A homeowner could be held liable for the injuries sustained by visitors, licensees or even trespassers to the premises. The home owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care to keep the premises safe. Thus, where a homeowner, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon the premises for any lawful purpose, this duty to exercise ordinary care arises. Workers or contractors are generally considered invitees.
A licensee is a person who has no contractual relation with the owner of the premises but is permitted, expressly or implicitly, to go on the premises. A social guest at a residence is normally considered a licensee and the homeowner is liable to a licensee only for willful or wanton injury.
A trespasser is a person who enters the premises of another without express or implied permission of the owner. The home owner should not intentionally inflict harm on the trespasser by preparing pitfalls or traps for the trespasser. Once the owner is aware of the trespasser’s presence or can reasonably anticipate such presence from the circumstances, then the owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care to avoid injuring the trespasser. Homeowners usually take Insurance policies to cover this form of legal liability.