When a person gets hurt on someone else’s property, a number of thoughts are likely to run through his or her mind. Some of the top concerns are often related to the injuries sustained at the time of the incident, as well as determining who will ultimately be held legally and financially responsible for paying for any medical attention and/or treatment needed.
That said, it is important for harmed individuals to remember that they have rights under the law. When it comes to premises liability, the level of care owed by property owners to others on their property is based on the type of guest they are entertaining.
Injury lawyers who handle premises liability cases and other related issues know that those who own property are required to ensure their property is as safe and secure as possible. In fact, Florida law requires all property owners to fix any and all known hazards, as well as use proper signage to warn people of those dangers.
When an individual is hurt on improperly-maintained property, he or she may be entitled to receive compensation for the injury sustained — especially if it can be shown that the property owner was negligent in his or her care of the property.
What are the Levels of Care Owed to Others?
Property owners owe varying levels of care to those entering their property. Typically, visitors can be classified as trespassers, licensees or invitees.
Many people are quick to assume that if a person is trespassing on another’s property, that person is out of luck if something happens on that property to cause him or her harm or injury. However, you should be aware that, even though a person is trespassing, the property ownerstill owes the individual a certain amount of care. Admittedly, though, the level of care owed is much lower than the care owed to licensees or invitees.
Consider this: If a property owner discovers a trespasser on the premises, the owner is still obligated to warn the trespasser of any known dangers the trespasser may not observe on his or her own.
Licensees typically include people such as family members, friends and social guests who are asked by the owner to come to the premises for non-business reasons and stay there for a period of time.
Even when a property owner deals with licensees, he or she is still responsible for repairing hazardous conditions and performing adequate maintenance on the premises. It should be noted, however, that owners are generally only liable to harmed licensees for known dangers — not dangers of which they should have been aware.
Invitees are those who are asked to come to the property and stay there for a period of time for business purposes. For instance, customers at retail stores are considered invitees because the store usually “invites” the public to come on the premises to purchase goods.
People entering the premises as invitees should be aware that the property owner owes them the highest level of care. Commercial business owners are expected to check their properties and warn customers of unsafe conditions. Such owners who fail to properly inspect their property can be held liable under the law for any injuries incurred by others.
Naples injury attorneys like Ryan Kuhl at The Kelleher Firm can help you or your loved ones seek the just compensation deserved to cover things such as lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and even wrongful death. Contact us today to discuss your case.