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Premises liability: What kind of visitor were you?

The liability of a property owner in a premises liability claim often depends on who the visitor to the property was and the context under which the visit occurred. In this respect, premises liability law generally recognizes four different types of property guests.


The first kind of property guest is known as an "invitee." This individual -- when hurt due to no fault of his or her own on someone else's property -- will usually have the easiest time pursuing a claim for damages. An invitee is someone who enters a property at the behest of the property owner to conduct business. For example, imagine that a shopkeeper opens his doors for business to sell jackets and coats to the public. The people who enter the store to shop for coats would be defined as "invitees."

The second category of guest is a "licensee." The licensee enters a property for his or her own purposes, and with the permission of property owner. For example, a licensee could be someone conducting business on the property.

The third category is a "social guest." This could be someone who enters a property to attend a party. He or she would be considered a welcome visitor to the property by the owner.

The fourth category is known as a "trespasser." Trespassers are visitors who enter a property unlawfully and without the owner's permission. The trespasser might have a more difficult time pursuing damages after suffering an injury on a property that he or she did not have permission to visit. However, in some cases, trespassers might be able to pursue a personal injury claim.

Were you hurt on someone else's property due to no fault of your own. You might want to speak with a Maryland premises liability attorney to determine whether you have a viable claim for damages.

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