What exactly is “premises liability?” Premises liability is a legal term for when a property owner is found at fault when someone is injured on their property, due to that owner’s failure to keep the property safe. The laws regarding premises liability are based on the notion that property owners owe a “duty of care” to those who come onto their property. That duty of care differs depending on the type of ‘guest’ present on the property. In Pennsylvania, there are three levels of types of guests: invitees (someone who is invited by the owner to come onto the property for business purposes, like a customer in a grocery story); licensees (someone invited onto the property for non-commercial purposes, like a party guest); and trespassers (someone who was not invited onto the property and is present on the property without the owner’s permission). The invitee is to be given the highest duty of care by the owner and the trespasser is given the lowest duty of care. The types of premises liability cases are numerous and varied. A few of the most common areas are slip and falls due to defective sidewalks or parking lots, amusement park injuries, swimming pool accidents, accidents involving defective stairs, curbs or escalators or falls due to snow/ice that is improperly cleared. Damages that can be claimed in a premises liability case include lost wages, past, present and future medical costs and pain and suffering.
Why do you need an attorney?
The premises liability area of law is expansive and involves a wide range of possible accidents and injuries. More importantly, the statutes, ordinance, codes and court-interpreted laws governing the determination of property owner negligence are also extensive and often complicated. When making an accident claim, an injured individual can often be taken advantage of by a property owner if the injured party is unfamiliar with what constitutes negligence on the part of the property owner or does not know the level of proof required to succeed with their claim. Because of this, it is strongly advised that you have an attorney represent you in your premises liability claim, so as to protect your right to obtain damages for injuries suffered due to the property owner’s negligence. If you have been injured while on another’s property, please contact experienced Pennsylvania premise liability Geraldine Linn, Esquire, in our Pottstown office, to discuss whether you have a viable injury claim and how we can assist you with it.