Broadly speaking, premises liability claims related to dangerous property conditions that cause injuries to guests or visitors on someone else’s property. Pennsylvania law requires property owners to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition and when they fail to do that and others are injured as a result, property owners may be liable. Premises liability lawyers know that people injured on someone else’s property are often reluctant to bring claims for their injuries and damages and that is unfortunate because when someone’s negligence leads to another’s injuries, they should be held accountable for their negligence and injured parties should be compensated.
Types of premises liability cases and injuries
Types of premises liability cases are wide ranging. Some common cases include slip, trip and fall injuries; fire hazards or negligently maintained/missing fire detection and prevention equipment; falling debris from store shelves, walls, or nearby construction sites; poor property maintenance leading to injuries; poor lighting in walkways and stairways; and any other unforeseen and unreasonably dangerous property condition. In general, property owners have a duty to discover and remediate dangerous conditions in a reasonable amount of time. In the meantime, they also have a duty to warn guests and visitors of the dangerous condition while it still exists before remediation takes place.
There are several parties that may be responsible for dangerous property conditions including the following:
- Homeowners, of course, have a duty to keep guests safe on their property and when they are injured due to dangerous conditions such as a broken front step, icy sidewalk, or broken floor tiles, homeowners may be liable for their injuries and damages.
- Landlords have a duty to keep their tenants safe from dangers on the property. They also have a duty to make sure that buildings are well maintained and secure for tenants.
- Businesses such as retail stores, amusement parks, restaurants, or any other business that invites guests and customers onto their property also may be liable in premises liability claims for injuries sustained on their property.
- Government entities that own public property such as parks, streets, and crosswalks may be liable for injuries and damages sustained on that public property. Different filing deadlines and notice requirements may be applicable in cases against government entities, so it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident on government property in order to preserve the claim.
- Dog owners may be liable for dog bite injuries and damages depending on the circumstances surrounding the dog bite incident. In Pennsylvania, dog owners are generally responsible for medical bills, but they may be responsible for additional compensation such as pain, suffering, and lost wages under certain circumstances.