While many businesses and properties are well-maintained, people can still be injured on-site. As a result, a business where the injury took place may be liable when someone is injured on the premises — but it’s not always clear-cut. An individual can fall under three primary categories when on a property:
Invitee: An invitee is someone who was invited to the business. They may be responding to an ad, for example. In most cases, an invitee has express permission to be on the property. There are situations where permission is implied and the owner is aware of an invitee’s activity on the property, such as if the invitee brought a colleague along. The property owner is responsible for ensuring safe conditions for the invitee and informing them of all potential hazards.
Licensee: A licensee can have express or implied consent to be on a property but wasn’t necessarily invited to be on the premises, and has a lesser connection to the property owner than an invitee. A licensee also has limited or no legal ground to sue a property owner for negligent conditions the owner wasn’t previously aware of. Emergency responders are often considered licensees, for example.
Trespasser: A trespasser enters the business or property without express or implied permission. They are there on their own accord. The property owner cannot intentionally harm the trespasser, but unlike with the invitee or licensee, an owner isn’t required to make a trespasser aware of any potential hazards. However, if the owner becomes aware of the trespasser, then the owner is obligated to ensure the trespasser isn’t injured negligently.
Regardless of the situation, you should always protect yourself. This is why AFEUSA has partnered with Answer Financial. Our members get access to special offers and insurance plans to make sure their business is protected.
Article by Charles Jackson, President of AFEUSA