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What may seem like a simple trip and fall at a business, grocery store, or even someone’s home, can quickly become a nightmare if you are seriously injured. The ramifications of that injury, which may require lengthy and expensive treatment, prolonged periods of missed work, and other expenses, could quickly add up and affect every area of your life.
If you are unsure whether you have a viable case under the state’s premises liability laws, you may want to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney. A Philadelphia premises liability lawyer could determine whether someone’s negligence was the cause of your injuries and walk alongside you from the start to the end of your case for compensation.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
The term premises liability indicates an injury that occurs on a person or entity’s property due to a dangerous or hazardous environment. These cases can arise from various circumstances that could result in serious harm. Hazardous property conditions, like wide gaps or cracks in the sidewalk, unsafe or ill-maintained apartment structures or other buildings, or even a slick surface, are all circumstances that could result from negligence and give rise to a premises liability claim.
Poor building security, fires, elevator accidents, or unsafe amusement park conditions could also result in accidents that fall under the purview of premises liability law. Common premises liability accident injuries include fractured or broken bones, contusions, lacerations, spinal injuries, neck injuries, and head injuries.
Given these cases’ complex chain of events, it is common for more than one individual or entity to be held responsible for negligence. However, it is wise not to wait too long to pursue a claim, as 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524, while subject to certain exceptions, gives injured individuals a general filing deadline of only two years from the date of the incident to start a lawsuit. A Philadelphia attorney could work diligently to uncover every detail surrounding a premises liability accident, identify all potential defendants who may bear responsibility, and ensure any compensation claim starts in a timely fashion.
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim
Even though more than one party may be liable for injuries sustained in a premises liability accident, being injured on a person or business’s property is insufficient to support a claim. Whether or not a person or entity may be held liable for a premises liability accident comes down to establishing that party’s negligence. A suit must prove four distinct points: a duty, a breach of this duty, causation, and damages.
A property owner must have owed the claimant a duty of care and violated that obligation. In addition, that violation of their responsibility must have directly caused an individual’s injuries, resulting in damages such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of life enjoyment, and pain and suffering. Under Pennsylvania premises liability law, the extent of the duty of care a potential defendant owed depends on the reason an injured party was on the property in the first place.
For example, property owners owe invitees, such as tenants invited onto the property, the maximum duty of care. Owners must check for dangerous conditions on the premises and ensure they are attended to or make the invitee aware of them.
On the other hand, property owners owe a lesser duty of care to a licensee, someone authorized to be on the property but is there to serve their interest (i.e., a patron at a bookstore). The lowest duty of care applies to trespassers who are not legally authorized to be on the property. A seasoned Philadelphia lawyer could help determine the legal standing of someone injured on dangerous premises and all parties’ potential responsibility.
Talk with a Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorney About Your Potential Claim
Getting the answers you need about your legal options does not have to be difficult. Rather than handle a legal case and go up against an insurance company on your own, consider getting in touch with a practiced Philadelphia premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. Our team could use every legal option at their disposal to build a complete and compelling case on your behalf while working on getting you the compensation you deserve. Contact our office now to discuss your potential claim.