Determining What Type of “Visitor” You Are in a Premises Liability Case

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Determining What Type of “Visitor” You Are in a Premises Liability Case

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When you are injured on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability case. One of the first questions your personal injury attorney will ask is what type of visitor you were. 

Types of Visitors in a Premises Liability Case: 

  1. Invitee
  2. Licensee
  3. Trespasser

What is Premises Liability?  

Premises liability cases hinge on the owner’s assumed responsibility when someone enters their property. Nearly any premises can be the location of a premises liability lawsuit from a private residence to a grocery store to a public school. The property owner is seen as the liable party for any injuries sustained by people on the property. When you own a property, it is your responsibility to make sure anyone entering that property won’t be injured. 

Common “Issues” that Result in Injury Leading to Premises Liability Cases: 

  • Loose stones in walkways
  • Unpaved snow in driveways
  • Weak guardrails
  • Carpet that doesn’t lay flat
  • Wet walkways
  • Cables or wiring that isn’t properly stored
  • Inadequate warning signs or notices

The types of situations that can lead to an injury on a property with a valid premises liability claim are almost countless. Still, most will fall into one of only three categories: inadequate facilities claims, inadequate warning claims, or property owner negligence. 

How To Determine Which Type of Visitor You Are For a Premises Liability Case: 

Were you invited to the property by the owner? If an invitation was directly received or implied, you are an “Invitee.” Examples of an invitee include customers at a retail store, a job applicant on-site for an interview, etc. Invitees were invited by someone to enter the property. When dealing with an Invitee, the owner is expected to maintain the property properly, so Invitees are not injured. 

Were you invited to the property for purposes outside business or commercial reasons? If you are invited to the property for reasons other than business or commercial, you are a Licensee. For example, if you are invited to dinner at a private residence. In this type of situation, the property owner has a responsibility to advise the Licensee of any dangers such as a loose railing, a torn carpet creating a trip hazard, etc.  

If you do not have permission to enter a property, you may be a Trespasser. When dealing with a trespasser, property owners are not aware of the visitor, so they cannot prepare the property or provide sufficient warning for dangers on site. In most cases, the owner is not liable for injuries sustained while trespassing. However, in extreme cases, the owner may still be held liable. Additionally, if an owner is aware of the likelihood of trespassing, they may be held responsible for providing warnings for known dangers that could cause injury. 

If you’ve suffered an injury and need to file a premises liability claim, get in touch with an experienced Dallas, Texas personal injury attorney at Hudson Law Firm. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.