How Visitor Status Could Affect Your Premises Liability Claim
What was your purpose for being on the property where you were injured? Were you buying groceries at a supermarket? Were you visiting a friend’s home for dinner? Were you on someone’s private property without permission? One of our Palm Beach County premises liability attorneys may ask you these questions during your initial consultation to establish your visitor status at the time of the injury. Your visitor status will ultimately determine the duty of care owed to you by the property owner or possessor.
Read on to learn how visitor status could impact your claim:
- If You Were an Invitee: An invitee can be either “public” or “business.” A public invitee is someone who is visiting a public property such as a public hospital or park. These individuals are not on the property for the economic benefit of the property owner or possessor. If you were hurt on public property due to the negligence of a government employee, you may be able to bring a claim against the relevant government entity. A business invitee is someone who visits a property for a business-related purpose such as buying food at a grocery store. Most premises liability cases involve business invitees. In the state of Florida, property owners and possessors owe a duty to business invitees to ensure their premises are reasonably safe and to warn them about any dangerous conditions that might cause injury. If you were on a commercial property and the landowner, possessor, or their staff had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition yet failed to remedy it within a reasonable timeframe or to place a clearly visible warning and you were injured as a result, you may be entitled to compensation.
- If You Were a Licensee: Licensees can be either “invited” or “uninvited.” An example of an invited licensee is someone who is invited to a friend’s home for dinner. Property owners and possessors owe invited licensees the same duty of care that applies to invitees. An uninvited licensee is someone who enters a property without express or implied invitation such as a salesperson who knocks on your door. Although property owners cannot willfully or wantonly cause injury to uninvited licensees, they don’t owe uninvited licensees a duty to ensure their premises are free of dangerous conditions.
- If You Were a Trespasser: If you were on the property without invitation, license, or other right to be there and you intruded for your own curiosity or convenience, you might have been a trespasser. Property owners cannot willfully or wantonly injure trespassers, but they usually don’t owe trespassers a duty to ensure their premises are free of dangerous conditions. There is, however, an exception that applies to child trespassers. Under some circumstances, property owners need to take steps to prevent child trespassers from being injured by dangerous conditions.
If you or someone in your family was injured on another person’s property, our Palm Beach County premises liability lawyers can determine if you have grounds for a claim and how best to proceed.