A premises liability case can be filed when someone is injured on someone else’s property. Victims could earn compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more if they can prove in court that the property owner’s negligence directly led to their accident. However, the courts will need to determine whether the victim was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser because this has a significant effect on what compensation they are eligible for. To learn more about this, continue reading this blog or contact one of our Queens Premises Liability Attorneys today for high-quality legal counseling!


Property owners have a certain duty of care to others who visit their premises. However, how much they owe their visitors (and how liable they are if a visitor gets hurt) depends on why or how they are on the owner’s property. As you might expect, trespassers (who are people who unlawfully enter someone’s property) won’t be eligible for the same compensation as someone who was lawfully invited onto the property.

Invitees and licensees are both similar in that both are lawfully allowed to be on someone’s property. The main differences are whether the property owner expected their visit and what their purpose for visiting is. An invitee is someone who was explicitly or implicated invited to the property, usually for business/financial purposes. Meanwhile, a licensee can be anyone who has permission to be on the property but is generally there for social purposes.

Examples of invitees include:

  • Shoppers in a grocery or retail store
  • Hotel guests
  • Customers in a restaurant
  • Contractors hired to work on someone’s home
  • A delivery person

Customers and shoppers are invitees because they are implicitly invited by the store owner, who expects visitors.

Examples of licensees include:

  • Friends visiting a residence
  • Guests of a dinner party
  • Neighbors stopping by
  • Religious missionaries
  • Door-to-door salesmen

Though salespeople are generally on people’s property for business reasons, they are still considered licensees because they aren’t expected by the property owner.


The distinction matters in the courtroom during premises liability cases. If an invitee is injured on the owner’s property by a hazard that isn’t noticeably visible, then they might be eligible for compensation for their injuries. However, a licensee might only be eligible if the property owner knew about the hazard and didn’t warn them about it. To determine whether you can earn compensation, you should speak with a personal injury attorney.

Have you recently been injured due to a property owner’s negligence? Are you seeking an effective personal injury attorney who has your best interests in mind? Look no further because the Law Offices of George Poulos is here to fight for you! Contact our highly experienced team today for an initial consultation.