Here is a primer on Florida premises liability law.
What Are The Jacksonville Beach Premises Liability Basics?
The owner of a piece of land or property (such as a private business or home) has a legal responsibility to prevent people who enter that property from getting hurt. A classic case might involve a patron at a restaurant who slips on wet steps outside the restaurant, hurts her hip, and then sues the restaurant for damages stemming from this “slip and fall“.
Are all visitors on a piece of property considered the same, according to the law?
No. Plaintiffs are typically divided into one of three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Although property owners have legal obligations to all three visitors (yes, including trespassers), they owe the greatest duty of care to invitees, then to licenses, and then trespassers.
A closer examination of plaintiff classes
- An invitee is a person who enters a property or premises for business purposes. For instance, a customer who enters a bookstore to go shopping would be considered an invitee.
- A licensee is someone who is invited onto a property for a non-commercial purpose. For instance, a guest at a barbecue at your house will be considered a licensee.
- A trespasser is someone who enters a property without either implied or express invitation – for instance, someone who ignores a “no trespassing sign” to go swimming in your pool.
Many premises liability cases come down to plaintiff classification. Plaintiffs seek to prove that they belong to a class deserving of a high degree of protection. Conversely, defendants will often attempt to show that an injured party was a member of a “lower” class – a trespasser as opposed to a licensee, for instance.
To help prove that a premises owner had a high “degree of care” and violated this duty through negligence, carelessness, or gross disregard, you likely want to speak with a Jacksonville Beach premises liability attorney.
What steps should you take following a slip and fall or other premises liability accident?
- Collect information from witnesses (such as names, contact numbers and phone numbers).
- Remember and record statements from witnesses or employees, especially ones to the effect of, “I shouldn’t have mopped that floor before you fell.”
- Report your accident to the owner of the store or owner of the property.
- Record as much information as you can about the accident as soon as possible. Take pictures. If you don’t have a camera, ask someone else nearby who does to take pictures.
- If a manager writes up an incident report, or if the police write up an accident report, be sure to get a copy.
- Get medical help immediately – even if you feel like you are not “that hurt”. Often, newly injured people find themselves in a state of shock and underestimate the extent of their injuries.
What Can You Do For Legal Help?
Consult the battle proven attorneys of Farah & Farah by calling 904-834-4043. A free consultation can mean a world of difference for your case.