Whether a New Orleans property owner is legally responsible for an injury caused by a dangerous condition on his or her property is governed under Louisiana’s premises liability laws. Under these laws, the degree of care the property owner owes to an individual on the property varies depending upon the person’s reason being there. As a result, why an injured person was on the property can be instrumental in determining whether a personal injury lawsuit may be successfully pursued.
Louisiana law broadly divides individuals who may be on property into three categories: invitees, licensees and trespassers. Each of these categories is owed a different level of care by the property owner. An invitee is a person who has been invited onto the property. This category usually includes business patrons, who are considered to have been implicitly invited onto the property. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees and are required to take all reasonable precautions to ensure their safety.
A licensee is an individual who is on the property with the owner’s consent, but is on the property for their own reasons. This category usually includes social guests on private property. A property owner is required to warn licensees about any hidden dangers on the property, but is not necessarily required to repair these dangers.
Trespassers have no right to be on the property. Generally, property owners have no duty of care to maintain the property for the protection of trespassers. There may be exceptions to this rule, however, when the trespasser is a minor or the property owner is aware that people are likely to enter the property.
Obviously, these categories are very broad, and it helps to have an experienced personal injury attorney examine the specific facts surrounding the presence of the injured person on the property to determine the merits of pursuing a lawsuit against the property owner.
If you have been injured as a result of a dangerous condition on someone’s property, we can answer your legal questions. Please call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.