Premises Liability Information Center

Orlando Premises Liability Attorneys

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Frequently Asked Questions about Premises Liability

Q: What is premises liability?

A: Premises liability is the area of the law that establishes guidelines regarding duties that a property owner or occupier has to protect entrants from dangerous conditions or defects on the property. Premise liability claims are generally brought under a negligence theory. To establish negligence, an injured plaintiff must establish the existence of a duty by the defendant to conform to a specific standard of conduct; breach of that duty by the defendant; that this breach was the actual and proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and that the plaintiff was injured.

Q: What is a licensee?

A: Under common law principles, a licensee is a person who enters the premises with the landowner’s express or implied permission for his or her own purposes rather than for the landowner’s benefit. A social guest is considered a licensee. A property owner or occupier has a duty to warn licensees of dangerous conditions on the property that create an unreasonable risk of harm if the property owner or occupier knows about the condition and it is not likely to be discovered by the licensee.

The term “premises liability” refers to a situation where an individual is injured on property or “premises” owned or maintained by someone else.

Florida Premises Liability Attorneys

Owners and management personnel of shopping centers, parking garages, grocery stores, and other establishments open to the public have a duty to maintain safe conditions for visitors. Poor lighting, broken sidewalks, inadequate security, and slippery surfaces fail to protect people who may reasonably be expected to walk in these areas. An experienced premises liability lawyer is a valuable source of help, advice, and representation after a slip and fall accident or assault that occurred because of negligence of landlords or shopkeepers.

Contact Billings, Morgan & Boatwright, LLC, in Orlando, Florida, after you have suffered a serious injury or lost a family member who died as a result of a negligently maintained premises.

The following information about premises liability is provided as a courtesy and may or may not address your particular situation.

Premises Liability – An Overview

Every year, many people are hurt while in someone else’s home or place of business. People may be injured on a flight of stairs, on a patch of ice or snow, by a building defect, or by the intentional, criminal act of a third party. Premises liability is the area of the law that establishes guidelines regarding duties that a property owner or occupier has to protect entrants from dangerous conditions or defects on the property. Generally, the law provides that property owners must keep their premises reasonably safe for people who are on the property. If you have been injured while on property belonging to someone else, it is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Keeping the Premises Safe

A property owner or a person in possession of property has a legal responsibility for the safety of the premises. These responsibilities vary from state to state, and they vary based on how the entrant to the property is classified. An experienced attorney can advise you regarding the applicable duties of the property owner.

Toxic Substances on the Property

Toxic substances may include numerous things, including some you may not think of as particularly hazardous or some that were not regarded as dangerous when they were used. Examples include such common products as asbestos shingles or insulation, lead-based paint, mold and fluids drained from motor vehicles. The law regarding premises liability for toxic substances is complex and to ensure that you receive the most accurate and current advice, you should consult with an experienced attorney.

Criminal Acts by Third Parties

A common type of premise liability case arises where a person is injured by the intentional, criminal acts of a third party while on another’s property. Generally, a landowner does not have a duty to protect people on his or her property from criminal acts by third persons, absent a special relationship. A commercial property owner is not an insurer of the safety of the customers entering the space, and has no duty to protect against unforeseeable criminal actions. If you were injured after a criminal attack by a third party while on the property of another, an experienced premises liability attorney can explain your legal options.

Liability of Tenants and Landlords

There are situations in which it might be advisable to include both a tenant and landlord as defendants in a premises liability suit. For example, if you are injured in a store, but the store owner is a tenant and the shopping center is actually owned by a separate landlord. Another example is if you are injured while visiting a friend’s apartment. Generally, a landlord owes tenants a duty to use reasonable care and a duty to tenants and visitors to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. If you have questions about the potential liability of a landlord or tenant, contact an experienced premises liability attorney.

Duties Owed By Property Owners and Occupiers

In many states, property owners and possessors owe different degrees of responsibility, or duties, to people who come onto their property, depending on how such people are categorized. The law recognizes three main categories of people who might be on someone else’s property: invitees, licensees and trespassers. In states that still distinguish among these categories of people, the legal duty owed by the property owner or occupier to each category is different. It is important to speak to an experienced premises liability attorney about whether your classification as an entrant will affect your ability to recover for your injuries.

Premises Liability Resource Links

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Features labor data, surveys, publications and more.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Health Topic: Injury and Violence
Features information on accident and injury causes, prevention and statistics.

Features articles on accident prevention and safety. Sponsored by the US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

National Safety Council
Features home, environment and workplace safety resources.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
This Web site has information and links about preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.