Responsibility concerning premises liability

Some New Yorkers may wonder what premises liability encompasses. Basically, it says that property owners and renters have a responsibility to keep their property safe for individuals to enter. If they do not, they may be considered negligent and held liable. While there are many variations of the law based partly on state specific statutes, there are certain aspects commonly held.

In order to apply the tenets of premises liability, several things must occur. There must be some form of negligence. The visitor must be what is described as an invitee or a licensee, and the person who may be liable must have ownership or resident status.

The individual who visits the property is labeled according to their reason for being there. An invitee has an invitation to enter the property, and a common example is a store customer. A licensee is on the property either for their own purposes or as a social guest. Trespassers are persons who have no right to be on the property. Neither licensees nor trespassers have the right to assume that care was taken to keep the property safe. The owner or occupant has the duty to warn of danger on the property particularly if children are involved.

Sometimes both the visitor and the owner are at fault. This is comparative fault or negligence. Both parties share in the burden since the visitor has a duty to himself to stay safe. This means that if the plaintiff did not exercise appropriate caution, the extent of their negligence will be subtracted from the amount of damages.

An attorney may provide insight and guidance to an individual involved in premises liability. By understanding their rights and proceeding accordingly, the individual may be able to seek compensation for injuries they may have suffered due to negligence.

Source: Findlaw, “Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?“, September 04, 2014