The Three Types of Visitors to a Property
If you slip and fall on a water puddle while at the grocery store, or fall into an open trench on a construction site that was not properly secured, you could be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. This particular segment of personal injury law is known as “premises liability,” and it protects the rights of those who enter a particular property by affording them legal protection, and the ability to file suit if it is violated.
In Arizona’s premises liability doctrine, visitors to a property are classified into one of three types, and each type is afforded certain rights and legal guarantees of safety. We provide a brief overview of the three different types of visitors on this blog.
The most-protected group of visitors to a particular property are the “invitees.” These are people who are explicitly invited to a particular location with either express or implied permission. People who fall into this category can include a customer shopping at a business, a patron attending a movie theater, or a visitor to your office location. The law requires that business or property owners keep all dangerous conditions to a minimum by either repairing any hazards immediately, or properly indicating them and securing them until they are. Some common types of hazards include slippery floors, broken handrails, and dimly-lit walkways.
Licensees are those who visit a property with permission, but for non-commercial reasons. If your neighbor comes over briefly to borrow a cup of sugar, they are afforded protection as a licensee for the duration of their brief stay while on your property. This means that if you must repair or secure and indicate all potential hazards on your property. Doing some digging work on your yard? Be sure you cover and indicate any open trenches. Likewise, if you have a dog, they must be secured and not allowed to attack any visitors; you could be held liable for any injuries they cause.
Trespassers are those who do not have permission to be on a particular property, and are afforded the least amount of legal care. Landowners are not generally held liable for injuries to trespassers, but can be if the injury was caused deliberately, such as by a trap set to ward off trespassers.
Child trespassers are different, however, and are awarded a high amount of care. A landowner can be held liable if a child is injured by a feature of their property that is unsecured, such as a swimming pool that is not fenced or a rusty jungle gym that is left easily accessible. Children often cannot determine the dangers involved with these “attractive nuisance” property features, so the law places the responsibility on the property owner to take the necessary precautions to prevent these injuries from happening.
Have you or a loved one been injured on someone else’s property through no fault of your own? A Gilbert personal injury attorney can help you obtain the substantial financial compensation you may be entitled to. At Browne Law Group, we take great pride in standing up for you to defend your rights using our straight-forward and client-centric approach to practice that guarantees you won’t pay anything unless we are able to recover on your behalf.