Understanding Premises Liability

Understanding Premises Liability

Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their properties so that people who come on or into their properties, don’t suffer an injury. Premises liability holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their properties.

Premises liability claims arise from a dangerous condition on the property which results in slip, trips and falls to causing injuries. The way liability is determined can often be complicated and it depends upon the status of the injured visitor & the condition of the property.

Understanding Premises Liability: Legal Status of Visitor

Regarding the status of the visitor, there are different labels that the law will apply to the injured: invitee, social guest, licensee, or trespasser. Case law requires the property owner to make his property safe for all foreseeable occupants, however, a greater duty applies to those who are invited. The categories of occupants are:

  • Invitee– a person who is invited onto the property, for example, a customer into a place of business.
  • Licensee–someone who enters for his own purpose (like a contractor or inspector), or as a guest and has been given consent by the owner.
  • Social guest–a welcomed visitor the property
  • Trespasser– Someone who is on the property without permission.

Understanding Premises Liability: Condition of the Property

Except for trespassers, there is a uniform standard of care that requires the exercise of reasonable care for the safety of any visitor to the property. Determining the standard of reasonableness depends on a number of factors:

  • Circumstances under the property were entered
  • The way the property is being used;
  • If the accident or injury was foreseeable; or
  • Whether the owner attempted to repair or warn visitors of a potentially hazardous situation.

Understanding Premises Liability: Children on Property

With regard to children who aren’t permitted to be on the property by the owner, owners must give consideration to the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. This means that a property owner must give reasonable warning if something on the property could cause serious injury or death.

The attorneys at Westmoreland Vesper Quattrone & Beers have a reputation for successfully representing people who have been victims of general negligence accidents. We have the knowledge and experience to make sure that you are compensated fully and fairly.

If you or a family member has been injured due to the negligence of others, please call us at 609-654-1111 to learn more.