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What categories of visitors exist in a premises liability case?

Holiday shopping is in full swing, and residents of Tampa are hurriedly searching for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. After that they are off visiting relatives at parties and other celebrations. No one expects to be injured while shopping or as a guest at another person's home. However, sometimes these incidents occur, with disastrous results.

When you go onto the property of another, you generally have a reasonable expectation that the property owner has kept the property relatively safe. If a property owner fails to keep the premises safe, and another person is injured due to a dangerous property condition, it may be possible to hold the property liable via the concept of premises liability.

Premises liability laws vary by state. Some states focus on the status of the visitor when determining premises liability. A visitor could be an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser. Each of these categories have their own rules regarding liability.

An invitee is a person who is invited onto another's premises. For example, a customer is considered to be the invitee of a store. For invitees, the property owner must make sure the premises are safe by taking reasonable steps to ensure so.

A licensee is on the property of another for his or her own purpose, per the consent of the property owner. Social guests are licensees.

Trespassers do not have permission or the right to be on a person's property. For trespassers and licensees, there is no implied guarantee that the property owner has taken reasonable steps to ensure the property is safe.

This is only a very brief overview of the general laws of premises liability. Each state, including Florida, has its own specific premises liability laws. To learn more about how Florida treats premises liability cases, it may help to consult with an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?," Accessed Dec. 18, 2016

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