If you are going to own property that allows people to freely come and go on your property, you have certain responsibilities you must adhere to.
You must take reasonable steps to ensure the guests are able to walk in and out (and within) the buildings without fear of injury.
The law requires the people coming and going behave reasonably as well. When these common-sense approaches fail, the liability law is enforced.
Who Is Allowed On The Property?
Before you can determine if someone can be paid for being injured on the property, you have to determine if they were allowed to be there. The law recognizes three groups of people. They are:
● An Invitee
● A licensee
● A trespasser
An invitee is someone who comes onto the property to do business or benefit the property owner. An example of this is a customer coming into a retail shop to buy merchandise.
The person who owns this property knows and expects people to visit often and has a great deal of responsibility to make sure the walks are clear and dry, the shelves are secured, and the person is safe.
If there is a danger that is not obvious to the customer, there must be warnings. This is why you see the orange cones or yellow triangle signs on store floors warning of a wet floor.
Note: The law is not unreasonable. If the property owner has not had time to identify or correct the problem, the law is not going to hold them responsible. For example, if it is sleeting, and a person slips in the sleet, the property owner could not have prevented it at that time.
If a person comes onto the property for reasons that benefit them and not the owner of the property, the landlord holds less responsibility. They did not invite them, and they are not responsible for ensuring the person knows any danger in the immediate area.
Of course, there are exceptions. But, the general rule is that they are entering for their own benefit, and they are responsible for being aware of the environment and to take precautions.
A trespasser is someone who comes onto the property, uninvited, unwelcome, and stays without permission. In Idaho, the law does not hold the property owner liable if someone trespasses on their property and gets hurt while they are there.
If a person breaks a window and enters a store to take things that are not his, and in the process, he falls and cuts himself, the property owner doesn’t owe him anything.
Even if the trespasser dies, he or she had no right to be there, and the law will not compensate their family for the injury or death as a result of it.
If you are hurt on someone’s property, and you feel they are responsible for your injury, call a Coeur d’Alene premises liability law firm. It doesn’t cost anything to make the call.
Sometimes the reason for your injury blurs the lines. If the landlord has a responsibility in the accident, an attorney can help you collect.