When you go onto the property of another, whether it be to a friend’s house, an amusement park, or your local grocery store, you probably don’t think much about your safety. This is a good thing, as it means that most of the time the properties you enter onto are safe. A lot of work goes into making a property safe, but not all property owners work diligently to ensure those who enter their premises are kept safe. When a property owner fails to maintain their premises, an accident can happen, injuries can be suffered, and a premises liability lawsuit may be filed.
One key aspect of a premises liability lawsuit is how the victim was classified when he or she entered the property. There are three classifications into which an individual can fall. First is the invitee. This is someone who was actually invited onto the premises. This could certainly be a friend, but in many lawsuits this applies to stores who, by being open to the public, invite customers onto their premises. In this category, a property owner is expected to take the steps necessary to reasonably ensure that the property is safe for those invitees.
The second classification is a licensee. This is someone who enters a property for his or her own purpose. The property owner typically consents to the individual’s presence, though he or she hasn’t been invited onto the premises.
The third category is a trespasser. This is an individual who enters the premises without the right to do so. Trespassers, like licensees, are not given any legal assurances that a property is safe. Therefore, a property owner who fails to indicate a dangerous condition on the premises that ultimately causes an injury may not be found liable for the harm suffered.
Premises liability lawsuits can be complicated matters. Therefore, if you have been hurt while on the property of another, you may want to seek professional help with your claim.
Source: FindLaw, “Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?” accessed on Aug. 13, 2016