What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. These types of cases deal with the injuries that are caused by the failure of a property owner to warn visitors of potential hazards or maintain their property. Some of the most common types of premises liability cases including assaults, construction accidents that harm someone visiting, assaults that take place due to inadequate security, and slip and fall cases.
Duty of Care in Premises Liability Cases
The duty of care that property owners have to a person who is injured while on their property will depend on the relationship present between the owner of the property and the person who was injured.
In most cases of premises liability, the person injured will fall into one of the following categories.
- Invitee: This is someone who visits the property for a reason that is beneficial for the property owner, as well as the visitor. This is also often referred to as “business invitee.” For example, a shopper at a grocery store is considered a business invitee because they are benefiting from getting the groceries they need and the owner of the property benefits because they have people spending their money in the store.
- Licensee: The licensee is a visitor that the proper owner has permitted to be on the property, but someone who is not trading benefits. The most common type of licensee is a houseguest.
- Trespasser: Trespassers are visitors who come onto the property without granted permission from the owner of the property.
In each case, the property owner will have a different duty of care.
- Invitees: Property owners are required to protect invitees from any type of dangerous condition that they are aware of. The property owner needs to inspect the property regularly and find issues, fix them or provide ample warning to invitees. Examples of warnings including “Wet Floor” signs and “Caution” signs.
- Licensees: It is necessary for property owners to protect their licensees from any dangers that are known about by providing warning of them. However, they are not required to inspect the location regularly or to fix any dangerous conditions as soon as they are found.
- Trespassers: A property owner is not permitted to create a dangerous condition on the property or make a condition worse in order to catch a trespasser. However, the property owner is also not required to fix or warn trespassers about dangerous conditions that are present.
Premises Liability and Property Owner Responsibilities
If you are injured while on someone else’s property, you may have the right to recover compensation if proper warning was not given of dangerous conditions or if you were not aware of the issue. If you need help proving your case, you should hire a premises liability attorney. Contact the attorneys at Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-845-2510 for more information.
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