We’ve written at length about a business’s responsibility to protect its guests from harm. Whether a slip and fall case or food safety concerns, it is well understood that businesses are liable for injuries sustained by guests due to the negligence of employees or improper safety standards within the organization. However, another aspect of liability law that many fail to consider is premises law.
To break it down, premises law concerns a property owner’s liability to his or her guests that may be injured on their property. Though there is some overlay with the previously mentioned business examples, let us focus on the implications that this law assumes for homeowners.
There are three key types of visitors that you should consider:
- Invitees: As a public invitee, this guest is afforded safety and warning of dangers that the owner should know of, based on reasonable care. These would be people invited for a very specific reason, such as a painter or landscaper. The homeowner is also responsible for maintaining reasonable safety, even from foreseeable third-party crimes.
- Licensees: These guests are afforded protection against performing a dangerous act or being in the presence of dangerous conditions. Licensees are friends, family and any other social guest that someone may permit on their premises.
- Trespassers: For uninvited guests and trespassers, the law rightfully allows for less liability on behalf of the homeowner. Premises law dictates that the homeowner is simply not allowed to hide traps (of their knowledge) on their property.
With these factors in mind, it is also important to mention that sometimes premises law can seem a bit complicated. We have all heard cases where a burglar sues the homeowner for incurring an injury on the property they were attempting to burgle. Though it is a stretch in most cases, if a trespasser is injured by what can be seen as a trap or if excessive force is used in home defense (in some states), there may be a case.
Premises law is something to keep in mind when inviting guests over or considering home protection options. If you, a friend or loved one is injured due to the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with an attorney at 407-841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about best practices in law.