Premises liability cases occur when a person is injured on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition. Cases typically occur at someone’s home or a business. Homeowners and business owners owe a duty of care to guests on their property and they generally need to keep their guests safe from known dangerous conditions. Philadelphia premises liability cases are brought on a theory of negligence or strict liability as discussed in more detail below.
Common Philadelphia Premises Liability Cases
Certain factual scenarios that frequently show up in premises liability cases are described below:
- Slips, trips, and falls – These cases arise when a guest slips, trips, or falls due to dangerous conditions such as icy sidewalks, freshly mopped floors, and unexpected obstructions in walkways.
- Fires – Fire premises liability cases can allege dangerous causes such as faulty wiring, overloaded outlets, lack of smoke detectors, or faulty smoke detectors.
- Faulty railings and staircases – Slips, trips, and falls often result due to broken and poorly maintained railings and staircases.
- Negligent security – These cases most often occur when someone is attacked or assaulted in a dark parking lot at a business.
- Inadequate maintenance – Homeowners and businesses have a duty to keep their properties well maintained so that guests are safe on their property.
- Falling debris – Items that fall from above such as negligently stocked shelves or snow and ice falling from a roof can cause injuries to unsuspecting patrons and guests.
- Dog bites – Dog and other domestic animal bites are common cases as owners have a duty to keep guests safe from their pets.
- Swimming pool accidents – Accidents that include drowning and spinal injuries due to shallow dives are regular premises liability subjects.
HOW MUCH IS A PREMISES LIABILITY CASE WORTH?
It can be difficult to assess exactly how much each particular Philadelphia premises liability case will be worth it. There are various factors that determine the total compensation amount, and these factors differ for each particular situation. At the Dan Doyle Law Group, our qualified and experienced lawyer will conduct a full investigation into your case in an effort to secure the following types of compensation:
- Coverage of all medical bills related to the premises liability case
- Any lost income if you are unable to work while you recover
- General household out-of-pocket expenses you incur due to the injuries
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent party
The total amount of compensation awarded will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of the injury, whether or not a victim is disabled in any way, whether there was any shared liability, and more.
Strict Liability And Negligence
As mentioned above, two theories of recovery for premises liability claims are negligence and strict liability. Negligence claims: Plaintiffs generally try to show the following elements to prove their negligence claims:
If you have been injured due to a dangerous condition at someone’s home or place of business, contact Philadelphia premises liability attorney, Daniel S. Doyle. Our premises liability team has secured financial recoveries for our premises liability clients and we want to do the same for you. If you were injured due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.
Working With a Lawyer
Property owners here in Philadelphia and all across Pennsylvania have a legal obligation to maintain their premises free of hazards. If a lawful visitor suffers an injury on the premises and an attorney proves that the property owner’s negligence caused the injury, the victim will be able to get compensated for the injury.
In theory, that is how premises liability law is supposed to work. In practice, however, many victims struggle with obtaining financial compensation for their injury suffered on someone else’s property. Many property owners, especially those represented by skilled defense lawyers, often seek to minimize or avoid their liability in premises liability cases.
Our experienced premises liability lawyer in Philadelphia from Dan Doyle Law Group can investigate your case and build the most compelling legal strategy to prove that your injury occurred as a result of the property owner’s negligence or careless acts.
What Is Comparative Negligence In Pennsylvania?
Some people have been led to believe that they will not be able to recover any compensation if they shared any fault for causing their injuries. However, that is not the case. Pennsylvania operates under a modified comparative negligence rule, which allows injury victims to recover compensation if they are 50% or less at fault for the incident that caused their injuries. If a person is found to be greater than 50% at fault, then they will not be able to recover compensation for their losses.
However, the total amount of compensation a victim is awarded will be reduced based on their percentage of fault. For example, if a jury awards $100,000 to a plaintiff who sustained an injury on another person’s property, but the jury determines that the plaintiff was 20% responsible for the incident, then the plaintiff will receive $80,000 in total damages. If the jury determines that the plaintiff was 51% responsible, then the plaintiff will receive no compensation at all.
Injury At a Hotel – Can I Sue For Compensation?
Contrary to popular belief, homeowners are not the only parties that can be held liable under premises liability law. If you fall and get injured on a hotel’s premises, you may be able to pursue a premises liability claim against the hotel.
However, you will be required to demonstrate proof that the hotel staff knew or should have known through due diligence about the hazardous condition, but failed to remedy it or warn visitors about it.
What If I Was Assaulted On Another Person’s Property?
It depends. Generally, however, property owners have a duty to ensure safe premises for their guests and visitors, which includes a duty to protect them from any reasonably foreseeable criminal acts of third parties. We emphasize the words “reasonably foreseeable” because you will have to prove that the criminal act or assault was reasonably expected under the circumstances.
For example, depending on the type of the premises and organization characteristics, property owners have a duty to provide adequate security measures to prevent the risk of criminal attacks against visitors, guests, and customers. Adequate security measures, as recognized by law, include but are not limited to:
Attacked At an ATM – Who Is Liable?
Many assaults in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania occur when a person is withdrawing money from an automated teller machine (ATM). The victim of such an incident may wonder whether he or she can hold the bank of the respective ATM responsible for the assault to recover damages.
Although Pennsylvania law does not require banks to provide security against assaults at their ATMs across the state, such a duty has been recognized in multiple successful premises liability claims in recent years. More often than not, however, victims of such assaults can recover damages from the owner of the property where the ATM was located if there is evidence that the property owner failed to provide adequate security measures.
Speak to a Philadelphia premises liability attorney from Dan Doyle Law Group to establish liable parties in your case, evaluate your damages and losses, and build a strong legal case. Receive an evaluation of your case by calling today.