Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility of property owners or occupiers to ensure that their premises are safe for those who are legally on the property. This can include visitors, tenants, or invitees. If someone is injured on a property and believes the property owner or occupier is at fault, they may file a premises liability lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries. However, there are several reasons why someone might lose their premises liability case.
Lack of evidence
In order to succeed in a premises liability case, the plaintiff (the person bringing the lawsuit) must prove that the defendant (the property owner or occupier) was negligent in maintaining the property and that this negligence caused the plaintiff’s injury. Without sufficient evidence to support these claims, the case is likely to be unsuccessful.
Failure to show that the defendant had a duty of care
To be held liable for a premises liability claim, the defendant must have had a duty of care to the plaintiff. This means that the defendant had an obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the property. If the plaintiff cannot show that the defendant had a duty of care, their case is likely to fail.
If the plaintiff’s own actions contributed to their injury, the court may determine that they are partially responsible for the accident. This is known as comparative negligence. If the plaintiff is found to be more than 50% at fault for their own injury, they will likely be unable to recover damages from the defendant.
Assumption of risk
If the plaintiff was aware of the danger on the property and chose to enter or remain on the property anyway, they may be unable to recover damages from the defendant. This is known as assumption of risk.
Statute of limitations
In Pennsylvania, a victim has two years from the time they were injured or became aware of an injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If the plaintiff waits too long to file their case, their claim may be barred by the statute of limitations.
Lack of injury
In order to succeed in a premises liability case, the plaintiff must have suffered an injury as a result of the defendant’s negligence. This is one of the many reasons it’s important to see a doctor shortly after being involved in an accident. You need to be able to demonstrate that your accident directly caused your injury.
Improperly maintained property
In order to be held liable for a premises liability claim, the defendant must have been negligent in maintaining the property. If the plaintiff cannot show that the property was not properly maintained, their case is likely to fail.
Lack of notice
In some cases, the defendant may not be held liable if they had no notice of the dangerous condition on the property. For example, if a tree falls on a visitor’s car and the defendant had no prior knowledge of the tree’s condition, they may not be held liable for the visitor’s injuries.
None of this is meant to suggest that you shouldn’t bother taking legal action if you’ve been harmed in an accident resulting from a property owner’s negligence. It’s meant to encourage you to protect your rights by enlisting the help of a legal professional in these circumstances. At Dan Doyle Law Group, a Philadelphia premises liability attorney is on hand to offer the assistance you need. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 215-987-3730 to schedule your free consultation.