If you own your home or any other property such as commercial or rental property, you have likely heard of premises liability, but you may not fully understand what premises liability encompasses under the law. When average rainfall increases, so should Orlando residents’ awareness of possible hazards on their property.
Overview Florida’s “Open and Obvious Doctrine,” and its Meaning to Property Owners
Florida has a law known as the “Open and Obvious Doctrine,” which simply means that a person injured on your property may not be able to successfully sue you for compensation for their injuries if whatever caused their injuries was in existence for some time. This could be the case if you have planters along a walking path, or large boulders that do not obstruct the pathway, or even a sidewalk that may have buckled due to ground erosion, but has been in that condition for some time. If a great deal of time has passed with these “Open and Obvious” conditions, or the items have been in place without anyone suffering injuries, but suddenly, after several years, someone claims to have been harmed, they may not be able to collect financial damages from you.
It is important to keep in mind that even if you do not actually own the property where you reside, but simply rent or lease it, you are still considered to be “in possession of it,” and could be liable in a premises liability lawsuit if the court finds you responsible in any way for the hazard that caused the personal injury. If the average rainfall increases and causes a dangerous surface or area, you need to take extra precautions to keep others out of the hazard.
When heavy rains occur, it is possible for certain ground conditions such as a hole of any size, gravel on a walking path, or other hazardous conditions to cause these things to be obscured. It is critical to take all of these things into consideration, so when average rainfall increases, so should your awareness of any personal injuries that might be caused by these conditions.
Orlando Premises Liability Attorneys
The Orlando premises liability attorneys at Oldham & Smith will provide you with expert advice concerning how to ensure that your property conditions do not put you at risk for a premises liability lawsuit. Contact Oldham & Smith today for a consultation. In addition, if you have been injured due to someone’s neglect of their property, we will counsel you in your rights to file a claim.
For more information or to speak directly with an attorney, please call (352) 292-1620 or contact us by email to discuss your case with a premises liability lawyer. We offer a trusted reputation and solid record of results.