Premise liability occurs in premise accidents when an injury happens on someone’s property. Liability refers to the fact that the property owner has failed to take reasonable care in maintaining the property, and that mismanagement and disregard for the visitor’s safety is what caused the accident. There are many factors involved, and each case has to be discussed with a lawyer to find out if the property owner is liable for your injuries. Being injured on someone else’s property doesn’t automatically mean the property owner was negligent, and it doesn’t mean you’ll be compensated for the injury.
Types of Accidents
Slip and Fall
The fall could be due to water left on the floor of a grocery store, or it could be because there was snow on the outer stairs or in the parking lot. A badly maintained stair railing could be the reason for the fall, and that would likely mean the property owner is responsible for your injury. It’s still important to talk to an attorney before assuming that you’ll get compensation.
Situations that cause slip and fall cases:
- Uncleared snow and ice
- Wet floors without signs
- Rugs and carpets that aren’t secured
- Loose stones on stairs or sidewalks
- Broken or splintered wood on stairs and decks
- Extension cords
With dog bites, you have a few things to prove. One is that the dog bit you in a public place or on private property where you were invited or on the property legally. This includes those who visit a property to perform their duties like a mail carrier or plumber hired to do work.
The object that falls might be part of the ceiling after a water leak in an upstairs apartment unit. The responsible person might be the landlord, the upstairs tenant or a maintenance worker. A lawyer would be able to help you determine who is responsible. Other falling objects could be construction equipment on a work site or brick from the front of a building. Some cases involve negligence and some do not.
Building Security Issues
In an apartment or office building, the tenants have a reasonable expectation that they’ll be kept safe. It’s why many buildings have a security guard on duty, or they’ll have locked outer doors to keep out trespassers.
These are just a few of the instances where a person might become injured on someone else’s property.
Basic Rules for Liability
The owner or renter of the property must keep it reasonably safe. For example, a department store should be shoveling the walkway to the building so that customers don’t fall. Broken tiles, wobbly handrails and unlighted hallways are all hazardous issues that a property owner has to fix.
Visitors to the property have to take care to behave in a way that’s normal for most visitors. If a visitor runs down the stairs to exit the building, but trips on the stair tread and falls, that would likely not be the responsibility of the owner.
An employee that is injured on the employer’s property can file a worker’s compensation claim instead of a private injury claim. The same rules for liability apply to workers on the property, but if they’re injured on a space that belongs to someone other than the employer, they can file a claim. It can be confusing, which is why talking to a lawyer is so vital.
Who is Responsible?
When it comes to who is responsible, it’s likely the owner of the property for residential building or some commercial establishments like office buildings. Other types of property like retail property might have an owner and a renter. The renter could be responsible for taking care of the interior while the owner maintains the exterior like the landscaping and parking lot.
There are some states that recognize that both parties can carry some blame for an injury. For example, a person who wants to sue after a fall for $100,000 might head to court and the court finds that the person who fell contributed to their own injuries. With comparative fault, the court will determine how much at fault the injured person was and adjust the amount they’re awarded accordingly. If the injured person was 20 percent to blame, the court would reduce the amount received by 20 percent. They’d get $80,000 instead of $100,000.
The majority of the states have this comparative fault rule including Pennsylvania. It can be quite confusing, which is why a premises accident lawyer will be able to help.
Compensation for Injuries
The amount of the compensation will depend on the severity of the injury. The person will be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills after an injury when the owner is held responsible and liable for the injury. The amount of the compensation you’ll be awarded will depend on the case, and the lawyer you hire will be able to review the facts and give you an idea of the amount you can receive.
The injury you receive as the result of another person’s negligence shouldn’t cause you to lose money as a result. The lawyer you hire should be able to review your case and discuss the next steps in your claim. It’s important that you visit a lawyer as soon as possible because there could be a time limit on when a case can be filed.