Premises Liability Law in Florida – The “Open and Obvious” Doctrine

People may be surprised to learn that accidents that occur on property from hazards which are open and obvious, are not absolutely barred by law from being the fault of the landowner. The primary legal significance of hazards being open and obvious is that landowners are under no duty to warn of the conditions, but this rule does not completely foreclose victims from legal remedies. In contrast, when perils are concealed and known or should be known to landowners, and unknown to invitees (persons rightfully on property) even with the exercise of reasonable care, landlords also have a duty to warn invitees.

Accordingly, whether or not hazards are concealed, landlowners in Florida always have a duty to invitees to use reasonable care to maintain their premises in a safe condition. If perils are concealed, landowners have the added duty to give warning. Therefore, even if landowners do not have a duty to warn, they do have a duty to maintain their properties in a safe condition. It is because of this legal standard that landowners can be held responsible for damages even when accidents are caused by open and obvious hazards.

Our law firm represents individuals injured in premises liability accidents. Please contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case.