Our Premises Liability Frequently Asked Questions
- Page 1
How much physical damage do I have to suffer in a premises liability accident to make it worthwhile to file a claim?
It depends. Slips and falls happen on a daily basis and often, they're attributed to a victim's own clumsiness or lack of attention. However, in some cases, slips and falls aren't caused by a victim's carelessness, but by a hazardous condition that a property owner failed to address.
In Pennsylvania, owners and managers are required to make their properties reasonably safe for visitors or tenets, or warn them of potential hazards.
Those who fail to maintain the safety of their properties may be held liable for accidents and injuries that occur as a result.
Simply being injured on someone else's property isn't enough to move forward with a premises liability claim, as victims and their attorneys must be able to show:
- The defendant owned, operated, or leased the property in question.
- The defendant's failure to appropriately maintain the property—or to warn of potential hazards—amounted to negligence.
- The plaintiff sustained injuries.
- Those injuries were a direct result of the defendant's negligence.
Even when slip-and-fall victims have grounds for a premises liability claim, they may wonder if their injuries are serious enough to warrant the hassle of going through the complex and often-frustrating personal injury legal process.
The answer differs for everyone. It depends on the severity of the injury and the effect it has on a victim's life. For example, a minor injury such as a bruised knee or elbow that required little-to-no medical treatment or time off work may be uncomfortable—but it probably isn't worth pursuing. Yet if the victim sustained a serious condition, such as traumatic brain injury, which requires extensive medical treatment and time away from work, moving forward with an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit may be beneficial.
Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you were seriously hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, the knowledgeable personal injury attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Where do slips and falls commonly occur?
Slip-and-fall accidents are more serious than most people realize. In fact, they send over one million people to the emergency room each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute.
Sadly, despite being almost entirely preventable, slip-and-fall accidents can happen just about anywhere people walk.
Some of the most common places that slip-and-fall accidents occur include:
- Public areas. When slips and falls happen in public places, such as on a sidewalk or in a park, restroom, library or other public building, the government entity responsible for maintaining those places may potentially be held liable for injuries and other losses. A knowledgeable premises liability lawyer can advise regarding the specific challenges of seeking compensation from a government agency.
- Parking lots and parking garages. Poorly-maintained parking lots and garages may have slip-and-fall hazards such as inadequate lighting; unsafe handrails or guardrails; puddles of oil or other vehicle fluids; and cracked or uneven pavement. When someone is injured in a parking lot or garage slip-and-fall, the property owner, manager, or person in charge of maintenance may be liable.
- Office buildings. Defective or worn floors, stairways, elevators or escalators—as well as slippery floors in break rooms and bathrooms—are just a few of the slip-and-fall dangers in office buildings. An experienced premises liability attorney can help clients determine who might be liable.
- Restaurants and bars. Spilled food and drinks are common in restaurants and bars, as are inadequate lighting and defective flooring. The restaurant/bar or property owner may be liable, or may share in liability.
- Grocery and retail stores. These stores can contain numerous slip-and-fall hazards, from wet and slippery floors to defective surfaces. A skilled attorney can help clients identify the appropriate party to name in a lawsuit.
- Homes. Slip-and-fall accidents can also occur in peoples' homes. When they do, homeowners' insurance may cover the victim's injury claim.
Consult an Experienced Premises Liability Attorney
Property owners, managers, and others have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent visitors or patrons from injury.
If you were injured in a slip-and-fall accident caused by another person or entity's negligence, the seasoned legal team with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you understand your rights and explore your options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free case consultation.
What if I was injured due to defective construction?
Defective construction claims are premises liability cases involving injuries and losses that occur as a result of a property's unsafe design or construction.
Injuries in these types of cases may be caused by:
- Structural defects
- Dangerous designs
- Defective mechanical or electrical systems
- Building code violations on the property
- Building materials with poor design or manufacturing defects
People injured because of construction defects may be eligible for financial recovery to compensate for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
However, liability in defective construction claims can be complex, as these cases often involve multiple defendants. Potentially liable parties may include:
- Property owners. This entity should know of the risk, whether by observing the problem themselves, responding to complaints made by employees or visitors, or through routine building inspections.
- Companies and contractors who completed the defective work. The various architects, engineers, and contractors involved in the building's construction may be liable if defects in their work lead to injury.
- Designers and manufacturers of defective building materials or components. If an investigation determines a faulty building component caused the injuries in question, a victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the product's designer or manufacturer.
Were You Injured Due to Construction Defects?
