Going out to the store or visiting a friend’s house may not seem like the type of thing that would put you at risk of serious injury. However, just like motor vehicle crashes, accidents on other people’s property can often happen without warning and result in severe personal injuries and financial losses. They can also create complicated legal cases for injured victims looking to recover compensation for the harm that the negligent property owner caused them.
Making sense of this unique kind of civil claim could be much easier with guidance from a Pennsylvania premises liability lawyer. With help from a seasoned accident attorney at Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers, you can improve your chances of recovering compensation in your case.
Founding Partner Jon Ostroff, Managing Partner Rich Godshall, and Partner Ryan Jablonski have won thousands of premises liability cases. In a previous case, our team helped a contractor who sustained injuries to both shoulders and his spine after falling through a trapdoor in a home he was remodeling. We won a total of $380,000 from multiple parties on his behalf. To learn more about what Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers can do for you, reach out to our lawyers today.
Common Dangers that Lead to Premises Liability Lawsuits in PA
Any hazard on another person’s property can cause you to suffer a severe injury. However, there are certain types of dangers that are particularly likely to cause an accident. For the past 30 years, Jon Ostroff has been representing people who have been hurt by:
- Poorly maintained, uneven sidewalk
- Holes in the ground
- Dog attacks
- Poor lighting near common walkways or stairs
- Items left on floor that cause a trip danger
- Slippery floors because of dangerous, slippery surface (tile, ceramic, wood)
- Slippery floors due to substance on floor
- Ice that is not removed or salted in a reasonable period of time
- Furniture collapse
- Steps that are uneven, without a hand railing, too steep, unstable, too slippery, or in disrepair
- Amusement park injuries
If you were in an accident caused by any of these hazards, a skilled lawyer from our firm can help you determine whether you have a strong premises liability case.
How Premises Liability Works in Pennsylvania
When someone invites another person to visit their property, whether it is a store owner opening their shop for customers or a homeowner hosting a party, they have a responsibility to those lawful visitors. However, the property owner’s duties change depending on why you were on their premises. Your legal rights after a property accident can vary based on your visitor status at the time of the incident. For what it’s worth, a duty of care is even owed to trespassers who are injured by a dangerous condition on a property.
Property owners owe the highest level of care to “invitees,” who are people invited onto land for purposes related to the landowner’s business or benefit. If you were a customer or were making deliveries at the time of the accident, you are likely considered to be an invitee.
This category also includes visitors in public places like churches, airports, and museums. If you are an invitee, the landowners must keep their property in a safe condition in order to protect you from harm. The highest duty of care is owed to an “invitee” on a landowner’s property. This duty actually requires the landowner to look for, find, and cure any dangerous conditions.
“Licensees” are people visiting a property for their own purposes, like social guests. If you are a licensee, the landowners must warn you of hazards they know about and those you are unlikely to notice yourself. The landowner has a duty of care requiring them to use reasonable care to identify and cure dangerous conditions that can harm their visitors.
Landowners also owe a duty of care to trespassers. This would include people on their property without permission or for a reason that doesn’t benefit the landowner. The landowner will be liable for injuries to visitors that arise from conditions the owner knew about or should have known about. An example of a condition that the landowner would logically see (e.g., it is right next to the entrance of their house) or know about (e.g., a step up to their front door that they know is broken) or dangerous condition that the landowner attempted to repair, but did it negligently. Also, if a landowner intentionally harms a visitor to their property and this was not done in the self-defense. A Pennsylvania attorney can explain these definitions in more detail and go over how they might impact your compensation in a property injury claim.
What Type of Compensation Can You Recover?
If you and your Pennsylvania attorney can prove the property owner was responsible for your accident, you can receive payment for your economic and non-economic losses. This means you may demand compensation not just for objective financial losses like missed work wages and emergency medical bills, but also subjective forms of harm like physical pain and emotional trauma.
Additionally, if your accident results in serious disability or disfigurement, you can fight for compensation to cover your future damages, like lost business and financial opportunities or loss of life’s pleasures. A reputable lawyer at our firm can help you recover the maximum amount of compensation available in your property liability claim.
Get in Touch with a Pennsylvania Premises Liability Attorney Today
Premises liability law does not work the same way that traditional negligence laws do for other types of personal injury claims. If you try to pursue an injury case against a private or public landowner without support from a legal professional, you will likely have a very difficult time even proving them at fault for your injuries, let alone recovering enough compensation to cover your losses.
Speaking with a knowledgeable Pennsylvania premises liability lawyer should be your top priority after getting hurt on another person’s property. We will help you understand your rights against those that caused you harm. Call Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers today to schedule a meeting.