Premises liability is a legal concept within personal injury law in which an individual is injured on someone else’s property due to certain unsafe or defective conditions. In the State of Florida, property owners have a duty to ensure safe conditions of their property for visitors, especially for children. If a visitor becomes injured on someone else’s property, he or she may file a claim against the property owner. If your child becomes injured due to the negligence of a Florida property owner, our Gainesville child injury law firm can provide you with comprehensive counsel throughout each step of filing a claim for premises liability on behalf of your child.
The majority of personal injury counsel retains a primary focus on adult injury cases — the premises liability attorneys with our firm specialize in child injury cases for minors ranging in age from infants to teenagers, in addition to injured minors’ parents and guardians, among other family members. Contact our firm today to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys.
Florida Premises Liability Laws
Under Florida law, both homeowners and business owners must maintain their property to a reasonable degree, which includes performing repairs on hazardous areas and providing notice of known hazards to visitors. If legally required steps are not taken by property owners to ensure the safe conditions of their property, and a child is injured as a result, the child’s parents and/or guardian may file a premises liability claim through the property owner’s insurance or litigate the claim in court during a personal injury lawsuit. The statute of limitations on filing a claim for premises liability in Florida — as per Florida Statutes § 91.11 — is four years. If a child died due to the negligence of a property owner, the deceased child’s parents or guardians may file a wrongful death claim for which the statute of limitations to file is two years.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
Children are often more susceptible than adults to sustaining severe injuries, from which the consequences may be enduring or even fatal. Our child injury attorneys in Gainesville have the experience and skill required to manage each aspect of all types of child premises liability claims, including the following. Contact us today to receive an evaluation of your case.
- Safety Code Violations
- Amusement Park Accidents
- Faulty Lighting Accidents
- Medical Negligence
- Swimming Pool Accidents
- Unsafe Stairwell Conditions
Required Elements Of Proof For Premises Liability Claims
The personal injury lawyers with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. are committed to assisting clients in determining whether they have a viable claim for premises liability and providing them with comprehensive guidance throughout each phase of the case. In all types of premises liability cases, the specific circumstances of the child’s accident aids our lawyers in determining whether the sustained injuries in fact resulted due to the negligence of the property owner. If the evidence sufficiently identifies the property owner as the party responsible for the child’s injuries, the child’s parents or guardians may be eligible to file a premises liability claim and recover compensation for the injuries sustained. Compensation from a premises liability claim may include damages for medical treatment (both immediate and long-term); future lost wages due to the inability to become employed in time following the accident; extra or specialized child care and maintenance; among other types of compensation. Cases which involve negligence per se have a lower standard of proof that must be met in a premises liability case, as these types of negligent acts inherently violate one or more Florida laws, and as a result, the negligence of the property owners is immediately established. In other cases, the key to determining whether a claim of property owner negligence can be sufficiently established is the duty of care and responsibility owned to the injured child at the time of the accident and sustained injuries.
How To Determine Property Owner Negligence
There are three aspects of an accident which are vital to determining the course of action for a premises liability case — whether the victim is at fault of negligence; whether negligence by the property owner occurred; and the reasonable duty of care owed to the injured child at the time of the accident. Florida courts assign varying degrees of responsibility to property owners to visitors within their property, which comprise invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Determining The Status Of The Visitor
Traditional negligence and premises liability processes typically apply to adults as well as to minors. Florida courts consult the child’s status on the property when determining whether he or she may recover damages for their injuries. The highest duty of care is owed to children who are deemed “invitees” and “licensees” or social guests — liability may be easier to prove in cases which involve injured children who were invited to the property which contains a dangerous or hazardous condition. A lesser duty of care is typically owed to children who are deemed “trespassers” during the time of their injury. However, a property owner must sufficiently provide warning to children of hazardous conditions on the property if the owner knew or should have known that children of any status may be on their property. The attractive nuisance doctrine applies to minors who trespass and become injured while on someone else’s property.
What Is An Attractive Nuisance?
In most cases in which a trespasser is injured on another person’s property, the property owner is often protected against claims of negligence and premises liability. However, according to Florida law, there are certain circumstances in which a landowner is liable for injuries to a child who trespasses onto their land. Typically, a landowner may be liable for a minor trespasser’s injuries if: the property owner knows or has reason to know that the area in which a dangerous condition exists is where a minor might trespass; the dangerous condition is known or should be known to cause unreasonable risk of harm to a child; due to their young age, the child does not realize, understand, or comprehend the risks involved with the dangerous condition; the risk posed to a child is greater than the burden of eliminating the danger; and the property owner fails to act with reasonable care to remove the danger or to protect the child from the danger. The aforementioned exceptions are Florida’s version of the attractive nuisance doctrine.
What To Do When Your Child Is Injured On Someone Else’s Property
If your child is involved in an accident while one someone else’s property and becomes injured as a result, the primary step is to seek immediate medical attention. In addition to the child’s health being the most significant priority, medical documentation of the child’s injuries is required for evidence if you plan to file a claim with a premises liability attorney. Once the child is safe and has received the necessary medical attention, retain an experienced child injury lawyer prior to expiration for filing a suit based on Florida’s statute of limitation laws. It’s in both your and your child’s best interests to consult with a child injury lawyer with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. to handle your case and help ensure the best possible result to your case. To schedule a free consultation, please contact our Gainesville attorneys today.