An invitee, a licensee and a trespasser are the classifications of people who may be found entering the property of another person’s. Besides suggesting the rights of a person, this classification also tells of the level of care a property owner owes his/her guests.
- An invitee may be a friend, a relative or a neighbor, who has a landowner’s expressed or implied
permission to enter his/her property;
- A licensee includes party guests, family friends, people who enter stores to ask about something or to retrieve something that they own. These people have a landowner’s expressed or implied permission to enter the property, but who goes there for his/her own amusement or purpose, rather than for business purposes.
- A trespasser is a person who has no authority, whatsoever, to be on someone else’s property; thus he/she is on the property illegally and, unless he/she is a child, the owner owes him/her no responsibility if ever he/she gets injured inside such property.
Property owners, especially places that are accessible to the public, like malls, hospitals, government offices, supermarkets, parking lots, playgrounds, swimming pools, restaurants, food courts, churches, etc. (where the people are called licensees), have the responsibility of keeping their premises free from risks of accident at all times, or they can face legal complaints, more specifically, a premises liability lawsuit, from whoever gets injured while within their premise.
One very common accident which can injure anyone is slip and fall. This accident, which may occur in any public or private place (including private residences) can cause injuries ranging from minor bruises to serious ones, like a fractured wrist or elbow or spinal column injury.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 8 million slip and fall accidents occur in the U.S. every year. Some of their most common causes are wet, oily, icy or slippery floors or surfaces, defective staircases, uneven, loose or broken floors, steps, sidewalks or stairs, unsecured rugs or carpets,and, hidden or tangled extension wires.
Premises liability refers to a landowner’s accountability for certain injuries suffered by persons on his/her property, where a defective or unsafe condition exists. More than just sustaining an injury due to slipping, tripping or falling, premises liability also includes in its scope injuries that are caused by falling objects, open excavations, electrocution, broken benches or chairs, and so forth.
Immediately consulting with a highly-competent personal injury lawyer is important in the event of a slip and fall accident. It can be to the victim’s advantage is he/she understands his/her legal rights , especially with regard to seeking compensation for the damages he/she has been made to suffer.
According to the Mokaram & Associates, P.C. Law Firm, “A property owner’s legal duty to maintain their residence applies to commercial property owners as much as homeowners. Any place where the public convenes to shop or conduct business must especially be in safe condition for those on the premises. This legal duty is all the more important if children are on the property. However, to raise a slip and fall claim that occurred in a private residence, a person must have been invited on the property. Property owners do not have a legal duty to trespassers, so those who have no business on the property cannot raise a claim.”