When someone enters someone else’s property, there’s an expectation that injury will not occur. A property owner (or renter, as the case may be) is responsible for keeping a safe environment, via the doctrine of premises liability. For instance, a delivery driver can sue a homeowner if they slip on an oily patch in the driveway. However, if the person acted in an unsafe manner, the claim may be denied. Liability is typically determined by state law, and it is important to remember that renters are treated the same as landowners in most situations.
A Visitor’s Legal Status
In states focusing on a visitor’s status, there are four applicable labels: trespasser, licensee, social guest and invitee.
• A trespasser is someone who enters with no permission to do so. There’s no promise that reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the property is safe.
• A social guest is a person who is welcomed to the premises.
• A licensee enters for his or her own purpose and is there with the owner’s permission.
• An invitee is a person invited onto someone else’s property. The invitation implies that the property owner has ensured the premises’ safety.
The Property’s Condition and the Visitor’s Actions
In areas where consideration is given to owner/visitor activity and to the property’s condition, both groups of people are under the same care standard. Determining whether the standard is met requires premises liability attorneys in Phoenix, AZ to consider factors such as:
• The visitor’s circumstances
• The property’s function
• The predictability of the injury or accident
• The reasonableness of the owner’s efforts to warn visitors or fix the dangerous condition
If an owner knows that people may trespass, they may have to give a reasonable warning for injury prevention purposes. The requirement only applies to conditions created by the owner, and those that are known to cause death or injury.
A commonly used limitation upon a property owner’s liability is the argument that the victim shared fault for his or her injuries. Visitors have a duty to look out for their own safety, and when that care isn’t exercised, recovery may be limited. If a person is injured on someone else’s premises, they should click here to speak to premises liability attorneys in Phoenix, AZ who will ensure that their legal rights are protected.