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Dangerous Property Lawyer

Responsibilities of Property Owners

Property kept in poor condition often leads to injuries from trips, slips, and falls. The danger is even greater for small children and older people. Property owners have responsibilities to people who come to their property. Their responsibilities are different depending on why the person is there. There are three categories of people that are generally accepted: trespassers, licensees, and invitees. The duties owed by the property owner are different depending on the category of the injured person.  

  • Trespassers. With few exceptions, owners of a property have no duty to trespassers on their land. Exceptions include times when either the owner intentionally harms a trespasser without justification, knows that the trespassing is happening, or in some cases when the trespasser is a child.
  • Licensees.  A licensee is a person who is on the property for their own benefit with the owner's permission. Examples include party guests, family members, or visiting friends. The owner is responsible to a licensee for injuries caused by the property's condition when it exists intentionally or in reckless disregard for the safety of others. They are also responsible for injuries resulting from any hidden dangerous conditions that the owner knows could cause injury, even if the visitor is careful.
  • Invitee.  An invitee is a person on the property of another with their permission and is there for the economic benefit of the property owner. An example is a customer at a store. A store owner must make their property safe for the customer's visit. First, the owner must look for anything that creates a risk of harm to the customer. Then they must fix the unsafe condition or warn customers of the risk. When dealing with public property, an invitee is a person using the property for the purpose that the property was made public. For example, a family member enjoying an afternoon at a public playground would be considered invitees.
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Featured Dangerous Property Cases

Questions About Dangerous Property Cases

What are common dangerous conditions in premises liability cases?

Most premises cases arise from conditions like wet floors, poor lighting, poorly maintained property, and failure to remove snow and ice timely. However, there are many different ways a property can be dangerous and make property owners liable for damages.

How do property owners defend premises liability cases?

First, they will blame you for whatever happened. They will say the incident would not have happened if you were paying attention. They will also claim they did not know the dangerous condition existed.

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