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Premises liability categories and their significance

Posted by Ken Doane | Mar 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

When a property owner or manager does not have safety measures in place, or management does not enforce the set measures, it can create dangerous conditions. For those who suffer an injury while on a property due to dangerous conditions, it may be possible to seek compensation. 

If you or a loved one are considering filing a claim, it is important to understand the different aspects it involves. Premise liability is a crucial part of the claims process, and there are four different categories with strong significance that claimants should be aware of.


The classifications of people who enter a property help to determine the liability level of the property owner:

  1. Invitee
  2. Licensee by invitation
  3. Bare licensee
  4. Trespasser

An invitee is a party that the owner invites on the property, formally or informally, for business purposes. A licensee may enter the property by invitation for social reasons, and a bare licensee has the owner's consent to enter the property on his or her own accord. On the other hand, trespassers commit a criminal offense when they enter a property without the permission of the property owner. 

A party's status

A party's classification can change over time. For example, a contractor may enter a property as an invitee during the day and may come back for a social gathering at night. During that second visit, the contractor is a licensee by invitation or bare licensee, depending on the circumstances of the event. It is important for parties to understand these transitions.

Responsibility of the owner

The classification at the time of the incident is critical to determining the property owner's level of fault. A property owner owes the highest duty of care to invitees, less duty to licensees, and the least amount of care for trespassers. Therefore, establishing the classification of a party may be key to determining if a claim is valid.

By understanding these classifications, a party may be able to determine the best way to formulate a claim. It may also be beneficial to consult with an attorney.

About the Author

Ken Doane

Ken is an experienced personal injury attorney and practices in southern Indiana and the metro Louisville area. Ken and his team handle every aspect of his clients' cases from pre-suit settlement negotiations through jury trial and appeal, if necessary. He has practiced for over 22 years and has ...


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