What are The Different Categories of Visitors in A Premises Liability Lawsuit?
The majority of social interactions and daily activities occur outside your home, often on properties owned or managed by others. As such, property owners have a duty to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
Slip and fall incidents are among the most prevalent premises liability cases. In 2020, the National Safety Council reported approximately 211,640 severe slip and fall injuries.
If you sustain injuries due to a property owner’s negligence in maintaining a safe environment, you should contact premises liability attorneys to seek compensation. Keep in mind that in most cities, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases is two years. Consequently, it is crucial to file a claim within two years of the incident.
Given the potential for injury on another’s property, it is essential to understand how your visitor status may impact your premises liability lawsuit.
What is Premise Liability?
It is the property owner’s liability if someone gets injured due to the unsafe condition of their property. It applies to individual property and business owners.
There are different examples of premises liability:
- Slip and falls
- Accidents suffered while visiting a local business
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Injury from unsecured falling objects
- Criminal activity due to negligent preventive measures
Different Categories of Property Visitors
If you are eligible for compensation for a premises liability accident, it depends on the category of the visitor. The visitor is classified into three categories:
People who are on the property when they are not invited and get injured might find it difficult to get compensation. But there are some exceptions, like if someone is trespassing due to business purposes, for example, a door-to-door salesperson, they might file a lawsuit. A trespasser case can become complex. In this scenario, a premise liability lawyer helps you understand the laws and what your case entails.
The second category is a licensee. A licensee is a visitor to any property without commercial purposes or business. In simple words, a house guest is a licensee. So, if a licensee gets injured, they are entitled to compensation if it is due to the owner’s neglect.
Invitees are mostly entitled to be compensated. Invitees are people on the property for business purposes, for example, those in a store to buy products. Commercial premises, such as shopping centres, shops, etc., must follow strict regulations to ensure customer safety. If there is any dangerous condition, the owners must inform the customers. If you are an invitee and get injured, you can file for compensation.
Proving Premise Liability
A premises liability lawyer works with you to ensure you get compensation. However, tripping, falling, slipping, or getting injured on others’ property does not put the owner at fault. When you file a lawsuit, you must prove that the owner knew about the hazards but did nothing about them.
The owner will be liable if:
- They were aware of the hazards but did not take any action.
- The owner made insufficient efforts to fix a hazard.
- The owner was aware of the hazard for a long time, but they did not follow the safety guidelines and proper maintenance routine.
What Damages Can You Receive?
How much compensation you get depends on numerous factors, like the extent of your injuries. These include medical bills, permanent or temporary disability, loss of future wages, pain and suffering, etc. In some severe cases, one might also get punitive damages.
Summing up, suffering from injuries due to poor property maintenance can have long-lasting impacts. You can also seek compensation for your injuries and other damages, such as lost wages. However, premise liability also depends on your visitor status; it is wise to consult an experienced lawyer to guide you.