Does my reason for being on the property at the time of the incident affect my rights in a claim for damages in Florida?
In the state of Florida, if you’ve been involved in a slip and fall case or anything on someone else’s property, any sort of accident on someone else’s property, your reason for being on that property may affect not only the duty owed to you by the property owner but also the value of your case as well as whether or not you have a case.
There are basically three categories of people that can be on someone else’s property in the state of Florida. The first one is trespasser. The second one is licensee. The final one is a business invitee. If you’re a trespasser on someone else’s property, typically you will not have a claim. If they’ve specifically told you you can’t be there, or there’s signs warning you “no trespassing” and you go there without permission or without authority from the property owner, most likely you will not have a claim assuming you’re injured on their property.
If you are a licensee, meaning that you’re on the property owned for residential purposes and you’re there with someone’s permission and you’re injured, the duty is actually less than that of a business invitee. There is a requirement that the property owner warn you of known hidden dangers that can cause you injury but there is no responsibility to do any sort of additional inspections of the property.
The final category that we mentioned is business invitee. This is for someone who is on the property that’s open for business. It could be a store, it could be an office. It could just be in the parking lot approaching that office or store. This is the highest duty owed in the state of Florida by a landowner to potential pedestrians. Basically what it allows for is the landowner must warn of known hidden dangers, and they must do reasonable inspections of the property to look for additional dangers that may have occurred over time.
Those are the three statuses, and if they may affect your rights we recommend that you seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney if you’ve been involved in a premises liability case, slip and fall, something that happened on someone else’s property in the state of Florida. Go see an attorney and check your status and they’ll give you an answer as to whether or not you have a claim, and what that claim may be worth.