What does a visitor's "legal status" have to do with premises liability?
There are different statuses or labels that may be applied to visitors of any property. Customers in a store, for example, are considered invitees. The invitation to enter a property assumes a reasonable effort to assure the premises' safety. Licensees are people who enter a property for their own purpose and at the consent of an owner. Social guests are welcome visitors to the property. Finally, trespassers are those who enter without any right to do so. As far as this final group is concerned, no implied promise as to the safety of the property has been made.
What about the condition of the property?
In most cases, a uniform standard requires that property owners or those responsible for the property maintain a reasonable level of care for the safety of any visitor, with the noted exception of trespassers. This standard can sometimes include the repair of a dangerous condition or, in some cases, a reasonable warning to visitors of the potential for danger.
How does premises liability apply to children?
Someone responsible for a property must take special care when addressing children—even trespassers—who may make their way onto the property. If they know that children are likely to be on the premises and a dangerous condition is a likely cause of serious injury or death, they have a special duty to warn them.
What happens if both parties are at fault?
Generally speaking, most states adhere to a "comparative fault" system where legal damages may be reduced to a percentage equivalent to their own fault in the incident. This is because visitors often have a duty to exercise care for their own safety to the best of their ability. If that care isn't taken, the injured person's damages may be limited because of personal negligence.
What should I do if I'm hurt on someone else's property?
The first thing you should do is to seek appropriate medical care for your injury. After that, you need an experienced injury attorney to look at your case and help you determine whether or not you're eligible for damages due to someone else's negligence. I offer free consultations for injury cases and won't collect fees unless we win your case. Call today for a free consultation.