What Is Premises Liability?

December 5, 2015 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
What Is Premises Liability? Premises liability is the responsibility that a property owner has to maintain a safe environment for any guests that visit his or her property. A property owner is liable for any damages that a victim incurs in a preventable accident that occurs on the property. For example, if a victim falls on a piece of unsecured carpet in a home and breaks her leg, she can seek compensation for all expenses related to that broken leg through a premises liability claim. Premises liability is more complicated than this, though. It involves issues of negligence[1] on both the property owner's and the victim's parts, reasonable efforts to create a safe environment, and the property owner's duty of care to the victim. To better understand these terms and how they are applicable to your individual case, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after you have received adequate medical attention for your injury.

Examples of Premises Liability Cases

Any time an individual is injured because of a hazardous condition on a piece of property that could reasonably have been removed by the property's owner, the victim could be entitled to a premises liability claim for monetary compensation to cover his or her losses. In cases where a hazard exists and the property owner is aware of it, but cannot reasonably remove that hazard, the property owner has the duty to clearly mark that hazard on his or her property to prevent accidents from occurring. An example of this type of hazard is a raised root of a large tree that poses a tripping hazard to guests – instead of cutting the root and potentially killing the tree, the property owner can use bright signage or caution tape to warn guests of the tripping hazard. Other dangerous conditions that can exist on an individual's property and pose a risk of injury to visitors include:
  • Broken stairs or railings;
  • Wet surfaces;
  • Leaf buildup;
  • Sinkholes and other indents in the ground concealed by grass or other plant matter;
  • Overgrown bushes and trees;
  • Ponds, streams, and other bodies of water that can become concealed by fallen leaves;
  • Unfenced pools;
  • Uneven carpeting;
  • Unsecured electrical cords;
  • Fire pits that are not well secured;
  • Gas leaks.
An injury can occur inside or outside. If you have been injured by an accident caused by a property owner's negligence, seek medical attention for your injury as soon as possible. Do not contact an attorney until you have received a diagnosis for your injury and appropriate medical treatment. In Florida, you have four years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. This is known as the statute of limitations.[2]

Duty of Care

Many states have a principle known as “duty of care”[3] in place to gauge how liable a property owner is for a victim's injuries that occur on his or her property. Under this doctrine, social guests and those on the property for business purposes are owed a much higher duty of care than trespassers, meaning that a property owner is much more likely to be required to pay for damages to an authorized guest than a trespasser. Trespassers are not without any legal protection, though. If a trespasser can prove that he or she was injured by a trap set by the property owner or any other hazard that was intentionally created, he or she may be able to recover damages. Additionally, children who trespass are generally afforded greater legal recourse for seeking compensation than trespassing adults.

St. Petersburg Premises Liability Attorneys

If you have been injured in an accident on another individual's property that he or she could reasonably have prevented by taking better care of the property, you could have grounds for a premises liability claim. After you have received a proper diagnosis and treatment for your injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to begin discussing your claim. Contact the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm to learn more about your options for pursuing a premises liability claim. We can provide you with the compassionate legal guidance and representation you need as you pursue your personal injury claim. Do not wait to make the call – contact our firm today at (727) 472-3909 to get started on your case with us. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 1663 1st Ave S. St. Petersburg, FL 33712 (727) 472-3909 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/premises-liability-lawyer/ References: [1] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligence [2] https://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html [3] https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/duty_of_care


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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