When you enter someone else’s property or premises, you generally are entitled to expect that the location is safe and free of danger. The level of safety a property owes you may differ depending on why you are present on the property. However, if someone creates or allows a dangerous situation to exist and exposes you to that danger when you enter the property, the landowner/occupier may be held responsible for any injuries you suffer.
Understanding Premises Liability Law
Responsibility for injuries that you suffer on other people’s property is outlined by a body of law called premises liability law. Premises liability law establishes the extent of responsibility that a landowner or occupier has for people who enter their property. Different levels of liability exist for various categories of visitors. For example:
- Business Invitees. Customers and others invited into a retail or public establishment to do business with the owner are classified as “invitees.” Invitees are owed the highest level of care. Landowners or occupiers are required to regularly inspect the premises and to either correct any dangers they identify or warn visitors of those dangers. If landowners or occupiers fail to do so and a visitor is injured by a hazard on the premises, then the owner/occupier can be held legally responsible for the injuries.
- Licensees. Casual visitors, friends, neighbors, and other invited guests are called “licensees.” Property owners owe these individuals a mid-level duty of care. Landowners/occupiers must warn licensees of any known dangers on a property and of any dangers that the landowner/occupier reasonably should know about. Landowners/occupiers, however, are not obligated to inspect the property to make sure that it is safe.
- Trespassers. Those who enter a property without permission are called trespassers. Even trespassers are allowed some protection under the law as landowners have a duty not to set traps for them and can be obligated to warn known trespassers of serious dangers. In addition, if a homeowner/occupier creates a situation that is dangerous and might be especially inviting to trespassers, such as a swimming pool, then the landowner has a broader obligation to protect trespassers against the potential danger.
If you have been injured on someone’s property or in someone’s building or other structure, the first step in determining whether you can take legal action against the property owner is to understand whether you are classified as an invitee, licensee or trespasser. Our New Orleans premises liability lawyers will help you make that determination and help you prove that the landowner/occupier breached his/her duty to you.
Consult Our New Orleans Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you believe you have a potential premises liability case, contact one of our New Orleans premises liability lawyers today. We will evaluate why you were on the property and determine what obligation the landowner/occupier owed to you. If the landowner/occupier fell short of that obligation, we can file your premises liability claim and take your case to trial. The dedicated efforts of our lawyers will help you maximize the compensation you can recover for an injury sustained on another’s property.