Property owners in Florida have a responsibility to maintain their premises in reasonably safe condition in order not to harm individuals who enter their land. If you or someone close to you has been hurt due to inadequately maintained property, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our premises liability attorneys have years of experience helping people in the Fort Myers area and beyond pursue injury claims, and we can help you as well. We are proud of providing knowledgeable legal guidance and zealous representation.Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable for Damages
Inadequate maintenance may include a variety of unsafe conditions on a piece of property, such as broken locks, loose handrails, spills not cleaned up promptly or properly, uneven or broken stairs, cracked floors or sidewalks, improperly stacked merchandise, insufficient security, and poor lighting. Any of these situations can potentially lead to an individual being hurt on the premises. For example, a spill not being cleaned up properly could lead to a slip and fall accident.
In the state of Florida, property owners have a duty to make reasonable inspections of their premises for potentially dangerous conditions. This duty of care varies depending on the status of the visitor on the property. Individuals are classified in three categories: an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
An invitee is a person who enters the land for a business purpose, such as a customer in a store. They are owed the highest duty of care. With respect to invitees, the property owner has a duty to inspect the premises on a regular basis, warn the invitee of potentially hazardous conditions, and provide sufficient security in areas where there may be a risk of crime. A licensee is an individual who has permission to be on the premises for a non-business purpose, such as a social guest. Property owners have a duty to warn licensees of known dangers but are not obliged to seek out hidden dangers on the land. A trespasser is someone who enters land without the owner’s express or implied permission. A trespasser is owed the lowest duty of care. A property owner must not intentionally cause harm to the trespasser. There are, however, certain exceptions when it comes to child trespassers when a higher duty of care is owed.
In order to prevail on a premises liability claim, the victim must establish the following elements:
- The property owner owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The property owner breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff;
- The property owner’s breach was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- The plaintiff suffered quantifiable damages as a result.
An individual who prevails on an inadequate maintenance claim can potentially recover damages for the harm he or she suffered. The amount of compensation will depend on the nature and extent of the injuries. Typically, a person can recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, the costs of future treatment, and more.Protect Your Rights by Consulting a Fort Myers Attorney after an Accident
At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our injury lawyers work hard on behalf of Fort Myers residents and other individuals throughout Florida. Let us assert your legal rights while you focus on the healing process. We also serve clients from Naples, Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, Port Charlotte, and communities across Collier County. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 283-7442 or contact us through our online form today.