Invitee vs. Licensee: What’s the Difference?

Contact Us Today!

In Florida, premises liability laws stipulate that property owners owe a legal duty of care regarding their property. Property owners can be held accountable for damages when a person is injured on their property due to hazardous conditions left unattended. Property owners can be held liable because they are legally required to maintain safe premises for patrons and guests to prevent injuries. However, a property owner’s liability depends on the classification of the visitor. If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to their negligent actions, please read on and contact one of our skilled and dedicated St. Petersburg Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys to learn about the difference between invitees and licensees.

What is the difference between invitees and licensees in a premises liability case?

To determine a property owner’s liability, the law classifies different types of visitors to evaluate what degree of duty that visitor was owed by a property owner. Patrons and visitors are classified as follows:

  • Invitee. An invitee is an individual who has explicit permission to enter a property. Invitees are usually on the premises for business purposes.
  • Licensee. A licensee is an individual who has implied or limited permission to enter a property. Oftentimes, licensees are invited onto the premises by an invitee. Licensees typically enter the property for social purposes. Since they are there for social purposes they have consent from property owners, however, they are there for their interests.
  • Trespasser. A trespasser is an individual who does not have permission to be on the premises. Trespassers do not have consent from the property owner to enter a property.

Under these classifications, invitees and licensees are both legally allowed to enter a property as they have explicit or implied consent from the property owner. A trespasser, on the other hand, does not have consent from the property owner, which means they are not responsible for any damages that occur on the property. However, property owners may be held liable if they deliberately or wantonly injure a trespasser. Furthermore, invitees are owed the highest duty as they have explicit permission to be on the premises. Licensees are also owed a duty of care. Ultimately, if a property owner knew or should have reasonably known about a dangerous condition and did nothing to remedy the hazard, they are breaching their legal duty. This means if an invitee or a licensee can prove that a property owner owed them a standard duty of care, and breached that duty of care which directly caused their injuries and damages a property owner can be held liable.

The classification a visitor falls under could affect their ability to hold a negligent property owner accountable for their damages. If you have been injured on another person’s property, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our trusted attorneys. Our firm is committed to helping our clients get the justice they deserve.