Wet leaves on entryways, walkways, and driveways can create slick surfaces that can lead to a slip-and-fall, but accidents like this are usually covered under the property owner’s insurance policy. Let’s look at the basics of fault for an injury resulting from the accumulation of wet leaves, and explain why your best of course of action probably runs through your neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance carrier (not necessarily against your neighbor himself).
Homeowner Liability Basics
Under a legal concept called “premises liability,” homeowners have a responsibility to take certain reasonable steps to ensure that visitors don’t get hurt due to a dangerous condition on the property, but in some states this duty varies depending on the visitor’s legal status. Is he or she a licensee, invitee, or trespasser?
Licensees are people who are on your property for their own purposes, with your express or implied permission. Social guests and solicitors are usually considered licensees. Invitees include contractors doing work on your house, or shoppers at your yard sale. A trespasser is someone who enters your property without your permission or authorization.