Orlando property owners have a certain amount of responsibility in keeping their premises safe and well-maintained at all times. This ensures the safety of those who are lawfully present on their property and provides protection against liability should someone injure themselves. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for landowners and real estate firms to cut corners or procrastinate urgent repairs. Their decision to knowingly ignore dangers on their premises often leads to tragic accidents that were completely avoidable.
Florida law does recognize that some hazards are considered open and obvious in nature. Should you be hurt under these circumstances, the liable property owner may try to deny your claim and say it’s not their fault you were injured. In this case, working with an experienced personal injury attorney in the Orlando area can help explain what legal options you have available to recover your damages.
What is an Open and Obvious Danger According to Florida Law?
When a victim sustains injuries on someone else’s property in a clearly dangerous condition, state law says the property owner shouldn’t be held liable. This rule expects those who are lawfully on another’s property to use reasonable care to avoid obvious hazards, typically in plain sight. These circumstances usually involve premises defects that cannot be immediately resolved but are plainly obvious and require no warning from the owner. Situations where a property condition is dangerous and hidden, obscured from view, or not visible to the naked eye require proper notification from the owner, along with signage and necessary barriers to prevent visitors from getting hurt.
Common Examples of Open and Obvious Dangers on a Premises
If you were hurt by a hazardous property defect while visiting a store or amusement park, you must document your injuries as well as the dangerous condition that caused you harm. Keep in mind that if the defect that injured you is open and obvious, the at-fault party may try to use that as a defense against your claim.
Below are examples of property hazards that Florida courts have ruled as open and obvious in nature:
Pallets in plain sight located in a parking lot
Concrete that is raised
Property lines marked by concrete blocks
Planters that are over six feet in height
Planks on the ground by a designated walkway
Parking space berms and wheel stops
Even if the hazard that injured you falls under the category of open and obvious, the property owner may still be liable. This is usually in situations where there is a danger that can cause serious harm to visitors and requires additional safeguards. They might also be at fault if the injured victim is considered a vulnerable adult or a child who doesn’t comprehend the danger of the defect.
How Open and Obvious Conditions Could Impact Your Suit
When considering your argument for personal injury compensation, the court will assume you knew the risk you were taking by entering a property with a clearly visible danger, like a construction area. Deciding to visit the premises anyway could allow the owner to escape any liability for your injuries.
State law recognizes open and obvious dangers because personal injury claims are subject to pure comparative fault. Should a plaintiff contribute to their injuries by purposely entering a property with visible defects, this system would hold the landowner faultless in most instances. As a result, it’s possible that a jury might find both you and the property owner liable for your damages and reduce your award by the percentage you contributed.
Get Experienced Legal Support for Your Premises Liability Claim
Having a building owner or family member say it’s your own fault for getting hurt on their property is frustrating. Don’t lose hope! This is a common defense used to justify the negligent behavior on the part of the premises owner. Even in cases where an open and obvious danger hurts you, a qualified personal injury attorney from Jordan Law may be able to prove negligence is still a factor on the part of the defendant.
Trust us to thoroughly investigate your claim and build a solid case supporting your demand for compensatory damages in the form of a premises liability suit. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about what rights you have to compensation.