Ownership of any kind brings with it certain responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is liability for an accident such as a slip and fall. If you’re an employer or a property owner, liability questions probably keep you up at night. The biggest question is: when are you liable for damages?
Let’s say you are a small business owner in Provo, Utah. As an employer, you are liable for any accident that happens due to the nature of employment or that occurs in the workplace — and could end up meeting with an employee’s lawyer over a potential incident.
For instance, if your Provo-area business is a sandwich shop and one of your employees suffers a slip and fall while rushing to deliver sandwiches to a customer, a lawyer will most likely find you liable for the accident. But what if the accident happened to a customer? This is where employer liability exits and premises liability takes the stage.
Property owner liability can get confusing. That’s because this form of liability, referred to as premises liability, is dependent upon the reason why the injured person was present on the property. Land and property owners in Provo and throughout the country are held liable to different degrees depending on whether the person was an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser.
As any lawyer will tell you, an invitee is any person who is invited onto the property by the owner as a member of the public or to conduct business. In the case of a Provo-area sandwich shop, anyone entering the shop during business hours would be considered an invitee. By law, property owners are responsible for making the property safe for invitees and warning them of any potential dangers that can’t be fixed. You are also responsible to help any invitees who need assistance while they are on your property, or risk an uncomfortable visit with their lawyer.
If a customer came into the sandwich shop during business hours and tripped on a loose floor tile, you would be liable for the customer’s slip and fall injuries.
If your property is not a public area, any person you allow to enter your property is considered a licensee. As the property owner, you are still responsible to warn individuals of any dangerous conditions you are aware of. However, in the case of a licensee, you aren’t responsible for any accident that happens because of a condition you didn’t know about.
If a family friend comes over to your house in Provo for a backyard barbeque and has a slip and fall accident because of a hole you didn’t know existed, you most likely would not be found liable.
A trespasser is an individual who enters private property without permission. Liability for a trespasser’s injuries varies from state to state. If a trespasser suffers a slip and fall in Provo, generally the property owner is not held responsible. There are exceptions, though, depending on each situation.
If a trespasser can prove that you as the property owner knew trespassers frequented your property in a dangerous area you created or have control over, they might be able to hold you liable for their slip and fall injuries. A call to your local personal injury lawyer can help you determine liability with trespassers.