Guest Classification & Premises Liability

Is your favorite past time hosting friends and friends of friends in your home? Do you enjoy inviting people over for tea and a chat? Are you known as the “open house” on your street? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to learn about Michigan premises liability before you have another acquaintance in your home!

What Is Michigan Premises Liability?

Michigan premises liability consists of laws that demand an owner of a property to ensure its safety for guests. As owners are in possession of the property, and are therefore probably also the managers of the property, it is their legal responsibility to ensure guest’s safety. If a guest is injured on the property due to the negligence of the owner, the guest could sue the owner under a premises liability claim.

Classifying “Guests” Under Premises Liability

Every person on your property is placed in a legal classification depending on the purpose of their visit and whether or not they have permission to be on your property. Each classification significantly impacts a potential claim, and therefore, classifying a plaintiff is a crucial aspect of premises liability cases.

Invitee (Highest Level of Care)

An invitee is someone you invite to your property for a commercial purpose. Therefore, an invitee must enter the premises for purposes that would have benefited an owner or occupant of the premises, or mutually benefited both parties. Examples of invitees include:

  • Business partners;
  • Customers;
  • Consumers.

Licensee (Moderate Level of Care)

A licensee is someone you invite to your property for any purpose other than business. The people in this classification are invited to the owner’s property, but not for commercial purposes. Therefore, friends and family who are invited for social visits (parties, tea, etc.) are licensees. An owner is still legally liable for licensees, but they are less liable for licensees than invitees.

Trespasser (Lowest Level of Care)

A trespasser is someone who enters another’s property without the owner’s or possessor’s consent. Due to their lack of permission, trespassers are afforded the lowest level of care of all classified groups. If the trespasser’s presence is unknown to the property owner, then the property owner has no duty to make the premises safe or warn the trespasser of dangers. If the property owner knows the trespasser is on the premises and the trespasser is injured, the property owner may be liable.

It is crucial to note that someone invited to a property who is injured while investigating a part of the premises they are explicitly told not to enter is classified as a trespasser as opposed to an invitee or licensee.

Injured on Someone’s Property? We Can Help!

If you or a loved one are injured on someone else’s property, you may have the right to file a premises liability claim against the property owner. Premises liability claims can be anything from dog bites to sinkholes, so if you’re injured on someone’s property, it’s best to talk to a Michigan personal injury attorney to see if your case is worth pursuing.

Call (517) 316-1195 now for a free consultation for your case!

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