Many people in Connecticut may not realize it, but when they purchase real estate they are taking on a legal duty to others when it comes to the presence of visitors on their property. When injuries occur to another person on the property, the injured victim may be able to pursue a claim under “premises liability” law.

So, what do our readers need to know about premises liability law? Well, for starters, it is important to understand that the legal duty that a property owner has to other people is based on the “status” of the visitor to the property. If the visitor is an “invitee” to the property, that means that the property owner has specifically invited the person onto the property, whatever the reason may be. It is to this classification of visitor that the property owner owes the highest legal duty and may be held liable if that invitee suffers an injury while on the property.

On the other hand, property owners owe very little legal duty to “trespassers” on their land. A trespasser is a person who is on the property without the permission of the landowner. If a trespasser suffers an injury on the real estate, the property owner usually will not be held liable, although there are a few exceptions to this rule.

So, in essence, the most important question in a premises liability claim is: Why was the person on the property to begin with? The answer to this question will likely begin to establish whether or not a Massachusetts resident might have a valid legal claim under this area of the law.