Florida’s Premises Liability Recreational Use Statute
The area of law known as premises liability arises when a person is injured on someone else’s property. This can be a difficult area to establish liability; some cases are straightforward whereas others can be more complicated and take longer to settle. This is dependent on the individual situation, and as such can be a grey area at times.
Premises liability falls under the umbrella of personal injury law which is why it can be difficult to establish liability, with many exceptions to the ‘rule’ as it were. In its broadest definition, anyone who owns a property has a legal duty of care to ensure those who inhabit or enter the area do not get injured. This means the land and structures on it must be kept in a reasonably safe condition. For example, if you are a resident renting an apartment from a landlord the latter has an obligation to take the proper measures to make sure you don’t get hurt whilst on their property. If you neglect to tell your landlord about a danger however, it is not as straightforward and you have to prove you contacted them in regards to said hazard. The duty of the property owner varies depending on the person entering, but overall there needs to be warning of danger and no unreasonable hazards.
In Florida, this area of law is further expanded to include the specifics of recreational use. This statute means there is no liability if an owner has offered their land out to the public for recreational use without charge. If this is the case, there is no duty of care in place for the owner and they do not have to warn the people entering of hazards. The reason for this statute is to encourage landowners to open their properties more readily to the public, meaning land, bodies of water, and parks are more accessible and available. Landowners are less likely to make their land open to the public if they feel they may get into court case and have to pay compensation to visitors.
There is one exception to this statute, and that is if a visitor can prove the landowner intended maliciously for a visitor to get hurt whilst visiting their property.
If you need help figuring out liability in a personal injury case, speak to the experts at Franco Firm. With years of experience in this area, you’re in safe hands.