March 19th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Homeowner liability

As a property owner, you retain a degree of responsibility, known as premises liability, for your guests and other people who are present on your property. When it comes to this law, your visitors can be classified as invitees, licensees, or trespassers.

A certain responsibility falls on the property owner to ensure that all visitors are kept safe from dangerous conditions.

Take, for example, your mail carrier. Did you know if he or she slips and falls while on your property, you could be held liable? Certain factors come into play, but every homeowner should be familiar with how premise liability works.

Any number of injuries can easily occur on your property, but it’s not often something a person thinks about until in the situation. When it comes to liability, three main factors determine who is responsible.

As for state law, certain states focus on the status of injured visitor before determining liability. In other states, the primary focus is on the condition of the property and the preventability of injury. In states that focus on the status of the visitor, invitees are the responsibility of the property owner; however, when it comes to trespassers and licensees, the property owner is only responsible for warning of naturally occurring dangers on the property, but there is no implied promise safety is assured.

In California, consideration is given to the condition of the property and any activities that took place leading to the incident. The property owner is expected to provide a uniform standard of care and safety for all visitors except trespassers.

Regarding children, premises liability is somewhat different. A property owner is expected to give warning about any hazardous situations if he or she knows that children are likely to be on the property.

Situations that may result in premises liability claims include, but are not limited to:

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