A premises liability case in Pennsylvania typically refers to personal injury cases where you sustain injuries at someone else's property due to defective and hazardous conditions. Most premises liability cases are due to the carelessness or negligence of the property owner.
If you have been in such an accident and want to win a premises liability case, you will need the services of one of our professional attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter. We will help you prove that your injuries were a direct result of the property owner's failure to maintain the premises to the required standard.
That said, it is essential for you to note that just because you sustained an injury on someone's property, it does not automatically make the property owner liable. Similarly, just because your injury resulted from an unsafe condition does not imply that it was due to the property owner's negligence.
You will have to produce solid evidence and prove in front of the jury and judge that the property owner knew about the hazardous condition and failed to rectify it, which caused your injuries. In some cases, you can also prove that the property owner contributed (intentionally or unknowingly) to creating a condition resulting in causing harm to you.
Classification of Premises Liability Lawsuits
Several personal injury claims fall under the umbrella of premises liability. These include:
- Amusement park accidents
- Defective conditions of the premises
- Dog bites
- Escalators and elevator accidents
- Ice and snow accidents
- Poor maintenance of the property
- Slips and falls
- Swimming pool-related accidents and injuries
- Toxic chemicals and fumes
- Water leaks and flooding accidents
Yes, dog bites also fall under the premises liability claims because the dog is their owner's responsibility. If a property owner has a potentially dangerous breed of dog, they can be held liable for any injuries caused by the dangerous dog
Filing a Premises Liability Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
In order to prove the negligence of the defending party, you must demonstrate that they knew about the unsafe conditions and, in some cases, even had a chance to rectify the situation. However, there are three aspects to filing a premises liability claim in Pennsylvania.
- Negligence vs. Strict Liability
As a plaintiff, there are two ways you can attempt to recover damages by filing a premises liability lawsuit.
You may want to rely upon the principles of strict liability, which refers to accidents and injuries involving a condition creating inherently and abnormally hazardous conditions. In these kinds of cases, you do not have to prove that the property owner breached their duty of care, causing your injury. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss.
In this type of premises liability lawsuit, you will have to prove that it was the property owner's negligence that caused your injuries. For this, you will have to produce certain pieces of evidence, such as:
- the property owner failed to fulfill their duty of care which resulted in an accident causing your injuries;
- the property owner should have known or already knew about the hazardous condition;
- even after having knowledge of the dangerous condition of their property, the property owner did not rectify the problem; and/or
- this breach of duty by the property owner resulted in your injuries.
We believe it is essential for you to know that Pennsylvania law does not offer any protection to trespassers in either of the above-mentioned scenarios. However, there is an exception to this rule applicable to minor children.
If a child trespasses onto a property with dangerous conditions and the property owner knew about the hazards, the child's parents could file a premises liability lawsuit. One example is swimming pool accidents involving children because the property owner must know that this may attract children and is a potential risk to a child's wellbeing. This is called an “attractive nuisance.”
- Know about Comparative Negligence
Pennsylvania applies a "comparative negligence model" when trying to establish who was at fault to cause the accident. Moreover, this model also helps the courts to determine how much compensation to award to the victim of the accident.
If you are filing a premises liability case in Pennsylvania, you will only receive compensation based on the percentage of blame the property owner shares in causing the accident. If you are more at fault (51% or greater), then you will not get any compensation at all.
This is where you need the help of our experienced attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, because the Defendant's attorneys (and their insurance company) will stop at nothing to prove that it was more or entirely your negligence and fault that resulted in an accident.
In the event you are found partially negligent in causing your own accident, it will reduce the amount of compensation you may receive.
For example, if the judge or jury found you 25% responsible for causing an accident, the award you are eligible for will be reduced by 25%. For example, if you were to receive $100,000 in compensation, you will only receive $75,000 due to your comparative negligence.
- Statute of Limitations in Premises Liability Cases
Pennsylvania law states that if you sustain an injury at someone else's property due to the property owner's negligence, you can file a premises liability lawsuit. However, you only have 2 years to file the claim, and the statute of limitations clock starts ticking from the date of the accident.
In case you fail to file a premises liability lawsuit during this time frame, you will most likely end up losing the right to recover any compensation. Are you nearing this deadline to file a premises liability lawsuit? In that case, you need the service of our experienced and knowledgeable team of attorneys to get the compensation you deserve.
Get Help from the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury on someone else's property and believe it to be their fault, then you may have a viable premises liability lawsuit. Contact us today to speak to one of our personal injury attorneys, or you can also chat with us live now.
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