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Who Is Covered by Premises Liability Law?

When you have someone come onto your Property, they have a right to not worry about being injured. If they are injured due to the state of your property, they may be able to gain compensation under Premises Liability Law. One of the most common examples of this law is slip-and-fall, but it can take any number of forms.

One of the most important parts of a Premises Liability lawsuit in San Luis Obispo is determining the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. In general, there are three types: Invitees, licensees and trespassers. However, how that relationship comes into play with these kinds of cases may surprise you.


When you invite someone into your home or onto your property in general, it is assumed you have taken reasonable steps to ensure your guest’s safety. This most often applies to shop owners who have customers come into their store. For the purpose of this blog, an invitee will refer to a store customer. A customer has reason to expect they will not be injured when they shop in your store.

For example, if there is a spill on the floor, and they store owner doesn’t take immediate action to get it cleaned up (beyond just posting a sign), you may be able to sue under premises liability. Similarly, if a shelving unit is not securely anchored to the floor, or product is not properly stacked, you may be entitled to compensation in the event of a topple.


Licensees are similar to invitees, but are their own group. They are visitors that have permission to be on the property, but who visit for their own purposes, not business purposes. Examples of people who fall into this category include party invitees and store visitors not there to purchase products. While property owners still owe a duty of care to licensees, it is not as great of a duty as to invitees.

For instance, if you go into a store to ask for directions, but slip on a puddle while you are there, you may be covered under premises liability law. However, if you go into a store, then go into an area that is clearly marked off-limits and are injured, you may not be able to hold the property owner liable. In that situation, you may be considered a trespasser instead of a licensee.


Property owners have the smallest duty of care when it comes to trespassers. However, trespassers may still be able to hold property owners liable when it comes to being injured on the property. If the owner is aware of the high likelihood someone may come onto their property illegally, they have a duty of care to warn of any potential hazards.

For example, junkyards are common targets for thieves. As such, they often have barbed wire fences and guard dogs. While the barbed wire is a given, as it is in plain sight, not having a warning sign about a dog could lead to a lawsuit. On the flip side, if an abandoned house has an empty pool that is commonly used by kids for skateboarding, the property owner may be required to give ample warnings regarding the dangers of the pool.

Premises liability in San Luis Obispo can be a tricky subject. Your best bet if you have been injured on someone else’s property is to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. Contact the team at Ernst Law Group today for a free consultation.

The post Who Is Covered by Premises Liability Law? appeared first on Ernst Law Group.

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Who Is Covered by Premises Liability Law?


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