Premise liability is defined as the responsibility the owner of a property assumes once someone enters their property. You are the liable party for any injuries sustained on your property. Water parks, grocery stores, schools, and private homes are all locations that can be the stage for a premise liability case. When you own a property it becomes your responsibility to ensure that all those entering your property will not be injured. Loose stones in a walkway, weak guardrails, or unpaved snow in driveways are all potential dangers that can cause accident or injury. Premise liability operate under certain conditions, certain factors must be present for this case to be strong. One of the most important factors that determine the outcome of the case is the status of the visitor. Status of visitor, nature of the injury, and state of the property are some of the factors included in a premise liability case. In a premise liability case the status of a visitor can fall under four different categories.
An invitee is a visitor who was invited by the owner of the property. Invitation can be offered directly or they may be implied. An example of an implied invitation could be when a clothing stores opens their doors for the day. Although you may not have received an invitation in the mail, it is implied that once the doors open you are allowed inside. An example of a direct invitation could be a potential hire being invited into an office for an interview. In this case you were directly invited by someone to enter the property. In these circumstances it is expected that the owner of property would properly maintain the space so that invitees are not harmed while on the property.
Licensees are those invited to the property for reasons other than business or commercial. An example of licensee is someone invited to a home as a dinner guest. The owner of the property must give consent to the visitor present on the property. The owner of the property must inform a licensee of all potential risk or danger one could encounter on the property. For example, if the owner of the property fails to mention that the guardrail on the stairs is loose and the licensee slips and falls liable falls upon the owner.
A trespasser is someone who has not been given permission to enter a property. Because the owner of the property was not aware of the visitor they are not able to prepare the property or forewarn. For these exact reasons the owner is not liable for any injury a trespasser experiences while on the property. However, there are extreme cases in which the owner still accepts liability. If the owner had knowledge that the property may be trespassed they may be charged with “duty to give a reasonable warning to prevent injury”.
If you have been injured while on public or private property, feel free to contact us at Kyle Law Firm for a free consultation.