Delray Beach’s home and property owners, and even individuals who do not own property but control it, have a legal obligation to keep their premises safe so others who go lawfully onto the property will not be harmed.
Anyone who sustains an injury on someone else’s property should call a Delray Beach premises liability lawyer at Kgan & DiSalvo for a no obligation consultation to evaluate the incident and determine if a lawsuit can prevail.
Experienced personal injury lawyers in Delray Beach are going to be well-versed in this area of law and can work hard on your case.
Premises Liability Laws in Florida
Florida’s premises liability law requires that property owners or controllers who know about a hazard and do not correct it or warn others who come onto the property about the hazard, will be held financially responsible for any injury or death that occurs.
However, if the property owner or controller did not know about the hazard or had no reason to know the hazard existed and therefore could not foresee anyone being hurt, then the property owner or controller is not liable for the harm caused.
Making a Claim
To have a legal right to claim compensation, the injured party must have had permission to be on the property. Permission under Florida law has three general classifications – invited guests, visitors, and trespassers. More specifically:
- Public invitee: These are people who enter places that are open to the public for specific purposes, such as grocery stores, sporting stadiums, and parks
- Business invitee: People conducting business on the property or those hired by the property owner to perform work there
- Licensee by invitation: This is a guest who is in a home for socializing
- Uninvited licensee: This is a person who visits a property uninvited and for their own convenience such as a door-to-door sales call
- Trespasser: A person who comes onto property without the owner’s permission for their own particular reason
Anyone who is injured while on someone else’s property must prove:
- Authorization to be on the property at the time of the injury
- The property owner or controller had “constructive knowledge,” defined as knowing of a fact, that the hazard was there
- The property owner or controller failed to remove or repair the hazard
- The hazard caused the injury
- Monetary damages occurred
The property owner or controller does not have a legal responsibility to keep a trespasser from harm while on the property. Trespassing on someone’s property is unlawful.
Another exception is school children who cut across property en route to and from school, who are called “known trespassers.” But if the property owner or controller knows the children use the property for a shortcut then liability does exist if any harm happens.
Some types of property, such as construction sites and homes with water features and/or swimming pools, are known to attract children. The attraction can also cause harm, such as falling in a hole or a construction site. In conditions where both attraction and threat exist, the property owner or controller is liable for any harm that results.
How a Delray Beach Premises Liability Attorney Can Help
A Delray Beach premises liability lawyer will first send a letter to the offending party demanding damages. If that is not successful, the attorney will develop evidence to prove that the property owner or controller had liability and prepare for a lawsuit.
Many civil cases are settled between the parties and in that situation, the attorney will aggressively negotiate a fair settlement.