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The term premises liability is a broad category of personal injury negligence cases that arise on someone else’s property. Premises liability cases can include trip and falls, pool accidents, dog bites, and injuries arising out of a person’s furnishings, or when a property owner serves alcohol. The skilled premises liability attorneys at Kogan & DiSalvo could assess and develop a strategy to obtain the highest possible recovery for the injured victim. Since premises liability cases encompass such a broad spectrum of different types of accidents and injuries, attorneys handle each case differently. To learn more about the different types of Boca Raton premises liability cases, contact our office.
The various types of premises liability cases in Boca Raton can arise on anyone’s property. These properties can be private or public and can occur inside or outside any property building. Most commonly, accidents resulting in property liability cases occur:
By far the most frequent type of premises liability case is a slip and fall accident. The Boca Raton lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo have the experience to deal with any of these types of liability claims and could investigate an injured claimant’s case and help them pursue compensation.
A plaintiff must prove premises liability cases the same way that they would prove any negligence case. To prove negligence, an injured person must demonstrate the four elements of negligence: duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
In premises liability cases, the bulk of the arguments generally focus on the duty of care element in negligence theory. If a property owner owed no duty of care to the plaintiff to keep the premises safe, or if the condition that caused the plaintiff’s injury was not unreasonably dangerous, then the plaintiff cannot prove the “duty” element of negligence, and their claim may fail.
The legal status of a visitor to a property is crucial when a plaintiff tries to prove the duty of care element of negligence in a premises liability case. This is because a property owner’s duty to a plaintiff differs depending on the legal status of the plaintiff. Visitors on private property can be classified as trespassers, licensees, or invitees. This classification determines the duty of care owed to the visitor by the property owner.
A trespasser is someone who has no purpose of being one a certain property and, therefore, is typically on that property illegally. A trespasser can be more specifically defined as a discovered trespasser or an undiscovered trespasser. An undiscovered trespasser is a person who enters a property without invitation. The property owner does not detect this trespasser’s presence within 24 hours preceding the accident. When a landowner knows of the continued existence of a previous trespasser over a substantial period of time, this injured trespasser becomes categorized as an uninvited licensee.
The only duty a landowner owes to a trespasser or an uninvited licensee is to avoid willful or intentional harm to this person upon discovery of their presence. A proprietor also must warn them of any known dangers which would not be open to ordinary observation. The duty to warn an uninvited licensee or trespasser of a concealed danger known to the owner arises only when the owner discovers the entrant’s presence on the property.
A licensee is someone who enters a property for their benefit. This person’s presence is not sought or forbidden and is permitted or tolerated by the landowner. Some examples of a licensee may include a person entering a business to use the telephone or restroom or a neighbor cutting through a lawn to walk their dog.
An invitee is either a public invitee or a business visitor. A public invitee is a person invited to enter or remain on the property as a member of the public for the purpose for which the land is held open. A situation such as this one may include a citizen visiting a public park or library. A business visitor is a person who is invited to enter or remain on the premises for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with the property owner’s business dealings. Invitees also include anyone present on a premises via express or reasonably implied invitation of the property owners.
A property owner owes two duties to a business invitee. They are to use reasonable care in maintaining their premises in a safe condition, and they must give the invitee warning of concealed perils that are or should be known to the landowner. Business invitees may not know of these dangers and cannot discover them through the exercise of due care. The different kinds of Boca Raton property liability cases may affect how the law categorizes a claimant in a case, so it is important to speak with well-versed legal professionals when dealing with a premises liability case.
What is difficult to understand for most injured victims is that just because they were injured on someone else’s property does not automatically mean that the property owner is liable. State law establishes that landowners have no duty to plaintiffs in certain situations. If a person experiences an injury on someone else’s property, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can review the facts and advise the injured party if they have a strong premises liability case.
The legal professionals at Kogan & DiSalvo can help a claimant understand the different types of Boca Raton premises liability cases and can use this information to assist them in building a case. Contact our office for a free consultation on your case.
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