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Types of 'visitors' according to premises liability

Accidents can happen anytime. But what about when the accident occurs on someone else's property? Does the property owner have any responsibility to the injured to maintain a certain level of safety? These are important questions one may ask themselves when they suffer an injury due to an accident on private or public property.

Due to the laws regulating premises liability, a person injured on another person's property may be entitled to compensation. One factor in determining if a person is eligible for compensation under premises liability is what type of visitor they were to the premises at the time of the accident. There are three types of visitors; invitees, licensees and trespassers. Depending on the situation, these types of visitors can be a hard and fast rule to determining if damages are due.

In some states it is solely the status of the visitor that bears on the decision. When someone is invited onto another's property, that person is an invitee. An example of an invitee would be a customer in a store. When one invites another onto their property, it is implied that they have taken the reasonable and necessary steps to ensure the premises is safe. When one is given consent to enter another property but they are present for their own purpose, they are a licensee. Lastly, a trespasser enters the property of another without any consent or right to enter. There is not an implication of reasonable care in the case of a licensee or trespasser.

These are not the only factors that go into determining premises liability cases. However, the type of visitor to the property can be a big factor in determining if damages should be awarded. Each case is different and will require a great deal of consideration. Examining all the facts is the best way to recover for an accident.

Source: findlaw.com, "Legal Status of Visitor: Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser?," Accessed Oct. 27, 2014

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