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Premises Liability

Law Offices of Lewis & Williams

Premises Liability

The abundant beauty of Florida has resulted in a booming tourism industry, with hotels, shopping, and restaurants surrounding the national and state parks, theme parks, historic sites, lakes, and waterways across the state. 


Unfortunately, such tourism brings with it potentially hidden dangers for locals and tourists alike.  While most business owners are conscientious about customer safety, many fail to take proper steps to make their premises safe.  In Florida, the owner or operator of a business, or premises open for public use, must use reasonable care to make the premises safe and to warn of dangerous conditions. 


If a business owner creates -- or becomes aware of -- a dangerous condition on his or her premises and does not take steps to fix or warn of the condition, he or she may be responsible for injuries caused by the dangerous condition. Premises liability is a term used to describe the legal responsibility that a landowner and tenants of a property have for injuries and accidents that occur on their property. 



Slip and fall accidents are this nation's single largest cause of emergency room visits and the third most common type of workplace injury. They can arise from: 


  •     Wet floors

  •     Falls from unsafe equipment or buildings

  •     Inadequate lighting

  •     Inadequate handholds or missing hand rails

  •     Improperly maintained walking surfaces such as uneven or cracked sidewalks

  •     Poorly maintained steps

  •     Substandard hallway or staircase floor covering

  •     Defective design, maintenance, or operation of a swimming pool, playground, hot tub, deck, theme park ride, gas or service station, putt-putt course, theater, or go-cart track

  •     Daycare and playground accidents

  •     Dangerous substances such as mold or toxic chemicals


The premises liability attorneys at Lewis & Williams are experienced in proving cases of slip and falls and other accidents where:


  •     The property owner was responsible for unsafe conditions resulting in a slip and fall injury.

  •     The property owner, though aware that hazardous conditions existed on the property, failed to correct these conditions.

  •     The property owner knew or should have known about the danger since a reasonable person would have discovered the problem and taken steps to prevent injuries.



Don't be swayed by the claims of attorneys promising fast cash and no hassles.  A serious case involving severe injuries or death requires serious effort.  If you need help with a premises liability accident, contact the experienced attorneys of Lewis & Williams for an evaluation of your case. 


If you've been injured on someone else's property due to their negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and:


  •     Medical expenses

  •     Lost earnings

  •     Any resulting disability

  •     Pain and suffering

  •     Emotional distress

  •     Loss of ability to normally enjoy your life

  •     Other unforeseen expenses


Florida private property owners owe different duties to trespassers as opposed to non-trespassers. In Florida a trespasser is defined as someone who goes onto someone's private property without consent or an invitation. This consent or invitation can be express or implied. An express invitation is just that, a specific invitation, while an implied invitation is one that can be assumed based upon past conduct and acts.


A. Florida Landowner's Duty to Trespasser


If an individual is considered to be a trespasser, then the Florida private property owner cannot wilfully, wantonly, or recklessly inflict injury upon the trespasser. If the owner knew or should have known of the trespasser's presence on the property, then the owner cannot do anything likely to cause injury to the trespasser. A Florida private property owner is is guilty of having wilfully, wantonly, or recklessly inflicted injury upon a trespasser if the owner intentionally does something or fails to do something knowing or having reason to know of facts which would lead a reasonable person to realize that such conduct by the owner not only created an unreasonable risk of bodily harm to the person trespassing but also involved a high degree of probability that substantial harm would result to the trespasser. Basically, the owner cannot intentionally injure the trespasser.


B. Florida Landowner's Duty to Non-Trespasser


The duty upon a Florida private property owner is quite different to non-trespassers. The owner must must use ordinary care under the circumstances to construct, manage and maintain the premises to avoid exposing non-trespassers to an unreasonable risk of harm. Ordinary care is the degree of care which most Florida private property owners would use under similar circumstances.  A private property owner fails to use ordinary care when they do something or fail to do something that a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence would do under the circumstances. This also requires the owner of the property to discover conditions on their property that would likely expose a non-trespasser to an unreasonable risk of harm.  If an unreasonable risk of harm existed and the owner knew of it or should have known of it, then the property owner has a duty to either fix the problem or warn of the danger.


What to do after a slip and fall incident


It is important to photograph the scene as soon as possible, before property management corrects the dangerous condition. Photos taken after dangerous conditions have been remedied are often inadmissible in court, so it is important to act quickly. 


Our experienced premises liability attorneys handle cases at:


  •     Residential homes or apartment buildings and hotels

  •     Shopping centers and retail stores

  •     Restaurants, bars, nightclubs and entertainment facilities

  •     Airports or train/bus stations

  •     Schools, playgrounds, parks or recreation areas

  •     Hospitals and health care clinics

  •     Construction zones and road repair sites


If you have questions regarding a slip and fall accident or have been injured in a slip and fall accident, make an appointment for a free case evaluation from a premises liability attorney at the Florida law firm of Lewis & Williams. We can meet you in our offices or if you’re unable to make it to our office, we’ll arrange to meet you wherever it is convenient for you. Because we work on a contingency basis, you don’t have to pay us any money unless we win your case and you’re awarded financial damages.


Our firm has over 45 years of combined experience working hard for the rights of personal injury accident victims in Florida. If you’ve been injured in a premises liability accident in a public park or on government property, the federal or state government might be legally responsible for those injuries.


The lawyers at Lewis & Williams have the knowledge and proven experience to represent injured victims of all types of slip and fall accidents. Contact us so we can help you recover the damages you’re entitled to for your Florida premises liability injury. For more information call us today at 561-444-2260.

Law Offices of Lewis & Williams

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