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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Premises Liability Laws and Private Residences: A Guide for Party Guests

Cinematic magic happens when apparently unremarkable characters in a movie attend a party, and then things get out of hand, contrary to everyone’s expectations. This is where Superbad, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Project X derive their appeal, to name just a few examples. In real life, someone would be left to deal with the mess after the credits roll, and if people got hurt in the midst of the festivities, pyrotechnics, and mayhem, then the sequel could be a courtroom drama about a premises liability lawsuit. Most of the premises liability cases that make the news headlines involve customers who got injured at a place of business, but the laws that enable injured people to sue for premises liability also apply to preventable accidents where guests get injured at a social gathering at a private residence. If you got injured in an accident at someone’s house where you were an invited guest, contact a New York trip and fall accident lawyer.

Premises Liability Laws Protect Invitees at Residences or Places of Business

According to New York’s premises liability laws, if you get injured in a preventable accident on private property where you were an invitee, you have the right to file a premises liability lawsuit against the owner or operator of the property. Just as in a car accident lawsuit, you can seek compensation for your accident-related medical bills and lost income.

The laws protect invitees whether the private property is a business or a residence. An invitee is someone who was present on the premises by request of or for the financial benefit of the host. At a business, an invitee is a customer, even if they have not made a purchase. If you trip and fall on uneven carpet at a department store, you can still sue for premises liability even if you were just browsing because it is still the company’s responsibility to keep the premises safe. At a private residence, an invitee is an invited guest because the guest was on the premises at the time of the accident, specifically because the host requested it. It was the host’s responsibility to salt the icy driveway before the guests arrived or to reschedule the party for a warmer day.

Does the Law Protect Guests Who Invite Themselves?

Premises liability laws provide maximum protection for invitees but also some protection for uninvited visitors to the property. Licensees are people who visit the premises by their own choice and for their own benefit. These include people who go door to door selling products or spreading religious or political messages. Trespassers do not enjoy premises liability protections unless the property owner intentionally injured the trespasser or exposed the trespasser to a high risk of injury. An exception applies to children who enter someone else’s property uninvited; property owners have a responsibility to make dangerous areas inaccessible to children.

Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC About Premises Liability Cases

A premises liability lawyer can help you if you get injured in an accident at someone else’s residence. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC in Brooklyn, New York, or call (212)671-1110 to discuss your case.


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