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What is Premises Liability?

Premises liabilityPremises liability refers to a property owner’s civil liability for conditions or activities on the premises, or physical property location.  How does a premises liability claim arise?  The duty owed by the owner of the property depends on the status of the plaintiff at the time he was injured while he was on the property.  There are three types of status for purposes of premises liability:  1) An invitee, 2) A licensee, and 3) A trespasser.

An invitee is a person who enters the property with express or implied consent of the owner to confer an economic benefit or who just enters because the property is held open to the public.  The owner of the property, in this case, will have a duty to exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries by inspecting and make the property safe.

The term licensee basically translates into social guests or people that the owner or holder of the property likes.  His only duty will be to warn of known and concealed dangerous conditions.  Lastly, the duty of a property owner towards a trespasser is very limited and the extent of his duty will depend on whether the trespasser is a known or unknown trespasser.  If it is an unknown trespasser, the owner of the property has the duty to warn of known artificial and dangerous conditions.  This duty will be met if the owner simply puts a warning sign by such condition.  If it is a known trespasser, the owner of the property will have to do more.  He will be under the obligation to warn for both known dangerous natural and superficial conditions that would injure the trespasser.

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries while at someone else’s property and you believe that the owner’s negligence was the cause of your injuries, we recommend you to contact us immediately to obtain a free consultation.  During this consultation, we would be able to determine under which status you entered the property and, thus, what was the duty owed to you when you were injured.  At that moment, we will able to determine whether you are eligible to file suit.