Anyone who owns real estate, whether it is your home, condominium or townhouse, you can be held liable if someone is injured on your property just like the owner of commercial property. As a homeowner, you are required to make sure your property is reasonably safe for anyone you invite into your home. A residential slip and fall accident may lead you to a premises liability claim.
Types of Visitors
Under premises liability, visitors are classified in three categories.
- An invitee is someone you have invited to your home to do business. If you operate a home-based company, any client who visits your home is considered an invitee. Any repairman who visits your home, including plumbers, electricians or appliance repairpersons, can be considered invitees. You must provide an invitee with the highest level of care and notify them of any dangers that exist that could cause a residential slip and fall accident or other injury-causing incident.
- A licensee is someone you have invited to your home for the mutual benefit of you and the guest. If your best friend comes over for a visit or you invite your neighbor over for a barbecue, they are considered invitees. You have some duty to warn invitees of any dangers that may exist as well.
- Trespassers are those who come to your home without permission and may include door-to-door salespeople. You only have a minimal duty to keep them safe from harm, although you may not set up traps with the purpose of injuring them.
Types of Residential Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many reasons why someone might slip and fall at your home. You may have a loose board on your deck or your family dog dug a hole near the backdoor. Just like in other types of slip and fall accidents, you must have known or had reason to know that the hazard existed. If the dog just dug the hole before your dryer repairman tripped and fell, you may not be held liable as you could not have known the hole was there. However, if the loose deck board has been there for months and causes someone to trip and fall, you could be held liable.
Hire an Attorney
Whenever someone trips and falls on your property, it is important to contact an attorney, even if the injuries seem minor. An attorney can advise you on what steps to take to minimize your liability and work with the injured person to come to a settlement that is mutually beneficial for both of you. Hiring an attorney does not mean a lawsuit is imminent, but that you want to protect both your interests and that of the person who was injured.
If someone has tripped and fallen at your home, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have regarding a residential slip and fall accident. You can arrange for an initial consultation by calling us at 1-800-Lundy Law or completing the easy form online.