Premises Liability Lawyer
In Pennsylvania, property owners are expected to use reasonable care to protect people who enter their premises from injury. The Commonwealth’s premises liability laws are designed to protect people who have been injured while visiting the property of others. These laws allow injured victims whose accidents are caused by a property owner’s negligence or wrongful acts to recover compensation. A Pennsylvania injury lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to understand your legal rights when you have been injured while visiting someone else’s property.
What Is Premises Liability?
In Pennsylvania, involuntary manslaughter is defined in 18 Pa. C.S. 2504. Under this statute, involuntary manslaughter can be charged when a person is killed because of criminal negligence or recklessness but without intent. For example, if you were driving 30 miles per hour over the speed limit and caused an accident in which someone died, you might not have intended to cause his or her death. However, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter because of the recklessness of your actions.
Involuntary manslaughter can also be charged when you engage in negligent or reckless conduct that is legal. If your recklessness causes the death of another, involuntary manslaughter charges can be filed against you even if your actions were not unlawful.
Types Of Premises Liability Cases
People can be injured in many different ways while they are visiting the property of others. When their injuries are caused by the property owner’s negligence, the property owner may be liable to pay damages.
Here are some of the ways in which an accident might happen because of the negligence of a property owner:
- Falling objects that were improperly placed
- Failing to block off dangerous areas
- Slip and fall accidents from spills, uneven flooring, poorly maintained floors, broken steps, and other issues
- Escalator and elevator failures because of poor maintenance
- Explosions and fires because of poor maintenance
- Malfunctioning rides at amusement parks
- Swimming pool accidents and drowning
- Dog bites
- Inadequate security at hotels or in parking lots
- Inadequate maintenance of the property
- Exposure to toxic chemicals or fumes
What Is The Duty Of Care For Property Owners?
To succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The property owner’s duty of care was owed to the victim.
- The property owner failed to fulfill the duty of care.
- The property owner’s breach of the duty of care caused the victim’s accident and injuries.
- The victim suffered damages as a result.
The duty of care refers to the property owner’s legal obligation to follow a standard of reasonable care to prevent harm to others. For example, if you are shopping at a grocery store and are struck by items that were carelessly stacked on a shelf, the property owner may be liable to pay damages because of negligently stacking the items on the shelves.
While property owners owe a duty of care to visitors, the duty varies based on the visitor’s status. Property owners owe different duties of care to trespassers, licensees, and invitees.
Property owners owe the lowest duty of care to trespassers. These are people who enter or stay on the owner’s land without consent. In this type of case, the only duty the property owner has is to avoid intentionally harming the trespasser. The property owner will not have a duty to maintain the property safely to protect a trespasser. However, the property owner cannot set a trap to intentionally injure a trespasser.
Licensees are people who enter the property owner’s land for the benefit of the licensee instead of the owner. Licensees have the property owner’s permission or consent to enter. Property owners owe a higher duty of care to licensees than they do for trespassers. For licensees, the property owner must warn them of any dangerous conditions on the property so that they can avoid accidents and injuries.
The final class of visitor is an invitee. This is someone who enters the property owner’s land for the benefit of the owner. For example, an invitee includes a person who enters a retail store to purchase clothing. Since invitees are invited onto the property owner’s premises to benefit the property owner, they are owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must regularly inspect their properties and correct hazards to protect licensees. They must also warn them of any dangerous conditions that exist through signage or other means.
Other Liable Parties
In premises liability cases, there may be several other parties who might also be liable for a victim’s injuries beyond the property owner.
Other parties that might be liable include the following:
- Security guards
- Third-party maintenance companies
- Property managers
- Work crews
How Can Pennsylvania Premises Liability Lawyers Help?
Premises liability cases are frequently complex. There may be multiple parties involved, and some companies aggressively defend against claims. If you have been injured while you were visiting the property of someone else, it will be important to have a determination of liability completed. An experienced Pennsylvania injury lawyer can review the facts of what happened and explain whether your claim has legal merits. After accepting your case, your attorney can track down witnesses and interview them, analyze the scene of the accident, consult with experts, and secure important evidence to support your claim. This can help you to secure the proper compensation so that you can be made whole again.
Types Of Damages
The damages that might be available to you will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Multiple factors affect the amount of compensation that you might receive, including the extent of your injuries, the likelihood of recovery, the available recovery sources, your income losses, and your pain and suffering.
Some of the types of damages that might be available in a premises liability claim include the following:
- Past medical bills and future anticipated medical costs
- Past lost wages
- Future anticipated income losses
- Reduction in your ability to earn an income
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
Get Help From A Premises Liability Lawyer Near Me
If you have been injured on someone else’s property because of negligence, you should talk to an experienced Pennsylvania injury lawyer at DiCindio Law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 610.430.3535.