When you step on someone's property, you have a reasonable expectation that you aren't going to get hurt or injured. After all, you assume it is the rightful duty of all property owners to keep their premise relatively safe. States have different laws and procedures in place when it comes to premise liability. Some states will focus on the injuries sustained by the visitor while other states will focus on the condition of the property.
Types of Property Visitors
Normally property visitors will fall into one of three categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees are visitors who have been invited to the property by the owner to conduct business. Invitees include those like customers, repairmen, and contractors. Licensees are visitors who have been invited to the property by the owner for social purposes. Licensees include people such as family, friends, and neighbors. Trespassers are people that enter the property without being invited and without permission from the property owner.
Basic Guidelines for Property Liability
When it comes to premises accidents, there are two basic guidelines. The first is that the property owner is required to keep their property safe. This means that anyone entering their property- as a personal visitor, business visitor, shopper or tenant- is not at risk for injury due to the property construction, design or condition. The second is that the property visitor is required to use the property correctly rather than being dangerous, careless, unexpected, or unauthorized.
Proving a Property Liability Claim
If you are injured on someone else's property because of the property construction, design, or condition, there are a few things you will have to show in order to prove that the property owner is liable for your injuries. First, you have to show that you were lawfully supposed to be on the premises, meaning you were invited by the property owner. Second, you have to show that the property owner was irresponsible when dealing with the unsafe conditions. This means that the owner was fully aware that something was dangerous or unsafe and they did nothing to get it repaired. Lastly, you need to show that the property owners carelessness resulted in your injuries.
In the event that you are injured while a visitor on someone else's property, they may be liable for the injuries you may have sustained. While most people think that property liability has to do with just slips, trips and falls, the fact is that it is broader than that. Property liability has to do with injuries that are sustained from being on a property with unsafe or dangerous conditions.