By: Chris Reynolds
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Homeowner and Business Owner Liability for Injuries to Visitors on Property in Florida
It is common for homeowners to invite people into their home for many reasons. Whether it is a birthday party, having friends over to watch football, enjoying a home-cooked meal with friends, or any of the other times we invite people into our homes, the homeowner should know the extent of their liability if one of the visitors sustains an injury like a slip and fall.
Injuries to visitors can strain relationships with friends, especially with serious injuries that can lead to medical bills, loss of wages from employment, and many other negative things for the injured person and their family.
Injuries in these situations often occur due to trip and falls and slip and falls, though there are endless ways people are injured on the property of another. If you do sustain injury on the property of another, you may have a Florida premises liability claim to recover compensation for your injuries to pay for damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Whether the injury is at a home that is owned or rented, there is often insurance that may provide different types of coverage for your injuries.
Please know, however, that the liability portion of the insurance for the property does not just automatically pay for your injuries. You must prove that something on the property caused the injury, that the insurance policy covers that type of situation, that the homeowner or landlord is liable for the injuries, that your injuries were caused by the incident, and how much compensation those injuries deserve.
Generally, a homeowner or landlord has a duty to ensure that the property is safe for visitors, and to warn of any dangerous conditions on the property. If the homeowner or landlord knows about a hazardous condition on the property and fails to make it safe or to warn the people that enter the property, the property owner or landlord may be liable for the injuries to the visitor, with the insurance company then becoming liable to compensate the injured visitor.
For a business, the duty to customers is even higher. The law generally is written to protect patrons to a business, so any business owner should have sufficient insurance to pay for injuries to customers. Specifically, Florida has a ”foreign transitory substance” law that essentially states that a business property owner can be liable for injuries sustained due to substances (often liquids on the floor) that the store either knew about or should have known about and either failed to clean up or at least warn customers of the danger. One of the best ways for businesses to protect themselves is to ensure that they have set times each day to inspect their premises to look for any spills or other dangers to customers, as well as having all employees constantly looking out for any dangers as they work throughout the day.
An experienced premises liability attorney will analyze all of these components and present to and negotiate with the insurance company to maximize the compensation to the recovery to the injured person and make the injured party whole.