Can I Sue A Landowner or Store Owner If I get Hurt on Their Property?
When one is injured on the property of another [ e.g in someone’s home or on their land, or in business premises like a story or theater] the claim for personal injury that may ensue is typically referred to as a “premises liability claim”. As attorney Eric T. Kirk will tell you, the outcome may depend on the injured person’s reasons for being on the property, as the duty, and responsibility for injury, of a landowner, possessor or manager of land or a building depends on the legal status of the person who was injured. Maryland law recognized four classes of visitors.
- An “Invitee” is someone on the property for purposes related to the owner’s business and is owed a duty of reasonable care to keep the property safe.
- A “Social Guest” is on the property not for any business purposes, but as the guest of the owner, and is owed a duty of reasonable care to keep the property safe, and is also entitled to be warned of any latent dangers they could not discover on their own.
- A “Bare Licensee” is on the property, with permission, but for his or her own business purposes.
- A “Trespasser” is, well, a Trespasser, and neither a trespasser of Bare Licensee are owed any duty at all.
There are some other specific rules, e.g. for Landlords, that are explored in other chapters. If you’ve been injured while on another’s property, consult an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney to determine if you have a claim.