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What is Premises Liability

What is Premises Liability
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What is Premises Liability

According to the law, people who own or rent property are accountable for accidents and some types of injuries that happen to any other person who is on that property. This is known as premises liability law. A property owner may be responsible when:

An injury is caused by equipment being used on the property

An injury is the result of another person's behavior

Injuries are caused by damage to walkways or from falling objects on the property

Injuries are the result of what is known as "slip and falls".

If the injured party wishes to file suit against the property owner, he or she must establish the reason for being on the property in the first place. When determining liability, the visitor to property could belong in one of the following three categories.

Invitee

An invitee is someone who was "invited" onto the property for reasons of commerce. As an example, the designation of invitee is given to people who shop in a supermarket since the general public is invited to come inside that store to buy. The storeowner is bound by law to protect the invitees from danger or warn them of possible danger on the property.

Licensee

This designation is give to someone who has been invited onto the property for reasons that are not business related. They have permission from the owner to be there. A person invited for social reasons is the clearest example of a licensee. Property owners are responsible for injuries that may happen to the guest only if that guest can prove that the property owner was aware of the condition that caused the accident or injury and that he or she new that their may be a risk of harm to a guest.

Trespasser

The designation of "trespasser" means exactly what the name implies. A trespasser came onto the property with neither an implied nor expressed invitation from the property owner. They were there for their own agenda and not to provide a service for the owner. Property owners are not required to warn trespassers of possible harm nor are they under any obligation to make their property safe for a trespasser.

This is factual information about the designations of visitors to property and is not intended as legal advice. It is a good idea to consult with an attorney when determining a possible premises liability issue, whether you are the injured party or the property owner.

This is written to provide information and not legal advice.

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What is Premises Liability Washington