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Whenever a person enters another party’s land, they have the right to expect the owner will take steps to keep them safe. However, this is not the case in the eyes of the law. While it is correct that a landowner who allows a slip and fall to occur may be liable, the law bases whether that owner had a duty to protect on an injured person’s motivations for entering the land. Additionally, defendants may argue that an injured person did not take proper caution to prevent the slip and fall. This may result in an injured party receiving reduced compensation for their injuries or a dismissal of a claim.
A Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer could help people who have suffered injuries exercise their right to demand compensation. A personal injury attorney could work to establish that person’s protections under the law, evaluate the actions of property owners, and fight for appropriate reimbursement for all losses.
Common Scenarios that May Result in a Slip and Fall
Slips and falls are the most frequent way people suffer injuries while visiting another’s property. A simple mistake on the part of a landowner could allow a dangerous situation to arise that places all guests in danger. Most tripping incidents occur in one of two ways.
A slip and fall may be the result of a temporary hazard. Failing to clear snow and ice from a sidewalk could lead to a tripping accident. Philadelphia winters are harsh, and landowners must remain vigilant to clean sidewalks after any snowfall or overnight freeze. Other temporary hazards include standing water, loose carpeting, or overly slick floors.
The other cause of slips and falls is structural defects. Landowners must take proper care to ensure that all areas are safe for visitors. Potholes in parking lots, broken stairs, or loose hand railings could all cause severe injuries to unsuspecting visitors. An attorney in Philadelphia could provide more information about the common causes of slips and falls and how they may result in harm.
Slip and Fall Claims Under Premises Liability Laws
A slip and fall occurring on a property that does not belong to a plaintiff does not guarantee a successful claim for compensation. In fact, the law states a plaintiff must establish a landowner had a duty of protection to succeed in a case.
Trips and falls are one example of a premises liability claim. These claims demand compensation because a landowner failed to keep a visitor safe. Within this concept, the law creates three classes of visitors. The classification of a plaintiff is central to determining if a landowner failed in their obligation to provide protection.
Invitees enter the land as a member of the public. An invitee does not need an express invitation because anyone is welcome to enter. Landowners must examine their land for any hazards and exercise reasonable care to prevent injury from any dangers.
Licensees receive an invitation to enter the land for an express purpose. A classic example is a guest at a house party. That land is not open to the general public. Property owners must inspect their land for defects and take reasonable steps to fix the problem. However, a plaintiff can only collect compensation if they did not have reason to know of the hazard.
These are people who enter land without the permission of the owner. Trespassers can only collect payments if the injury resulted from wanton or willful neglect or misconduct.
Landowners may argue that they did not owe a visitor any duty of protection. They may also say an injured person shares the blame for the accident. If the plaintiff was distracted by a cell phone, was not wearing appropriate shoes, or disregarded a warning sign, this may combine to damage their claim. Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102 says courts must lower a plaintiff’s recovery by the percentage of blame they carry for the accident. If that percentage rises to 50, a court must dismiss the claim. A slip and fall lawyer in Philadelphia could evaluate a visitor’s rights under the law.
Contact a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Every landowner must protect people who enter their land. However, the level of this protection changes based on the visitor’s right to enter and their reasons for doing so. A Philadelphia slip and fall attorney could help an injured person pursue a claim for appropriate payments following an accident. Whether these incidents were the result of a temporary hazard, a structural defect, or an intentional trap, our legal team could work to protect your rights. Call today to schedule a consultation about your suit.