New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Premises Liability – Duty of Care and Scope of Invitation

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 in Personal Injury FAQs, Premises Liability

Duty of Care

When a person is injured on third party’s property, he or she may file a claim for damages.

Premises liability defines the obligation the owner of a property has toward those who visit and use the property. Known as duty of care, the property owner needs to maintain the property in such a condition that it is considered safe for use by visitors. When the condition is not safe for standard use by visitors, an accident leading to injury on the property can lead to a premises liability claim.

Different Types of Visitors

Premise liability laws need to be understood before applying them

Premise liability laws need to be understood before applying them.

There are three main types of visitors who enter a property. They are:

  1. Invitees – The business owner invites a person to visit the property to conduct business. The visitor is an invitee. Examples: customers, salesmen.
  2. Licensees – The owner invites a person for social purposes. People who visit the owner for relaxing and chatting are licensees. Family, friends, and neighbors are licensees.
  3. Trespassers – A person who visits a property without an invite from the owner is a trespasser.

Who can be on a Property?

The owner, agents, and employees also known as invitors extend an invitation to people to be on a property for a particular reason. Invitations include:

  • Written invitation – Written invitations are in the form of a letter, email, ad, poster, or card. The invite’s intention is to have people on the property.
  • Spoken invitation – A word-of-mouth invite is a spoken invitation. This can be over the telephone and in a direct personal meeting.
  • Implied invitation – A continuous visitation that follows a regular invite such as written or spoken. The visitor is not expected to receive an invite every time he or she needs to visit the property.

Scope of Invitation

  • An invitee can be on a property on a mutually beneficial point. The visitor or invitee enters the premises for conducting a business transaction – purchase of goods, services, and merchandise.
  • The invitee’s status and the property owner’s liability can change if the invitee strays from the scope of invitation.
  • In normal course, the property owner is expected to provide a safe environment for the invitees on the property. If the invitee is aware of a situation on the property that can cause injury, the owner is not likely to be held liable if such situations cause injuries to invitees.
  • Not all those invited to enter upon a property are recognized as invitees. The invitee’s status is not absolute and is only limited by the property owner’s scope of invitation.
  • If in case the invitee strays outside the invitation’s scope, the status of the invitee changes. If the invitee involuntarily strays outside the scope of invitation, the invitee still retains his/her status. But if the invitee makes a voluntary decision to move outside the scope of original invitation, the invitee loses the status.

Were you injured on a third party’s property and do you wish to know if you can claim for damages from the property owner? Call our New York premises liability attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff (RMFW) who have law offices located in Astoria, Queens, New York City, and two locations in Brooklyn.

RMFW attorneys have settled numerous premises liability claims. We know how to win. Many clients have won tens of thousands of dollars and more working with us. We have won millions for our clients over the years. So call 212 697 9280 right away.

This list is not that special. You can be on it too. Someone else did you wrong; it is time to enact some legal muscle to make this situation right.

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