Types of Visitors in a Premise Liability Claim

Property owners have the responsibility to ensure that your premises are safe for your tenants. This is also the assumption that they will have once they occupy one of your units. But at the same time, visitors also have a reciprocal duty of care towards the property owner. When this responsibility is breached, the tenant or visitor can file a premise liability claim.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, it is the duty of property owners to ensure the proper upkeep and maintenance of their surroundings. However, the liability of the property owner depends on the legal status of the visitor. Generally, there are three types of visitors in a property:

Invitee

An invitee enters the premises for business purposes at the owner’s request. Examples of an invitee include customers, contractors, sales people, repair men, and others.

Licensee

This is a person who was invited at the premises by the property owner through invitation. For example, there is a party at the property. A licensee can make the property owner liable if they are able to prove three elements:

  1. The owner was aware of any condition or would discover the condition and realizes or should realize that it has an unreasonable risk of harm to the licensee
  2. There is an expectation that the licensee will not discover or realize the danger or will fail to protect themselves from it
  3. The owner failed to show reasonable care to protect the licensee from potential risks

Trespassers

A trespasser is neither an invitee nor a licensee so the property owner does not have any duty of care to them. If they get injured while inside the premises, they cannot file a claim. However, the owner cannot deliberately make the surrounding risky for trespassers. If he does so, the trespasser can make him civilly and criminally liable.

While they are just visitors to the premises, they have the legal duty to mitigate any injuries. They should take reasonable precautions to prevent injury. If the visitor gets injured, they should properly treat the injury or else they could not make the property owner liable.

Likewise, in most states, comparative fault is adopted. Thus, if the visitor was partially or fully responsible for their injuries, they cannot recover damages.

 

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