New Jersey residents who have been injured on another person's property may wonder what their legal rights are. Oftentimes their rights fall under the umbrella of premises liability. Premises liability comes from the principle of negligence. If a person entering the property or premises of another suffers an injury due to the negligent maintenance of the premises or any inherent danger in the property, the owner may be held liable for premises liability.
Premises Liability Terms Explained
An invitee is defined as a person who is invited by the owner to come to their premises. Invitees, however, would also include all those who enter the premises for business-related reasons. Thus, customers as well as applicants of jobs are seen as invitees. Invitees are entitled to maximum duty of care by the property owner. The property owner not only has the duty to ensure the safety of his premises, but also to repair any known damages to the property and reasonably inspect the premises from time to time to ensure its safety. What is reasonable, however, may be defined differently under different circumstances according to the facts of the case.
Many times premises are licensed out to someone for social use. Such licensees are also entitled to sue the premises owner in case of any injury suffered. The property owner has a duty of care to the licensees as well. However, the duty of care is reduced when compared to that for invitees. While premises liability extends for any known dangers inherent in the property, there is no duty of care to inspect the property for any hazard or danger.
Trespassers are defined as unauthorized visitors to a premise. In most cases the property owner does not owe any duty of care towards a trespasser. However, an exception is made in case the injury suffered by a trespasser is due to a danger created in the property by the owner which was knowingly kept hidden. Minor trespassers who unknowingly trespassed on the property without knowledge may, however, be able to recover the same damages as the other categories.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney for Help
The above information is meant for general purposes only and is not to be considered a replacement for legal advice. If you have further questions regarding premises liability, consulting with a professional may be a good step to take. Contact our Premises Liability attorneys today for help.
Source: FindLaw, "Property Owners' Legal Duty to Prevent Injury," accessed Sept. 16, 2014