After a defective construction premises liability accident, it's important to act quickly to protect your right to recovery. In Pennsylvania, defective construction accident victims have just two years to file their premises liability personal injury claim.
If you sustained serious injuries due to a property's construction defects, the knowledgeable premises liability attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you understand both your legal rights and options. Don't wait—contact our firm today to schedule an appointment for your free initial case analysis.
What can I do if negligent security contributed to my injury?
When a person is injured by someone committing a physical or sexual assault, robbery or theft, or other violent act or crime, the perpetrator may not be the only person who can be held accountable.
If the injury occurred at a rental property or in a public place, a victim may have grounds to bring a negligent security claim against the property's owner or tenant.
Rental properties may be homes, townhomes, apartments, or retirement communities. Public places include supermarkets or other retail stores, hotels or motels, performance venues, hospitals, office buildings,
or parking lots or garages.
A type of premises liability law, a negligent security lawsuit allows victims to seek a civil remedy for injuries sustained in a crime or violent act that occurred on someone else's property. Examples of negligent security include:
- Absent, malfunctioning, or insufficient warning signs, lighting, alarms or locks, security cameras, or other safety equipment
- Absent or poorly-trained guards and surveillance personnel
- Insufficient security protocols
To prove a negligent security claim, plaintiffs and their attorneys must show that:
- The plaintiff was on the property lawfully and thus, the property owner or tenant had a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep visitors safe
- The property owner or tenant failed to consider the likelihood of third-party crime or to adequately warn customers or visitors of potential harm
- The plaintiff sustained injuries or other losses due to a third party's criminal act that was reasonably foreseeable to the defendant
- The plaintiff's injuries and losses occurred as a direct result of the defendant's breached duty
In a comparative negligence state like Pennsylvania, victims can often collect damages, even if they were partially responsible for their own injuries, as long as they weren't more responsible for the injuries than the defendant.
Also, there's a good reason for bringing a claim against the owner of the property where the injury occurred, rather than suing the perpetrator directly. Whereas the perpetrator may not have the funds to cover the plaintiff's damages, the property owner likely carries insurance for situations like these.
Consult an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer
Negligent security cases can be confusing and complex for people unfamiliar with the ins and outs of premises liability law. At the Accident and Injury Law Group, our skilled premises liability attorneys can review your case, help you explore your options, and fight for the financial recovery you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
What does premises liability mean in my personal injury case?
Premises liability is a legal theory of liability that holds businesses and property owners responsible when someone is injured on their properties. Like other personal injury cases, it's based on negligence on the part of the property or business owner by allowing an unsafe or hazardous condition to exist.
If you were injured due to a property or business owner’s negligence, you may be able to hold the owner responsible for compensation.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
To have a claim for compensation under premises liability law, it's not enough that you had an accident on another person's property. You must show that a dangerous or unsafe condition existed; and that the owner knew or should have known about the condition, but failed to correct the problem or place warning signs about the danger.
Premises liability claims can arise out of a variety of negligent actions of business and property owners. Some types of cases include:
- Slip and fall accidents—the most common claim
- Inadequate maintenance
- Negligent security claims
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Amusement park and other recreational facility accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Dog bites
Compensation You Could Be Entitled to in a Premises Liability Case
After an incident, you could suffer long-term health issues, such as traumatic brain, back, and spinal injuries, fractures, and internal organ damage. These injuries can require months of medical treatments.
During this time, you may not be able to work. If your injury is serious enough, you may become permanently disabled. If you prove that a property or business owner’s negligence caused your injuries, you're entitled to be fully compensated for your losses.
Your compensation may cover the following damages:
- Medical expenses. You're entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of your past and future medical treatments, including hospitalization, surgery, doctor visits, physical and vocational therapy, prescription drugs, counseling, and more.
- Lost wages. This includes the wages you lost and will lose while recovering from your injuries. It also factors in vacation and sick time, bonuses, commissions, and other benefits of your position. If you must make a job change or are no longer able to work, you could receive future earning capacity damages.
- Pain and suffering. You're also entitled to be compensated for the pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you suffered due to your accident and your injuries. An experienced premises liability attorney can help value this portion of your claim, which could be substantial.
- Wrongful death. If a loved one died as a result of a premises liability accident, you may be entitled to compensation for his or her lost support, advice, companionship, and more.
- Punitive damages. In rare cases where the business or property owner’s actions were grossly negligent, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the owner.
Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident? Fill out our online form today to schedule a free consultation to learn how our experienced premises liability attorneys can help fight to hold the negligent parties accountable for compensating for your injuries.