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Premises Liability


Gainesville Premises Liability Attorney

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Premises liability is a broad term encompassing a variety of cases in which the victim of an accident, involving personal injury or wrongful death, seeks damages for their injury or loss against a person or entity that owns or controls the property where the accident occurred. Gainesville Premises Liability attorneys, of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., represent the victims and family members of those injured or killed as the result of the negligent actions of another.

Most civil actions involving premises liability  are based upon a theory of negligence, but some civil matters may also involve an assessment of violations of criminal law, to the extent necessary to prove liability and damages. As a preliminary consideration, it is helpful to know that a party need not have ownership of r property in order to seek damages for injury or death. Rather, it is reasonableness of the person or entity in control, or otherwise having responsibility for the maintenance, supervision, and overall safety of the premises, that is critical in premises liability actions.

Just a few of the types of Premises Liability claims are:

      • Slip and fall accidents
      • Trip and fall accidents
      • Step and fall accidents
      • Failure to supervise
      • Failure to secure property
      • Failure to notify of dangerous condition

Most commonly, premises liability cases involve an injury or death occurring at a business establishment or location open to the public, or on an individual’s private property. A land owner, or other individual having possession and control of a particular property, owes certain duties to individuals who come onto their property. The precise duty owed is dependent upon on the relationship between the property owner or person controlling the property, and the person who enters the property.

This relationship can be thought of as a person’s status, or right to be on a particular piece of property. Florida delineates those who enter onto property into three main categories: (1) Invitee; (2) Discovered trespasser; and (3) Undiscovered trespasser.

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 768.075(3)(a)(1), an invitee, or individual that has entered land upon invitation, “means that the visitor entering the premises has an objectively reasonable belief that he or she has been invited or is otherwise welcome on that portion of the real property where injury occurs.”

Invitees may be social guests that you have invited to your home, but invitees also include delivery persons, utility workers, or other individuals that the average reasonable person would expect has a right to enter the property. In addition, invitee status is given to those present at places which are open to the public, such as a beach, park, business, or other establishment accessible to the general public.

Although the general category of invitee can be further distinguished into three visitor statuses—public invitee; business invitee; and licensee by invitation—the same duty is owed by an owner to all types of invitees. This duty requires the premise owner to correct or warn of dangers that are either known or should be known of through the use of reasonable care, and which the visitor cannot or should not know of by their use of reasonable care. In general, those who own, occupy or are in control of land, have a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition.

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Premise liability actions also can involve trespassers, whether discovered or undiscovered. A discovered trespasser is an uninvited person, whose physical presence was discovered upon the property within 24 hours preceding an accident. An undiscovered trespasser is an uninvited person, whose presence on the property was not known within 24 hours preceding the accident.

A land owner has a duty to warn discovered trespassers, but no duty to warn undiscovered trespassers, of dangerous conditions. In addition, a land owner must refrain from engaging in intentional misconduct towards all trespassers, and liability cannot be avoided for discovered trespassers if the property owner has acted in a grossly negligent manner.

Premises Liability accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. They can involve injury or death caused by objects that have fallen, collapsed, or are protruding in a dangerous manner. They can also involve negligent maintenance or security, slip & falls, as well as dangerous conditions that a child may be enticed by, known as an ‘attractive nuisance.’

Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents or Premises Liability Claims:

      • Wet Flooring
      • Torn carpets
      • Broken deck
      • Broken sidewalks
      • Inadequate lighting
      • Changes to a surface without warning
      • Electrical wiring or power cords
      • Lack of fencing
      • Inadequate security

If you were injured, or a loved one was killed while on public or private property, you should safeguard your legal right to recovery by discussing your matter with a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Attorney experienced in Premises Liability Accidents. With more than 30 years of combined experience, our team of dedicated Premises Liability Lawyers want to seek the justice that you and your family deserve.