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Premises Liability Considerations for Business

premises liability

Premises liability is based on a legal principle that a duty of care is owed to people who enter upon a premises. All businesses that operate out of a physical location need to evaluate the importance of premises liability and how to manage related risks.

Who is Owed a Duty of Care?

In the eyes of the law, there are three categories of persons who enter upon a premises and all three may be owed a duty of care. A customer or client is regarded as an invitee. A person who is permitted onto a premises for a limited purpose such as contractor or service provider is regarded as a licensee. A person who enters upon a premises without permission is a trespasser. In some jurisdictions such as California, courts have determined even trespassers are owed a duty of care in the context of premises liability.

How Do Premises Liability Claims Occur?

If a breach of a duty of care results in the existence of an unsafe condition that causes injury on a premises, the business responsible for it may be found to have committed negligence. Source: Typically, the business must be aware of the condition or should have reasonably known of the condition in order to have committed negligence.