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How Premises Liability Cases Differ for Adults and Children

July 14, 2014

Fort Lauderdale Child Injury & Accidents Lawyer

As an adult injured on another person’s property, you have to look closely at the circumstances surrounding the accident. First of all, you need to determine if you had permission (explicit or implicit) to be on the property at the time of the accident. Next, you need to ask yourself honestly if a person exercising reasonable care should have been able to avoid the accident (if you slipped on a floor that was roped off and had a ‘Wet Floor’ sign in front of it, you may be considered responsible for your injury). If the accident was not your fault, you need to determine if a reasonable property owner should have taken steps to prevent the dangerous condition, and if your accident was a direct result of that dangerous condition.

Determining liability when these types of cases involve children gets a little more complicated. In general, children love exploring and are not as capable as adults of judging potentially dangerous situations, which tends to shift more responsibility to the property owner, even in cases where a child may be trespassing on their property.

Property Owners Need to Consider Risk of Trespassing Children

Child Premise Liability Attorney

When establishing responsibility in premises liability cases, the court must determine that the injured party is either an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. An invitee is someone whose presence onto their premises was requested by the property owner, such as a shopper in a store or a patron in a restaurant. A licensee is someone who enters the property for their own purposes but has the consent of the owner, such as a guest at a party. A trespasser is someone who does not have the consent of the owner to be on the property, and in cases involving adults, an injured party will usually not receive any kind of compensation.

The families of children who trespass, on the other hand, may sometimes receive compensation for the child’s injuries, depending on the specific circumstances. A property owner may be liable for the injuries of a trespassing child if all the following conditions are met:

If your child is injured because they trespassed on another person’s property, do not assume you cannot receive compensation for medical expenses simply because your child did not have permission to be there. Talk to a child injury attorney to learn more about your options.

About the Author:

Lawlor Winston White & Murphey. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, and was recently voted by his peers as a Florida “SuperLawyer”—an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state—and to Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite.”