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Contributing factors in premise liability

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Unexpected accidents occur every day, leaving parties in physical, emotional and financial binds.

Thankfully, in certain cases, it is possible to pursue a premise liability claim. Before pursuing such a claim, it is important to understand the contributing factors to premise liability.

Individual classification

Different parties hold different classifications while visiting a property. These classifications make up four categories:

  1. Invitees
  2. Licensees
  3. Adult trespassers
  4. Children

Invitees and licensees have invitations to the property by the property owner. A licensee has a direct invitation to the property, while an invitee may have an indirect invitation, such as a contractor visiting a business. Property owners owe the highest standard of care to invitees and licensees. If children are not licensees or invitees, the standard of care may not be as stringent. Property owners owe the lowest standard of care to trespassers.

Negligence

As with any personal injury claim, negligence involves a party owing a standard of care to another party and not meeting that standard, therefore leading to injury and damages. A claimant must successfully prove negligence to win a personal injury claim.

Standard of care

The standard of care is a key element of determining if a property owner is truly negligent in a situation. Think of the proper standard of care as the measuring apparatus of which to compare the acts, or lack thereof, of the property owner. Considering that the party's classification while on the property determines the standard of care, it is also important to be clear what the party's status was at the time of the incident. Even if a party may fall into another category at certain times, it is the injured party's classification at the exact time of the incident that the courts consider.

A premise liability case has several varying aspects, which can be confusing. Taking time to fully understand these aspects can aid in determining the best course of action.

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