Premises Liability Injury Claims In Pennsylvania
In this article, you will learn…
- What types of accidents fall under the category of premise liability,
- What information is critical to collect for a premise liability claim, and
- What damages can be recovered from a premise liability claim.
What Accidents Or Incidents Fall Under The Category Of Premise Liability In Pennsylvania?
- Premises Liability claims could be triggered by an injury caused by one of the following: Slip and fall
- Trip and fall
- Hanging item falling on them or
- Any injury preventable by the exercise of reasonable care.
We had a case years ago where a church youth group rented an inflatable obstacle course for kids, but they did not put mats around it. The mats were to be placed around the inflatable as protection in the event a child falls out of the bouncy house. The lack of mats created an unsafe condition that resulted in a child suffering a permanent traumatic brain injury due to falling on his head on to the hard floor.
We filed the lawsuit against the lessor of the inflatable obstacle course and the lessee because they failed to create a safe condition for its participants and invitees who were at the premises to use the inflatable rides.
What Are Common Causes Cited In Slip And Fall Or Trips And Fall Accidents?
The most common causes of slip and fall accidents are…
The most common causes of trip and fall accidents are…
- Uneven curbs
- Uneven sidewalks
What Are Common Types of Injuries That Result From Slips And Falls Or Trips And Falls?
Common injuries resulting from slip and falls or trips and falls include…
- Broken bones
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
What Should I Do If I’m A Victim Of A Slip And Fall Accident? What Information Is Critical To Gather For A Premise Liability Claim?
One of the most critical pieces of information you can gather for a premise liability claim are photographs of the condition of the property at the time of the accident. If you’re unable to take a photograph due to the severity of your injury or because you don’t have a phone, have somebody who is present to take some photos or even record a video for you. This will preserve the scene for you and prevent the business from fixing an issue and denying it ever existed.
Sometimes when a person trips or slips and falls, they feel kind of embarrassed and don’t want to say anything about it. When aches and pains start a day later and they go back to say what happened, they don’t have an incident report to document the incident. It’s important to report your fall to the business when it happens so that they will do an incident report and document what happened.
If it’s a business that has video surveillance, such as a gas station, retail store, or hotel, you should ask them to preserve the footage of the incident, as well.
What Damages Can Be Recovered From A Premise Liability Case?
If you’re injured in a premises liability case, you may be entitled to recover…
- Medical expenses, both past and future
- Future wage loss
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium for spouse.
What Are Some Of The Factors That Will Determine Whether Or Not The Property Owner Will Be Held Liable For My Slip And Fall Or Premise Liability?
Some factors that will determine whether or not the property owner will be held liable for your premise liability could include…
- What the premises looked like at the time of the accident
- What conditions existed at the time of the accident
- What was the injured party doing at the time of the injury
- What, if any, warnings were posted
- Was there a duty to warn
- Should the premises owner have known about the issue in the exercising reasonable care
Who’s Potentially Liable For An Incident That Resulted In An Injury That Occurs In A Rental Property In Pennsylvania?
The person or entity that rents the property and is in possession of the property at the time of the accident is the responsible party. A landlord is typically not at fault if they’re out of possession of the property where an injury occurred. If somebody has an issue in their rental property that they fail to tell the landlord about, and that issue results in an injury, the landlord is not liable.
If a tenant makes the landlord aware that there is an issue with the apartment and the landlord fails to resolve that issue, then landlord could be held liable if the issue results in inury.
Determining liability for injuries at a rental property will be based on the factors of the specific incident, what the landlord knew, and what the landlord was responsible to do in the situation. The landlord is given a certain amount of immunity if they are not in possession of the property, but they do still have certain responsibilities to keep the property safe.
If it is determined that the landlord is not liable and the injury happened to a guest of the tenant, the tenant could be held liable.
What Duties Do Businesses and Hotel Property Owners Have Regarding Sidewalks And Parking Lot Conditions As It Results To Premise Liability In Pennsylvania?
When there is snow or ice, business and hotel property owners have a reasonable amount of time to make the premises safe, which includes…
- Clearing pathways or parking lots
- Salting pathways or parking lots
- Providing a safe walkway.
Business owners are not required to inspect their parking lots and sidewalks 24/7 to make sure there isn’t a drop of snow or ice, but they are held to a reasonableness standard.
I Was Severely Injured At My Hotel. What Steps Should I Take While On The Property?
If you’re severely injured at a hotel, the steps you should take will include…
- Seek medical attention
- Report the incident to the business to create a report
- Collect photographs of the existing condition of the premises
- Call an attorney
- Ask business to preserve security footage, if available.
If you’re unable to take pictures due to your injury, it’s a good idea to have someone else take pictures for you. You also want to ensure that you have notified the business as soon as possible to create a report. Involving your attorney is also the best way to ensure you are preserving evidence for your premises liability case.
We are currently handling a case where a guest fell down a flight of steps at a hotel. She called an ambulance, which made a report documenting her injury on their premises, and had her sister take photographs of the staircase. When she reached out to us, we were able to send in an expert to evaluate the condition of the stairs to determine if they were consistent with code or regulations. We also reached out to the property owner to request their security tape, which they failed to do.
The property owner’s failure to preserve the security footage will ultimately hurt their case if it ends up going to trial. The presumption will be that the security footage would have been harmful to their case. So, even though we didn’t get the footage, having a record of requesting it and not obtaining it is still valuable evidence. For more information on Premises Liability Injury Claims Across PA an initial consultation is your next best step.