What Is Premise Liability?

What is Premise Liability?

This is likely not a part of law that you often ponder. But think about it. When you go to the store, gym, or even a friend’s house, you are on someone else’s property. If you are injured, who is liable?

A person may be liable if an injury occurs on their property and it can be determined that the property owner knew (and should have known) of the dangerous conditions. Additionally, they may be liable if they failed to repair the condition, or didn’t tell the visitors about the condition.

Dangerous conditions might include:

  • bad lighting
  • uneven steps or sidewalks
  • slippery floors
  • fumes or chemicals
  • unsecured rugs or carpets
  • lack of security
  • debris

Who Is Liable?

When it comes to premise liability issues, there are three categories of people:

  • Business invitees. These are people who come into a place like a restaurant, gym, or store for business purposes. Since they are invited in, they must be treated with the highest level of care. Property owners are expected to perform routine safety checks. They must provide warning to customers of any dangers that have not been fixed. In the case of business invitees, property owners can even be liable for dangers they should have known about.
  • Licensees. This group includes family, friends, neighbors, and others whom you invite into your home for social purposes. In this case, property owners must maintain the property and warn visitors of any dangers. However, they are only liable for known dangers, and not dangers they should have known about.
  • Trespassers. When it comes to trespassers, the law is a little strange. If a property owner encounters a trespasser, it is still their duty to warn the trespasser of any dangerous conditions. For example, if someone is trespassing, but is injured because of a trap set up by the property owner, the property owner may still be liable, since they caused intentional harm.

For homeowners, the “attractive nuisance doctrine,” which pertains specifically to kids, is also something to be aware of. The attractive nuisance doctrine states that if property owner displays something that may be enticing to a child, then the property owner must provide special care to those kids, regardless of it they are invitees or trespassers. This refers to things like pools or trampolines.


If you are injured on someone else’s property, talk to an attorney to go over the details of your case. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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