Duty of care owed to business invitees.
In the State of Florida, property owners have a duty to make sure that their properties are safe for visitors. If a visitor is injured on someone else’s property, he or she may initiate a lawsuit against the property owner. The body of law that deals with these types of suits is known as premises liability law. Under premises liability law, property owners owe the highest level of care to business invitees when they enter their home for a business reason such as coming to a house to make repairs or engage in other types of work on the property.
In premises liability lawsuits, the injured party will try to prove that the injuries sustained were caused due to the property owner’s negligence, or the inability to maintain a safe environment for the business invitee. For a successful case, the injured person must prove that:
- A property owner knew of or created a dangerous condition,
- A property owner failed to remove or give warning to the dangerous condition,
- They were injured due to the dangerous condition.
There are times when a property owner may be unaware of a dangerous condition on their property, and if a business invitee notices a dangerous condition they should exercise reasonable care for their own safety. If the condition was caused by the property owner specific to your visit, that may have some bearing on damages recovered to remedy your injury.
Under Florida Statute 768.81, addressing comparative fault based on the negligence of the homeowner for failure to keep the property safe, the injured party can sue for damages, but the burden to prove that the fault of the homeowner caused the injury is on the injured party. The homeowner can also try to defend their position by claiming the business invitee worker was at fault for not exercising reasonable care.
In the State of Florida, the courts award both punitive damages and/or compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are those that will compensate a victim for a loss that can be measured or calculated; and punitive damages are those that will be a punishment to the person who caused the damage. Personal injury cases usually do not have punitive damages unless a willful act caused the damage; for example the homeowner closing the garage door on someone’s hand while they had their hand on the track.
Damages are classified as economic or non-economic.
Economic damages include: 1) medical expenses, lost income, property replacement values, loss of services, and funeral expenses related to loss of life due to the dangerous condition.
Non-economic damages include loss that is not financial in nature such as: 1) anxiety, 2) pain and suffering; 3) loss of capacity to enjoy life; and 4) inconvenience caused by the accident.
A hand injury can be very costly especially if it interferes with a person’s ability to continue to maintain their current business or employment, and it will be beneficial to have the professional experience and assistance of a personal injury lawyer who knows Florida laws and how to address your needs to remedy the injury through continued medical care.
Hire a lawyer.
Jeffrey A. Rosenberg is a qualified, skilled personal injury attorney who can help you gather the information needed to pursue your premises liability injury case due to homeowner negligence.
Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rosenberg
5255 North Federal Highway 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
Phone: (561) 508-8800