Property owners must always be aware of the premises liability risks for their property and what actions should be taken to prevent accidents. It’s also important to understand how courts, insurance companies and legal representatives view the different types of individuals who enter a place of business and what property owners’ legal responsibilities are to these people. Most courts identify three main groups of people who might have reason to be on someone’s property.
The first group of individuals is known as invitees. This category includes customers shopping at a business as well as anyone else who has business dealings with the store owner such as salesmen, contractors and suppliers. This group can also include anyone who is applying for a job at the location. Owners need to provide the highest degree of safety for these people including inspecting and fixing any problems in any area where invitees may go.
The next category of visitors to a business is known as licensees. This group includes anyone who has entered a premise for social reasons and includes friends and family members. And while owners need to make sure that their property is safe for these people, they are not required to institute the same level of safety that they would for invitees.
The last group of people who could find themselves on someone’s property is trespassers. Most people know that trespassers are not supposed to be on an owner’s property and are there illegally. And while owners are not obliged to provide a safe environment for this group, the owner could find themselves liable for damages if he or she knows that people are trespassing on the property and also knows that there are hazardous conditions at the site.
Property owners must also make sure that their property is safe for trespassing children. However, any Connecticut property owner may want to speak to a premise liability attorney in order to learn about additional steps that they may need to take in order to keep their property safe.
Source: www.realestate.findlaw.com, “Property owners’ legal duty to prevent injury,” Oct. 3, 2016