People in West Virginia may be confused about the obligation that homeowners have to people who they invite onto their property to perform various kinds of work. Homeowners frequently hire others to babysit children, mow the lawn, provide cleaning services or repair broken items around the house. When people enter a home to do work, they always face the risk of injury. This is especially true if a negligent property owner fails to provide a safe space for people to work and a babysitter, contractor or house cleaner is injured as a result.
People who come into another person’s home are considered invitees under the principle of premises liability. This means that they have the highest level of protection if they are injured on another person’s property. An invitee is someone who is invited onto the property to provide some form of material benefit to the homeowner. In the business context, customers of a store are also invitees. A property owner is responsible to provide a safe environment for invitees to do their work; he or she also has to properly maintain the area and warn against any dangers.
Other types of people who come onto the property with permission are known as licensees, like family members and social guests. A Licensee’s presence does not provide a financial or material benefit to the property owner, but he or she still has some responsibility for them. A homeowner must warn licensees about any dangers of which they are aware and must refrain from willfully causing injury.
When people go to perform a job in someone else’s home, they have rights to expect safety on the job. If a worker is harmed due to a homeowner’s negligence, that worker might consult with a personal injury lawyer about the potential to pursue a premises liability claim for damages like medical bills and lost wages.