Getting Injured On Someone Else’s Property

When someone is injured on someone else’s property, they may ask if the owner is liable. The answer depends on several factors, but by understanding what they are, you will be in a better position to know whether someone is responsible for injuries you sustained. 

It is true that property owners have to keep people safe when they are in their homes or on their property. That being said, certain circumstances have to be met to hold them liable. If someone you didn’t invite tries to get into your yard by jumping the fence and gets hurt doing so, is the owner ultimately responsible? It is implausible that the owner has any duty to protect that person. 

Types of Visitors 

The owner will likely not be held responsible for that person’s injuries because they were trespassing. Property owners are not expected to cater to the needs of trespassers. However, that changes with children. For example, if an owner knows that children sneak onto her property to access a beach, she still has an obligation to keep that area safe. Granted, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have other ways of legally preventing people from using her land. 

There are two other types of visitors: invitees and licensees. These two categories can be confused easily. An invitee is someone who comes onto your property for reasons that benefit them and you. If you walk into a hardware store during business hours, you are an invitee. You are there to buy things from the store. 

If you have been invited over to someone’s home, you are not an invitee—you are a licensee. You are in someone’s house for social reasons rather than commercial or business-related ones. 

Invitee vs. Licensee

The distinction between the two is essential. A property owner has a higher standard of responsibility for an invitee than a licensee. If you went into the hardware store and got hurt, the owner is liable if they reasonably should have known to prevent the thing that hurt you. 

If a social guest gets hurt on your property, you are liable if you failed to mitigate a known hazard or danger. 

John M. Totten, P.C.

If you have been injured on someone’s property—whether it is a private residence or a business—you may be entitled to compensation. We have extensive experience with many personal injury cases, including everything from slip and falls to animal bites. To schedule a complimentary personal injury consultation, contact John M. Totten, P.C.