Different states have different takes on premises liability and under which condition somebody is allowed to receive compensation for their injuries after they have been injured due to adverse conditions that could have been prevented by a landowner. For instance, let’s look at two of the most common types of individuals who are injured on a property:
Invitee: Invitees are people who come onto properties for business reasons. For instance, an example of an invitee might be someone who is a customer in a store. The store owner knows that invitees will be on the property all the time, so they must do whatever it takes to protect these individuals from harm at all costs. They are owed the highest duty of care, which means that property owners must correct any dangers, discover hazards, and so much more.
Licensee: Licensees are those who enter properties for social purposes, such as when a neighbor invites you over to the property to take a look at something. Though a property owner is still supposed to ensure that their property is safe for licensees, the level of care is lower than that of invitees.
What About Trespassers, Then?
Trespassers are those who enter a property even though they have no permission to do so. The law states that, typically, trespassers will not be able to recover any compensation at all for their injuries because they should have never entered onto a property without that permission. However, property owners are not permitted to intentionally try to cause harm to a trespasser, such as setting bear traps when they know that a trespasser has been entering onto their property. Though trespassers are usually not considered when it comes to liability, there is an exception: When children are involved.
There is a theory in premises liability law known as the “attractive nuisance.” This doctrine means that there is a condition on a property that is likely to attract children, even if those children are not meant to be on the property. This means that it is the duty of the owner to take action and protect children from dangers associated with that attraction. An example of this would be a neighbor having a swimming pool. The neighbor knows that there are small children in the neighborhood, but does not build a fence around the pool when they obtain it. Therefore, if a child decides to come onto the property and is injured or drowns as a result, the neighbor could be held liable for their injuries or death.
The court will look at whether the condition on your property was “open and obvious,” which means that a child was more likely to come onto the property to take a look or play with the dangerous conditions. A property owner could be liable if your child was significantly harmed on another person’s property and the owner knew that the condition of their property could cause harm, especially in cases of an attractive nuisance.
Do you have a premises liability case? If your case is complex and you aren’t sure where to turn to receive the compensation you or your child deserves after your injuries have caused financial or emotional strain in your life? At the Nye Law Group, we have experience in these cases and want to help you every step of the way. Call us today for more information at 855-636-9277.