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When you get hurt on someone else’s property, you may wonder if you have a claim against them. Often, the answer is yes. Property owners must keep their property safe for people who are legally on the premises. In some instances, property owners may even have some obligations towards people who are illegally on the property.

The extent of the duty of care depends on three things — the type of visitor, the type of property, and the type of accident. Understanding how these three things interact is essential in determining whether someone has a premises liability claim. A Clark premises liability lawyer at Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC can evaluate the circumstances of your injury and advise you about your potential remedies. Call today to begin working with a trusted personal injury attorney.

Different Types of Visitors and Property

Property owners owe different duties of care to different types of visitors to the property. Visitors can be guests, customers, licensees, residents, and trespassers, depending on why the visitor is on the property and the type of property.

Types of Visitors

Guests are social guests of private properties. Someone who goes over to visit someone else is a guest. Customers refer to people who are on business property in order to conduct business such as patrons in a store or restaurant. Licensees refer to people who are on residential or commercial property for legal reasons but are not guests or customers including someone who stopped in a store to use the restroom without purchasing anything. Residents refer to people who live on the property.

Types of Property

Property falls into three broad categories—residential, public, and commercial. However, residential property falls into two of its own broad categories—owned by the resident or owned by a landlord. Landlords have a duty to the residents of their property, but homeowners who live in the property do not have the same duty to other non-tenant members of their household. They may have obligations under other laws but not premises liability.


Trespassers refer to people who are on the property illegally. Trespassers may be on the property for nefarious reasons. However, trespassers do not have to have ill intent—a child who goes into someone else’s yard is also a trespasser. A Clark premises liability attorney can explain how the property owner’s liability often depends on the exact nature of the property and the guest.

Attractive Nuisances and Trespassers

Children are frequently the victims in premise liability claims. These children do not have to be guests to have a claim. New Jersey recognizes a doctrine known as the attractive nuisance doctrine, which holds property owners accountable for injuries to children resulting from attractive hazards. Children may trespass in order to explore tempting things. Some examples of attractive nuisances include pools, trampolines, fountains, and animals.

While property owners do not owe adult trespassers any duty of care beyond not intentionally causing them harm, special considerations are made for children trespassers. Property owners are not strictly liable to trespassers for injuries from attractive nuisances. Instead, they must take reasonable precautions to keep wandering children safe from risky things on their property. For example, a homeowner with a pool who does not have a child-safe fence around the area could be liable in a premises liability case using the attractive nuisance doctrine.

Consult a Premises Liability Attorney in Clark

Since so many factors impact whether or not you have a premises liability claim, it is essential to consult with an attorney about your injury. The attorneys at Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC offer the individual attention of a small firm but with the resources of a large firm. Let us put these resources to work for you. Schedule a free consultation with a Clark premises liability lawyer to learn more.