Getting injured on someone else's property is a big deal, and if the injuries you suffer change your life and cause you great pain and suffering, you may pursue a premises liability case against the people responsible. But that begs the question: who are the people responsible for the incident? And how do you establish their fault in the situation?
Premises liability cases often hinge on the status of the visitor, but not every state follows these laws. In these states, a visitor can be one of four classifications:
- An invitee. This is someone who is invited into the property by another. Customers entering a store is an example of this.
- A licensee. This is a person who enters the premises for his or her own purpose, but at the consent of the owner.
- A social guest. Similar to an invitee, they are welcome on the property.
- A trespasser. This person has no right to be on the property.
If you are one of the first three classifications, then you could sue someone on the grounds of premises liability (depending on the circumstances of the case, of course).
You must also establish that the condition of the property was such that there was nothing you could have done to prevent the accident. This means that you, as the victim, must have been responsible at the time of the accident. If you were jumping up and down on a weak staircase or otherwise "tempting fate," then you may have problems with your case. Additionally, you have to show that the condition could have or should have been fixed, and/or that the property owner should have known about it.
Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?," Accessed Sept. 1, 2017