When a person owns or occupies a property, they have a legal obligation to keep it reasonably safe for invited or expected guests. While homeowners do have a duty of care to keep their home and premises safe so visitors are not injured, their premises liability is determined by the status of the one who became injured on their property.
Understanding Duty of Care
Homeowners who have invited guests to their home owe their invited guests the highest level of duty of care. When a homeowner invites someone to their home, they must, not only inform the invitee of possible dangers but also do their best to remedy them so no injuries occur. Invitees may include:
- Repair technicians
- Home contractors
- Real estate agents
- In-home care providers
If a homeowner does not properly care for their home and premises and an injury occurs, they can be held financially responsible. This is why it is imperative a homeowner inspects their property on a regular basis and makes note of any dangerous conditions so they can be repaired as soon as possible. Failure to repair them places full liability on the homeowner.
Trespassers Usually Cannot Seek a Liability Charge
Generally speaking, those who are not invited to the premises cannot sue for their injuries but this is not always the case. Because a trespasser is not supposed to be on the premises, there is no way a homeowner can properly warn or protect them from injury. It is generally very difficult for a trespasser to seek any form of compensation when they did not have permission to be on a property.
Homeowners Need to Protect Themselves
If someone becomes injured on a homeowner’s property, it is imperative they seek legal counsel so they can protect themselves, should they be sued for the damages caused. Often, simply offering to pay for the medical costs will prevent a lawsuit but this is not always the case.
A consultation with a lawyer can help a homeowner to learn more about their rights and what type of defense they can use if they are sued for injuries. Being proactive is important as these lawsuits can become stressful.