Defective Property Conditions
An unsuspecting adult or child may be seriously hurt when a property owner fails to adequately maintain premises under its control. Defective conditions can include crumbling or missing steps, slippery floors, broken sidewalks, poorly maintained doors or windows, broken handrails, and loose tiles. The experienced premises liability attorneys of the Dean Law Firm represent individuals who have been injured on other people's property in Ocala and the surrounding area. Some of our clients also come from communities like Crystal River and The Villages.Hold Property Owners Accountable for Defective Conditions
All property owners in Florida are responsible for keeping their premises in a reasonably safe condition. This usually means that they must fix or warn of hazards on the property. Your ability to bring a lawsuit for injuries caused by defective conditions may hinge on your status as a visitor. Most people are classified as invitees, licensees, or trespassers.
Invitees are visitors to a building or area who are there for the commercial benefit of the property owner or occupier. They include patrons of retail stores, guests of a hotel, or diners at a restaurant. They are owed the highest level of care. Invitees must be protected from dangerous conditions, including those of which the owner or occupier did not actually know but should have known.
Licensees are visitors to a piece of property who are there for non-business purposes. For example, someone attending a birthday party at a friend’s house would be considered a licensee. Property owners must protect them against known dangerous conditions. For example, if a handrail is known to be broken, the licensee must be warned.
Trespassers are people who are on the property unlawfully. Owners or occupiers who are aware of them need only refrain from intentionally hurting them or acting with gross negligence. However, if the trespasser is a child, additional measures may be needed to protect him or her under the attractive nuisance doctrine. This rule may apply when children are likely to trespass in the area, and they are too young to understand the risk posed by something there that would appeal to them. For example, an open swimming pool may be a property condition from which unsuspecting children need to be protected.
If a property owner or occupier owes you a duty of care and breaches it, you may be able to sue for compensation. You would need to establish that the defendant failed to exercise appropriate care based on your visitor status, this failure caused your accident, and you incurred actual damages. When these elements are successfully established, you can potentially recover types of compensation like past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
The statute of limitations for bringing a premises liability lawsuit is four years from the date of your accident. If you do not take legal action within this time, you likely will find that you cannot recover compensation.Ocala Attorneys Knowledgeable in Slip and Fall Cases
At the Dean Law Firm, we have proudly represented numerous people near Ocala who have been injured by slip and falls on the property of another individual or entity. Premises liability cases can be particularly challenging for plaintiffs in Florida, but we have substantial experience establishing the elements of these claims and asserting victims’ right to compensation. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form. We represent clients from throughout Florida, including in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.