Premises liability is an important aspect of personal injury law. A premises liability case is where a personal injury occurred because of negligence, usually because of some error on the property of a party responsible for providing safe conditions on their premises.
Property owners are generally required to maintain premises in a reasonably safe manner. The standards of safety are high when property owners invite or allow other individuals onto their property, or are using their property in a public area. If the owner does not take steps to create a reasonably safe environment, they may be found guilty of negligence in a premises liability personal injury case.
Premises liability cases begin with everyday circumstances that become out of control. Common examples include:
Slip and Fall Cases,
Amusement Park Accidents,
Swimming Pool Accidents, and
Failure to Maintain a Public Area.
In premises liability cases, there are usually three categories of visitors to the property of others. These categories are:
- Invitee: An Invitee is an individual that is on another’s property as a result of an express or implied invitation of the owner for their mutual gain or benefit. This would include customers in a restaurant, shoppers in a convenience store, when the public is expected to enter, inspect, or purchase a product. The property owner owes their guest a reasonably safe premises and reasonable warning about any potentially unsafe condition. An invitee is entitled to expect that a possessor will exercise reasonable care to make the land safe for the invitee’s entry, or for his/her us
- Licensee: A licensee is not a social visitor, nor an invitee of the property, although they do have the express permission of the owner to be there. Licensees can be individuals like contractors, salesmen, or other professionals who are on the property for their own purpose. These individuals are owed safe premises, but to a lesser extent than an invitee. The property owner owes a warning to Licensees only if the property owner knows about the unsafe condition and the licensee is unlikely to discover the condition. The owner has a duty to warn if there is a harmful condition on their property that is hidden from the licensee, so long as the landowner knows of this condition.
- Trespasser: A trespasser is someone who is not allowed to be on the property. These individuals are not owed any duty of warning by the property owner about unsafe conditions. The exception to this trespasser rule if the property owner knows that children are likely to enter the premises, he has an obligation to prevent unsafe conditions that may cause their injury or death.