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How is liability determined in a premises liability case?

When entering a property a person has a reasonable expectation not to be the victim of accidents or injuries due to the premises thus it is the responsibility of the owner to maintain reasonable safety standards for the premises. The determination of liability varies depending upon the state that's because different states have different standards and rules.

Legal status of visitor: Some states focus only on the condition and status of the visitor when determining liability while in other states the criteria for determining liability are more comprehensive. In the case of the former, the status of the visitor is examined, and the visitor is categorized as one in four classes.

The classes are invitee: This is a visitor who has received an invitation from the landowner, and the invitation was provided in a manner that suggested that the premises were secure and fit for visiting, for example, a restaurant.

Licensee: This is a visitor who has received a license to conduct his activities on the premises; he is not entitled to have expectations for reasonable safety from the owner. Social guest: This is a visitor who has been personally invited by the owner and thus is entitled to reasonable safety expectations.

Trespasser: This is a visitor who has received no invitation and has no right to enter the premises but does so anyway and thus has no right to any expectations.

Condition of the premises and the status of the visitor: In the states where these factors are considered, the physical state of the property is examined to determine if it is reasonably safe while simultaneously the status of the visitor is also considered to determine their right to the expectation of reasonable safety standards for the premises.

Children on property: If the owner knows that the location or property is capable of attracting children then even if the child is a trespasser the owner must provide a warning that highlights the dangers of the property. Comparative fault: If both the owner of the property and the visitor are at fault for the injuries then recovery of damages for the visitors will be deducted by the amount determined to be caused by their own negligence by the court.

Premise liability cases are very complex and confusing thus it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced attorney near you.

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Law Offices of Mark A. Thiel
3439 Brookside Rd., Suite 205
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