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Premises Liability Injury Lawyer In Philadelphia
Anyone legally visiting someone else’s property has a reasonable expectation to be safe from harm or injury. Property owners, therefore, have the responsibility to maintain their premises safe and free from hazardous conditions. When they fail this responsibility and their negligence leads to a visitor’s injury, that visitor can have a basis for a premises liability claim.
In Philadelphia and surrounding Pennsylvania communities, Attorney Gary Brod has been helping premises liability victims get compensated for their accidents. Many people with serious injuries have entrusted their cases to The Brod Law Firm and have obtained the results they wanted. With a successful track record spanning more than 30 years, The Brod Law Firm stands out as a highly effective personal injury firm that helps injured clients get back on track.
If you or a loved one has been seriously hurt on someone’s property, and you believe the property owner is liable for it, talk to The Brod Law Firm. Whether you simply have questions you want answered or are already considering legal action, the competent and understanding attorneys at the firm are ready to serve you.
Accidents And Injuries In Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability cases are often called “slip and fall” cases because most of the injuries involved are due to people slipping or falling on some defective part of the premises. However, many other types of accidents and injuries can occur under a property owner’s negligence. These include:
- Slipping, tripping, and falling accidents
- Dog bites and pet attacks
- Swimming pool injuries
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Snow and ice accidents
- Burn injuries
- Amusement park accidents
- Injuries due to toxic chemicals and hazardous substances.
Responsibilities of a Pennsylvania Property Owner
Under Pennsylvania law, the owner or occupier of a property has what is called a “duty of care”. This is the obligation to make a reasonable effort to ensure that visitors on the property are safe and protected. A property owner fails this duty if:
- They knew or should reasonably have known that there is an unsafe condition in the premises,
- Despite this knowledge, they failed to take any steps to fix the unsafe condition,
- This failure caused a visitor’s injury, and
- The injury resulted in losses or damages on the part of the visitor.
Who May Be Held Responsible
It is not only the property owner who has the duty of care towards visitors. Sometimes, this duty falls on other parties as well.
The law states that the duty to keep premises safe falls on the party that “possesses or owns” the property. Possessing or owning means:
- The individual or company occupies the property and intends to control it
- The individual or company has been occupying the property and intends to control it if no other party does so
- The individual or company is entitled to immediately occupy the property if no other party possesses it.
A common example can be found in a shopping center or commercial building. If a company leases a space in a shopping center, that company may be considered in possession of that space and may be responsible for the safety of shoppers there.
Duty Depending On Type of Visitor
Not everyone who is injured in someone’s property may be able to make a premises liability claim. The injured person should have been a legal visitor at the time of the accident; further, the property owner should have owed them the appropriate duty of care.
An owner’s duty of care primarily depends on the type of visitor in the premises:
- Invitee. Invitees are encouraged by the property owner to enter and/or remain on the premises. They are thus legal visitors. There are two categories of invitees: A public invitee is a member of the public who has an invitation or authorization, usually to enter public properties. Meanwhile, a business invitee or business visitor is one who has a direct business association with and an exclusive invitation from the property owner. Examples of this are store patrons and doctors’ patients.
A property owner owes the highest duty of care to invitees. In addition to the responsibilities mentioned above, a property owner also has the obligation to warn invitees about potential hazards – thus, the owner is required to inspect the property for such hazards.
- Licensee. Licensees have the privilege of entering or remaining on the property through the property owner’s consent. In other words, they have the property owner’s permission to be on the premises, even though these visitors enter for their own purposes and not because they were invited. Examples are unexpected guests in a household, off-duty employees in an office, and people who go into a store to ask for directions.
A licensee is a legal visitor, but a property owner has a lesser duty of care towards them. An injured licensee has the burden of proving that the owner failed their duty and that the licensee had no actual knowledge of the hazard involved.
- Trespasser. Trespassers enter a property illegally or without permission from the owner. Naturally, a property owner owes the lowest duty of care to a trespasser. The only time a trespasser may be able to make a premises liability claim is when the owner or possessor of the property showed willful misconduct – that is, had a desire to bring harm to the trespasser, or was aware that the trespasser could be injured upon entering the premises.
Experienced Attorneys For Pennsylvania Premises Liability Claims
Attorney Gary Brod and the entire team at The Brod Law Firm are highly capable of handling premises liability cases. Three decades’ worth of successful experience prove this. So, if you believe you may be entitled to a premises liability lawsuit, talk to us.
Call Gary Brod and his team anytime or contact us online for a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation. You can also use our easy phone sign-up process so we can start reviewing your case today.
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