Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorneys

Call Our Firm for Premises Liability Lawsuit Help

Golomb Legal in Philadelphia is equipped to handle virtually any injury claim, lawsuit, or class action lawsuit for our clients, including complicated premises liability cases. You deserve to assume you’re in relative safety when on someone else’s property. When their negligence caused a hazard that resulted in your injury, it is only right that we hold them liable for your losses and damages. Trust our premises liability lawyers to help from the very beginning, so you can focus on resting and recovering.

Ask about starting a claim. Dial (215) 278-4449 to speak with a Philadelphia premises liability attorney.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that property owners or occupiers have for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises.

In Pennsylvania, to succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, the injured party (plaintiff) typically needs to prove the following elements:

  • Duty of Care: The property owner or occupier owed a duty of care to the injured person. This duty varies based on the visitor's status (invitee, licensee, or trespasser). Invitees, such as customers, are owed the highest duty of care.
  • Breach of Duty: There was a breach or failure to fulfill that duty of care. This could be due to negligence, such as failing to maintain safe premises, repair hazards, or warn visitors of dangers.
  • Causation: The breach of duty was the direct cause of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It must be shown that the injuries resulted from the hazardous condition or negligent actions of the property owner.
  • Notice: The property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury. This element can involve demonstrating that the owner was aware of the danger or that the danger existed for a sufficient period that they should have been aware of it.
  • Damages: The plaintiff suffered actual damages or harm due to the injuries sustained on the property. This includes medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.

Different Premises Liability Cases

The overall concept of premises liability law is that a property owner can be held liable for accidents that happen on their property due to a hazard or defect that reasonably should not have been there. At the least, if a hazard does exist, then the property owner is meant to warn visitors on the property, so they can use reasonable caution to avoid it. Each case will have its own specifics about what is considered “reasonable,” what should have been done to protect the visitor, and so on, though, so it is best to turn to a lawyer for help.

Our Philadelphia premises liability lawyers can help with cases that involve:

  • Slip and fall accidents: Countless premises liability cases are filed across the country each year after someone slips or trips on a hazard and falls, resulting in serious injuries. Slip and fall accidents are particularly dangerous for elders and people with pre-existing health conditions or injuries.
  • Dog bites: Dog owners should take reasonable steps to secure their pets in their properties and control the animal when visitors are there. If a dog bites someone, then the owner can be liable for the damages, even if that dog had never shown aggression before.
  • Negligent security: Certain property owners must take reasonable steps to secure the area and deter crime. For example, a music venue should use metal detectors and/or security staff at all entrances and exits. If a crime occurs on a property and the proprietor did not do enough to secure the area, then it could call for a negligent security/premises liability claim.
  • Toxic exposure: Hazardous materials must be stored and contained safely, and warning signs should be visible where needed. When hazardous substances are not stored correctly, it can put visitors at risk of toxic exposure. In some cases, an unsafe material can be so dangerous that incorrectly storing it causes people throughout a wide area to be exposed and suffer illnesses and injuries.
  • Attractive nuisance: Pennsylvania has an attractive nuisance law that requires homeowners to take reasonable steps to prevent children from entering their property if that property has something that would entice a child to trespass. For example, homeowners with swimming pools or trampolines must not allow children to enter their yards easily and unattended.
  • Swimming Pool Accidents: Property owners with swimming pools have a responsibility to ensure safety measures are in place. If someone drowns or gets injured in a pool due to lack of proper fencing or supervision, the owner might be held accountable.
  • Elevator and Escalator Accidents: Property owners are responsible for maintaining elevators and escalators in safe working condition. Accidents can occur due to mechanical failures, improper maintenance, or lack of necessary repairs.
  • Fires and Burns: In cases where a property owner fails to comply with fire safety regulations or neglects to maintain fire extinguishers or smoke alarms, resulting in a fire causing injury or death, they may be held liable.
  • Construction Site Accidents: Owners or managers of construction sites are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. If a worker or passerby is injured due to negligence, such as inadequate safety measures or failure to warn of dangers, it could lead to a premises liability case.
  • Amusement Park Accidents: Injuries occurring at amusement parks due to malfunctioning rides, lack of proper safety measures, or inadequate warnings can lead to premises liability claims against the park owners.
  • Dangerous Conditions in Stores or Businesses: These could involve situations where merchandise is improperly stacked, leading to falling objects injuring customers, or where there are dangerous structural issues in a building that cause harm to patrons.

Types of Injured Visitors

A premises liability case is concerned about the rights owed to visitors who are injured on someone else’s property. It is important to note that there are multiple types of visitors, though. Not everyone who is on someone else’s property has the same extent of legal protections, which can complicate a premises liability case.

There are three main categories of visitors under premises liability law:

  • Invitee: An invitee is on the property for the benefit of the property owner or proprietor, usually in the lens of conducting a business transaction. The most common example of an invitee is a customer who has entered a store to make a purchase. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, which is often interpreted as addressing any hazards before visitors arrive.
  • Licensee: A licensee is on the property primarily for their own benefit, including for social interactions. The most common example of a licensee is a person who is visiting a friend’s home. Property owners owe a moderate duty of care to licensees, which is often interpreted as warning them of known or potential hazards before they can get too close to them.
  • Trespasser: A trespasser is on the property without permission or for criminal purposes, such as burglary or vandalization. Property owners owe a minimal duty of care to trespassers. For example, property owners should place clear warning signs of aggressive dogs on the property to deter burglars. It is also illegal to set dangerous traps in hopes of catching a trespasser.

What to Do After Being Injured on Private or Public Property

If you've been injured due to a dangerous condition on private or public property, here are the steps you should consider taking:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Get medical help immediately, even if the injury seems minor. Documenting your injuries is crucial for any potential legal case.
  • Report the Incident: Report the incident to the property owner, manager, or relevant authority. This creates an official record of the incident. If it's a public space, report it to the appropriate municipal authority.
  • Document Evidence: Take photos or videos of the dangerous condition and the area where the accident occurred. Collect names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the incident. This evidence can be invaluable in proving your case.
  • Preserve Evidence: Preserve any physical evidence related to the incident, such as torn clothing or damaged personal items. Don't repair or discard anything that could serve as evidence.
  • Keep Records: Keep records of all medical treatment, including doctor's visits, medications, and any expenses incurred due to the injury. This documentation helps in calculating the extent of damages.
  • Consult an Attorney: Consider seeking legal advice from a personal injury attorney experienced in premises liability cases. They can provide guidance on your rights, the strength of your case, and how to proceed.
  • Don't Discuss the Incident: Refrain from discussing the incident on social media or with anyone other than your attorney. Avoid making statements or signing any documents without legal representation.
  • Understand Statute of Limitations: Be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a premises liability claim in your state. This is the time limit within which legal action must be taken.
  • Insurance Notification: If applicable, notify your insurance company about the incident. However, avoid giving detailed statements until you've consulted with your attorney.
  • Evaluate Settlement Offers: If the property owner or their insurance company offers a settlement, consult with your attorney before accepting. They can assess whether the offer adequately covers your damages.

Call Philadelphia’s Trusted Premises Liability Team

Do you need help making sense of your situation after you were hurt on someone else’s property anywhere in Philadelphia? Stop looking and start dialing (215) 278-4449 to connect with the premises liability lawyers of Golomb Legal. We’re here to help you understand and use your rights as an injured visitor, which could mean demanding significant compensation to make up for your serious injuries and related losses.

Talk to our team during a FREE consultationto learn more!

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