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What Is a St. Petersburg Premises Liability Case?

The Florida statute, Title XLV, chapter 768, discusses premises liability[1]:

“If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it. Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:

(a) The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or

(b) The condition occurred with regularity and was, therefore, foreseeable.

(2) This section does not affect any common-law duty of care owed by a person or entity in possession or control of a business premises.”

Under Florida’s premises liability law, property owners are required to maintain their property in a safe condition in order to prevent injuries to visitors and guests.   Premises liability laws apply to homeowners, small business owners, property managers of large commercial properties including shopping malls and hotels as well as grocery store owners and restaurants.

Premises liability cases take on many different forms:

〜    Failure to maintain the premises
〜    Amusement park accidents
〜    Swimming pool accidents
〜    Defective conditions on the premises
〜    Water leaks or flooding
〜    Elevator and escalator accidents
〜    Slip and fall accidents

Classifying a St. Petersburg Victim

Under Florida law, the amount an owner can be required to pay as compensation to a victim depends, in part, on how the victim is legally classified:

Invitees: An individual that is invited onto a Florida property receives the maximum level of protection under premises liability laws. The Florida Bar [2] divides this into two subcategories:

Public invitee: A person who is invited to enter or remain on land as a member of the public for a purpose for which the land is held open to the public.

Business invitee:  A person who is invited to enter or remain on land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land.

  • Licensees: Individuals who choose to come upon the premises solely for their own convenience without invitation either expressed or reasonably implied under the circumstances.  A landowner owes far less of a duty to licensees compared to invitees.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser on Florida land does not have the same level of protection under premises liability laws as those individuals that are invited onto the property by the owner.  Someone who enters the premises of another without license, invitation, or other right, and intrudes for some definite purpose of his own, or at his own convenience, or merely as an idler with no apparent purpose, other than perhaps to satisfy his curiosity.  As with the owner’s legal duty toward uninvited licensees, the owner’s meager duty toward a trespasser is to refrain from inflicting willful or wanton injury.

One exception to the trespasser category concerns a minor child.  If a property owner is unaware of a child trespasser and has no reason to suspect such a presence, ordinary rules regarding trespassers may apply. However, if a child trespasser is discovered or if the property owner has knowledge children are likely to trespass, property owners must exercise reasonable care, warn children of any known, existing dangers on site and prevent children from being exposed to dangerous conditions.

St. Petersburg Premises Liability Attorneys

When serious injury or death occurs as a result of encountering a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, there is a possibility that the incident could give rise to a premises liability lawsuit.  If you or a child in your life were injured, it is important to speak to a St. Petersburg premises liability attorney to discuss the different complex legal classifications that apply to these types of cases.  The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group are skilled premises liability attorneys and they are ready to review and evaluate your case.  Contact Dolman Law Group today at 727-222-6922 to schedule your free legal case evaluation and consultation.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922



[1] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.0755.html
[2] http://www.floridabar.org/divcom/jn/jnjournal01.nsf/Author/F5EDDA415D032B218525767E0071DA90