Premises Liability Laws: Invitee, Licensee, Social Guest And Trespasser

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Explore:  Premises Liability

When you are injured on someone else's property, the owner’s degree of liability depends on a variety of circumstances — including your legal classification as a person on the property. There are numerous Washington case laws that apply, and premises liability attorneys in Seattle, WA can evaluate your injury and grounds for a lawsuit.

The appeal Amber Blue v. Markee and Veronica Foster explains how persons on property fall into various categories, including:

  • Invitees. Invitees are invited onto the property. A customer invited to enter a store is an example of an invitee.
  • Licensees. Licensees are legally allowed on the property, but are not invited for business purposes and could be there for any other reason.
  • Social guests. Social guests are licensees in that they are not present for business purposes but the owner has invited them to be there.
  • Trespassers. Trespassers enter the property without the legal right to be there.

Property owners are only liable to social guests and licensees if they do not know about the owner's activities and the risks involved, or if there is a danger that they cannot discover or recognize unless the owner warns them. Generally, property owners owe a greater duty of care to invitees and no duty of care to trespassers except to not willingly and intentionally harm them.

Posted in Personal Injury

Tagged legal classification, personal injury, premises liability