Visitors to a property most often fall under one of three categories: business invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Business invitees include shoppers at a store, customers at a gas station, repair people invited into a private home to conduct repairs, and others. Property owners must ensure their property is kept in good, safe condition. They must also repair or inform invitees of any dangerous conditions on the property. Part of the obligation of property owners is to continually check the property for any dangers to invitees, including slippery walking surfaces or anything that may pose a risk. Because property owners are required to inspect their premises, they may be found liable for injuries to occurring to invitees as a result of dangerous conditions.
The next category of visitors to which property owners own a standard of care is licensees. Licensees may also be known as social guests: friends, family members, or others who visit a property for social purposes. Property owners must upkeep their property to reasonably ensure safety and repair or warn of any unsafe conditions licensees may encounter on the property.
The third category of visitors to which property owners owe a standard of care, although a lower standard than that of the other two categories, is trespassers. Although trespassers obviously have no permission to be on a property, they are still owed a limited amount of protection from intentional or reckless injury. Property owner may face civil liability if they were, for example, to build a booby-trap-type device, which would set off a gun or other potentially life threatening implement, when triggered by a trespasser. Once a property owner discovers a trespasser on his or her property, he or she has an obligation to warn the trespasser of any known dangers that the trespasser may not notice.
Property owners have a responsibility to make special provisions for the protection of children who enter their property – whether those children enter as guests or trespassers. When certain potentially dangerous features of a property owner’s premises may be found to be particularly appealing to children, reasonable steps must be taken to protect children from those possibly dangerous elements. Swimming pools, large appliances, trampolines, and other equipment which might pose a threat to children must be either removed or, in the case of swimming pools or trampolines, secured behind a fence and locked gate.
Slip/trip and fall accidents can cause devastating and debilitating injuries that leave someone unable to work, care for their children, or tend to household responsibilities. At Zen 4 Law, we recognize the severity of these injuries and work expeditiously to bring our clients’ cases to settlement or trial so that our clients can recover from their injuries and move forward with their lives.
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property or premises, contact Zen 4 Law today to learn how we can help you recover for injuries.