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Karnas Law Firm

Arizona Premises Liability: The Distinctions Between Invitees, Licensees and Trespassers

Premises liability law holds a real property owner or occupier liable when a person is injured on the person or entity’s real property. Premises liability law also acts as a deterrent and encourages real property owners and occupiers to maintain their premises in a safe and reasonable manner. There are many nuances to premises liability law. For example, the owner or occupier’s duties differ when injured person was an invitee, a licensee or a trespasser. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between an invitee, licensee and trespasser and provide a few examples of situations that may give rise to a premises liability action.

In Arizona, an “invitee” is a person who enters onto a property of another for an express business purpose. For example, if you enter into a grocery store to shop, you are an invitee. Accordingly, if you are injured in a slip and fall in the grocery store’s produce section, you will be considered an invitee in a premises liability action against the grocery store.

Alternatively, a “licensee” refers to a person who enters onto a property pursuant to an express or implied invitation for a social purpose. For example, if your friend invites you over for dinner and you are injured while at his house, you will likely be considered a “licensee”. It is important to note that the property owner may owe a higher duty of care if the injury occurs to a child guest.

Finally, a “trespasser” refers to a person who enters onto the property of another without express or implied permission. For example, if you are injured while crossing through a neighbor’s field to take a short-cut to the convenience store, you will likely be considered a trespasser. The duty of care owed to a trespasser is generally lower than that owed to an invitee or licensee. However, a higher degree of care may be owed to an injured child based on the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine.   

The actual application of the distinctions are more complex and we will save that discussion for a later blog post. As a general principal, you should know that the property owner or occupier’s duty will vary depending on your status as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser when the injury occurs.

Common examples of premises liability actions in Arizona include”

  • Animal or Dog Bites
  • Inadequate Maintenance
  • Restaurant Liability
  • Retail Store Liability
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Swimming Pool Injuries
  • Inadequate Maintenance

If you have been injured while on the premises of another, you may have a premises liability claim against the owner or occupier. The attorneys at Karnas Law have years of experience litigating premises liability actions. Contact Karnas Law for your free consultation today.

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