Florida’s Recreational Use Law
In Florida, certain areas are designated for recreational use by the public. This includes not only land, but also water, park areas, and playgrounds. While many recreational areas are owned by the city or state, others are owned by private companies or individuals who allow public access to the property. While property owners are generally liable for injuries sustained by visitors on their property, Florida law protects those who make their property available to the public for recreation from liability. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, for an injured party to collect compensation from an at-fault landowner, so if you were injured on someone else’s property while involved in a recreational activity, it is crucial to retain an experienced premises liability attorney who can explain your legal options.
Types of Visitors
Generally, third parties who visit someone else’s property fall under one of three main categories. The first group are referred to as invitees and include those who are either explicitly invited onto the property at a specific time or who visit the premises for a business purpose. These individuals are owed the highest duty of care from their host, who must monitor the property for hazards, warn visitors of those dangers, and take reasonable steps to make the property safe. Licensees, on the other hand, although permitted on someone else’s property, are not invited for business or personal reasons. For example, this group includes those who visit a park to walk their dog. In these cases, the owner must warn of known dangers on the property, but he or she is not required to monitor the area or take steps to make the property safe. Finally, trespassers, who are not permitted on a property, are owed no duties by the landowner, unless the victim is a child, in which case, property owners who have attractive nuisances on their land, such as swimming pools, have a duty to block off the dangerous area.
Florida law limits the liability of private property owners who own land, water parks, or parks and make them available to the public free of charge. This is true even if dangerous conditions exist on the property, as these kinds of property owners are not required to keep the area safe for entry or warn visitors of hazardous conditions. Fortunately, there are two main exceptions to the state’s recreational use statute, under which private property owners can be held liable. The first applies when the property owner had a contract with the state to provide use of the area. In these cases, the state often agrees to accept liability for any injuries that occur on the property. The second exception exists if the property owner obtains some type of economic benefit from the use of the property, even if he or she does not actually charge for admission. For instance, selling food or souvenirs can open the property owner up to liability for injuries sustained on his or her property.
Call Our Legal Team Today
If you were injured while involved in a recreational activity on private property, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney. Please call 954-566-9919 today to schedule a meeting with one of the experienced Fort Lauderdale premises liability attorneys at Boone & Davis who will evaluate your case for free.