Premises Liability


When Is a Landowner Liable for Injury?

For a plaintiff (the injured person) to be successful in an action against a landowner, the plaintiff must prove the following:

  1. There was a condition of the defendant's (landowner's) property that presented an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;
  2. The defendant knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known, that the condition of his property involved an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises;
  3. The defendant should have anticipated that persons on the premises would not discover or realize the danger, or would otherwise fail to protect themselves against it;
  4. The defendant failed to correct or warn of the dangerous condition;
  5. The plaintiff was injured;
  6. The condition of the defendant's property was a cause of the injury to the plaintiff.

One of the more difficult elements for a plaintiff to prove is that the defendant knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. It is not necessary to prove that the landowner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition if there is evidence that the dangerous condition was created by the defendant, its agents (employees) or their activities. In such cases, the landowner has a duty to exercise ordinary care for the safety of those lawfully on the property. As notice of a dangerous condition is often the most difficult element of a premises liability action to prove, cases involving a defective condition created by the landowner may be more likely to succeed.

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Conclusion

The law in Florida governing the litigation of premises liability actions is complex. If you have fallen and suffered injury as the result of a condition of someone else's property, please contact our office so that we may discuss the details of your case with you. Only after a thorough assessment of the facts surrounding your fall may a determination be made as to whether you are entitled to compensation. 

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