liability, you must establish that the duty of care has been breached. If you are a store customer and become injured due to a faulty handrail, broken stair or other hazard, you must establish that the property owner or landlord was aware of the situation and did not make necessary repairs. This may require gathering video surveillance, speaking to employees and gathering expert witnesses.
If you are the guest of a resident and become injured on the property, the same process is warranted. Duty of care can also include inadequate security measures, such as faulty or missing security cameras, lack of lighting in parking areas, providing proper security in high-crime areas or broken building window and door locks. These safety breaches can lead to injury and can also lead to an increased risk of robbery or sexual assault.
Property owners and landlords carry a large safety burden, and if they are negligent in their maintenance or repairs, avoidable accidents can happen. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury on a rental property, contact Ligori & Ligori to discuss your case. Our team has years of experience in premises liability and can help you seek the compensation you deserve. You have the right to be safe while shopping, working or enjoying the amenities of your property. Call us today at (813) 254-7119 to schedule your free consultation.
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