When you enter a hair salon, shop for groceries, or take your kids to the park to play, you have a reasonable expectation of safety. You have no reason to believe that you will experience any unforeseen harm as you go about your daily activities. Property owners have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe for lawful visitors, customers, clients and others who enter their properties. When they fall short on their duties, and someone is hurt as a result, then they put themselves in danger of facing a premises liability claim. If you have been hurt due to a property owner’s negligence or carelessness, you have a right to hold the property owner accountable. Our premises liability attorney can help.
Duties of Pennsylvania Property Owners
Perhaps you slipped and fell on a patch of ice as you entered a local café. Or maybe you were electrocuted by a faulty wire in your new apartment, despite being told that it was safe and ready for occupancy. Whenever you are harmed or injured on someone else’s property as a result of a hazardous condition, you may be able to hold the owner accountable for your injuries. You will have to prove that the owner was negligent in order for your claim to be successful.
Property owners have a duty of care to the lawful visitors of their properties. For example, if a store is open to the public, the owner of that store has a duty to keep the store reasonably safe for those who enter. A residential home owner has a duty to keep his property safe for invited guests. In order to win a premises liability claim, the onus is yours to prove that:
- There was a duty of care owed to you by the property owner. You were allowed to be there and were not a trespasser.
- The property owner failed in that duty.
- Due to that failure of duty, you were injured.
- Your injuries were great enough to warrant the award of damages.
The reason for your presence on the property determines the level of cared you are owed by the property owner. An invite, for example, is someone who comes to the property for the benefit of its owner, like when you shop for groceries. A licensee, by contrast is invited to the property by the property owner, such as when a neighbor is invited for a backyard barbecue. Trespassers are owed very little duty of care other than the property owner not inflicting injury on them intentionally.
Types of Premises Liability Case and Scenarios
Our firm has handled a range of cases in the past involving premises liability. Some of the most common types of premises liability cases are:
- Inadequate property maintenance – stair railing is loose, causing a fall; broken tiles cause tripping
- Slip and fall accidents – liquid in the floor or debris stacked in an aisle leads to an accident
- Animal attacks – a dog attacks a guest and causes injury
- Toxic fumes/chemicals – an employee mix bleach with other cleaners, leading to the release of toxic fumes that cause customers’ breathing difficulties
If you believe you have a premises liability case, contact our Bensalem premises liability attorney now to discuss the details. We offer a free consultation to help you weigh your legal options.