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Dana J. Watts, Attorney at Law
Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer
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Detailing your duty of care

You certainly do not want anyone to be hurt in your home or on your property in Sarasota to be hurt, so you likely do all that is needed to protect whoever you invite to enter. Yet many have come to members of our team here at Dana J. Watts Attorney at Law questioning what liability they may have (if any) for injuries incurred by trespassers on their lands. The last thing that you want to have to deal with is a civil action launched by one who was never supposed to be on your land in the first place, so understanding the duty of care you owe to trespassers is vitally important. 

Florida's state statutes recognize two classes of trespasser: discovered and undiscovered. An undiscovered trespasser is one who presence you do not discover until 24 hours has passed from the time of the accident they suffer on your property. State law says that you cannot be held liable for any injuries they suffer while on your property, nor are you required to warn them of any potential dangers on your land (you cannot, however, act in a way that causes them injury). 

You are to warn a discovered trespasser of any hazardous conditions on your property, yet you are not liable if they are injured due to any of the following conditions: 

  • A blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or higher
  • Being under the influence of any chemical substance 
  • Being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol to the point of having their normal faculties impaired

As is the case with undiscovered trespassers, you cannot intentional cause a discovered trespasser injury. You can discover more about your duty of care as a property owner by continuing to browse through our site. 

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