Premises liability is the body of law that holds owners and occupiers of property legally responsible for accidents and injuries that happen on the property. Under Florida law, the owner or tenant of the property is responsible for keeping the premises safe and free of hazards that can cause an accident. The people who are injured in these cases may be able to recover compensation for their injuries from the possessors or owners of the property where the accident happened.


The property owner will generally have some responsibility for any injury received on the property, regardless if the victim is an invitee, licensee or even a trespasser. The Invitee visitor is someone who is invited onto the property for business reasons. This could include visitors to public places, social guests and shoppers. The invitee is the visitor that property owners owe the highest level of safety too. The property owner is responsible for not only keeping the property hazard free but also inspecting it regularly to make sure there are no new hazards like spilled liquid at the supermarket that can cause a slip and fall accident.

Then there is the licensee visitor. This would be a person that visits a property in a way that does not benefit the property owner. A good example of this is someone at the mall who walks through Macy’s only because it is the fastest way to get to where they parked their car.

The last visitor would be a trespasser. Because Florida law makes it clear that there needs to be a safe environment for all visitors, property owners can still be held to a certain level of liability, regardless if the visitor was given permission or not. The exception to this rule would be children because they may unknowingly trespass as well as not be able to judge levels of potential dangers accurately.


  • Slip and fall accidents: This is probably the most common type of premises liability case in Florida. Slip and fall cases can include improperly built stairways, stairways or walkways with insufficient lighting, and spills that have sat long enough to show negligence on the part of the property owner or property possessor.
  • Falling objects: Superstores like Home Depot, Wal-Mart, BJ’s, Costco and Target will keep inventory on the top shelves of aisles. If not placed properly, these items can become falling hazards.
  • Heavy machinery injuries: These injuries can happen at sports clubs, fitness centers and any other place that a visitor can be exposed to an improperly working machine.
  • Swimming pool accidents: This is an unfortunate but common type of accident in Florida.
  • Negligent security: Property owners are also responsible for providing a safe environment that protects visitors from crimes. This can include assault, rape, mugging or a shooting.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident that may have been a result of property owner negligence, then you need to contact a law firm to find out what your option are. Give us a call and tell us what happened. We will gladly go over your case with you and let you know the options you have to seek compensation for your injuries.

Florida Injury Attorney Blog – Premises Liability

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  • What Do You Need to Prove a Slip and Fall Claim? When someone slips and falls in a store, a public space, or someone else’s property, it does not automatically cause a slip and fall claim.…
  • Understanding Premises Liability If you or a loved one is injured on a property (premises) owned by another party, that property owner may be liable for damages incurred in the accident…

Premises Liability: Rugs and Mats Can Be Tripping Hazards

De Cruz-Haymer v. Festival Food Mkt., Inc., 4D11-3580, 2013 WL 3811777 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. July 24, 2013)

This is a premises liability case there was a patron of a grocery store who was injured while she was carrying her groceries out of the store. A personal injury claim was filed attempting to allege there was issues with how the store maintained its premises.

Paulette Haymer and her husband were shopping at a Bravo grocery store. The store that the two were shopping at only had one entrance for its patrons, which served as the exit as well. The two had shopped at this Bravo location previously and remember there being a floor mat at the entrance, but could not recall if one was there on this day that they entered the store. Once the couple made their purchases, Mr. Haymer proceeded to take the cart they had, which was filled with items they bought, to their vehicle. Mrs. Haymer remained in the Bravo grocery store to pick up a few items that they had forgotten to buy.

Mr. Haymer recalled having to wait at the entrance way on his way out to the car because an employee was laying down a mat at the entrance way. As he passed over the mat on his way outside, Mr. Haymer saw that there was parts of the rug that were not entirely flat. In fact, Mr. Haymer stated that he noticed areas of the rug that were “humped” in parts. The mat was not strapped down on the floor and had the ability to move around freely.

As Mrs. Haymer exited the Bravo location with bags of purchased items in her hands, she fell to the ground when she tripped over the rug. Mrs. Haymer claimed that her foot became entangled in the rug once she was walking through the exit door. The fall that she experienced caused her to ‘face-plant’, injuring her back, neck, elbows, knees, and lacerating her face over her eye.

Following the trip and fall incident, a supervisor of the Bravo store had allegedly explained to Mrs. Haymer that the accident was their fault. Mrs. Haymer filed a lawsuit against Bravo for failing to maintain the premises and allowing a hazardous condition to exist.

In Florida, it is necessary to demonstrate and prove to the jury that; 1) the property owner knew or should have known there was a unsafe condition; 2) they failed to repair the unsafe condition or provide adequate warning of its presence; and 3) you were suffered an injury because of the unsafe condition. The property owner must have knowledge of the unsafe condition on their property which caused the injury in order to be held liable. If the property owner did not have knowledge or notice, or there was no reason for the property owner to have known about the unsafe condition, there is a chance that they will not be held liable for the injuries. It is important to be educated on the fact that when entering a business’ property that you yourself are required to use reasonable care for your own safety as well.

If you have been injured in an accident and feel it may have been due to the negligence of the premises, then contact the Fort Lauderdale slip and fall attorneys at Madalon Law and tell us what happened. We will go over your options with you at no cost during your free consultation.