Doug / 11-22-2010 / Newsletter

What to Do About Injuries Suffered on Another’s Property

People can suffer an injury on another’s property in numerous ways. Some of the more common ways include: slipping on a wet floor in a store, falling down a poorly lit stairwell, tripping over debris and assaults due to inadequate safety measures in an apartment complex.

Recent lawsuits from across the country demonstrate how people can suffer from injuries while on another’s property. A Los Angeles jury awarded a family over $10 million for the death of their daughter in a parking lot accident. A parent of another child at the school was backing her van out of a handicapped spot when she lost control of the vehicle and struck the girl who was sitting on the sidewalk. The girl’s family alleged that officials negligently designed and built the parking lot and that the school district knew it was dangerous because of weekly complaints about how chaotic the lot was.

An Illinois man sued Wal-Mart after he fell in a restroom and suffered injuries to his head, hip, neck and back, which cost him thousands in medical bills. His lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart failed to inspect its men’s restroom where water had been accumulating. An Orlando personal injury attorney can provide guidance if you or a loved one has suffered an injury on another’s property.

Florida Premises Liability Law

Premises liability refers to the liability of property owners when guests or others are on the owners’ property. It applies to neighbors as well as business and commercial property owners.

Whether you can recover money if you suffer an injury on someone else’s property depends on why you were on that property. The law divides people into several categories:

  • Business invitees. These are people who are on a property in order to conduct some type of business. If you are shopping in a grocery store, you are a business invitee, for example. The law affords the greatest protections to business invitees. Property owners must keep their property in a safe condition, regularly inspect their property and fix or provide notice to invitees of any unsafe conditions.
  • Licensees. These people are also guests on a property, but are not there to conduct business that would benefit the landowner. If someone invites you over for a party, you would be a licensee. The standards for property owners towards licensees are slightly less than towards business invitees. For licensees, property owners must keep their property reasonably safe and should warn their guests of any known dangers.
  • Trespassers. The law provides the least protections for people who are on another’s property illegally. A property owner must avoid taking actions that could kill or seriously injure a trespasser, such as setting a trap that launches a projectile.

Within these categories, however, a particular situation can be tricky if, for example, children are involved. The law often requires that property owners take more steps to prevent children from injury in a swimming pool or on playground equipment, for instance.

Florida is also one of the states that has a recreational use statute, which aims to limit liability for property owners who make their property available for free, recreational purposes. The recreational use statute can be a hurdle for people injured on another’s property. To learn more about receiving compensation for injuries suffered on someone else’s property, contact an Orlando personal injury lawyer at Wooten Kimbrough, P.A.

Disclaimer: All verdicts and settlements listed here are gross amounts before deductions for attorney fees and costs. Past results do not guarantee similar results in the future. Most cases result in a lower recovery. It should not be assumed that your case will have as beneficial a result. Before choosing a lawyer, ask for written information about the lawyer's legal qualifications and experience.