PREMISES LIABILITY: THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTROL

Florida’s premises liability laws are based on the general theory that holds property owners and residents liable for accidents and injuries that occur on that property. Many causes of actions involving premises liability cases involve those where the property owner or tenant has failed to maintain the property in a safe condition. But in order for a victim to recover their damages finding the property owner may not be enough.

Rather, the issue will come down to control. This is because ownership alone does not, in and of itself, confer a duty to take reasonable steps to maintain the property in a safe condition when the property has been leased or when the control of said property has been vested in another party. If the landowner has relinquished his or her right to maintain control over the property then in most circumstances the duty to maintain said property in a safe condition has also released to another party.

This control issue, whether actual or constructive, plays a significant role as the plaintiff bears the responsibility of identifying and holding the proper defendant responsible for his injuries. If a plaintiff cannot establish control, as it applies to the premises, then they cannot establish a proper cause of action and thus cannot successful bring a civil complaint. In short, analyzing the control aspect of a personal injury case based on premises liability is one of the most important aspects of the investigation and unfortunately one of the toughest.

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