Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer

Premises liability lawyers help individuals who have been injured on another party’s property. Pennsylvania law requires property owners to maintain a safe environment for visitors and warn them of any known dangers. When owners don’t comply with their legal obligation, visitors can suffer harm and even death. Severe injuries are costly, and you shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden because of another party’s negligence or intentional harm. Instead, you can hold responsible parties accountable for their actions and seek compensation for damages in civil court.

 

If you sustained injuries at another party’s residence or business, and you live in the Greater Philadelphia area, contact the Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183 to schedule a free case evaluation, discuss the circumstances of your injuries. and determine the next steps for your premises liability claim.

 

Our Dedication to Injured Clients

The skilled legal team at the Levin Firm has years of experience in the settlement, negotiation, and litigation of personal injury claims, including those involving injuries on another party’s property. The firm’s passionate dedication to exceptional client service and advocacy has resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars in damages from settlements and court-awarded damages for its clients. Premises liability accidents and injuries vary greatly, so it’s impossible to guarantee a particular dollar amount or outcome for your case. Yet, the committed personal injury attorneys at the Levin Firm will work diligently to uncover the facts surrounding your injury, build a strong case against the liable parties, and pursue the best outcome for your case.

 

Types of Premises Liability Accidents

When you are visiting a business or another person’s home, you might experience multiple types of accidents in which you may suffer broken bones, head, neck, and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and others. Although several different situations might lead you to take legal action, the following are some of the most common premises liability accidents:

 

Slip and Fall/Trip and Fall Accidents

These types of accidents are the most common of all premises liability accidents, and they can cause severe injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 20 percent of unintentional falls lead to a severe injury. Falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and hip fractures. Many different hazards and situations might cause a person to slip and fall or trip and fall and sustain a serious injury. Some examples include:

  • Run-down buildings or homes with loose stairs, tiles, carpet, or handrails
  • Uncleared snow, ice, or trash from sidewalks, entrances, parking lots, or driveways
  • Wet products or spills, such as water, floor wax, cleaning solutions, oil, and food
  • Dry products or spills, such as powders, sand, dirt, granules, and sawdust
  • Falling items or debris, especially common at construction sites
  • Old, poorly-maintained, or uneven sidewalks, walkways, or trails

 

Elevator and Escalator Accidents

Whether you are flying in or out of Philadelphia International Airport, window-shopping at the mall, or headed to work or an appointment in an office building downtown, you risk injury when you ride an elevator, escalator, or moving walkway. These devices provide safe, quick, and convenient movement most of the time, but improper installation and poor maintenance can lead to severe injury. Some mechanical issues that might cause an elevator or escalator accident and injury include:

  • Poor device design
  • Incorrect installation, such as missing or loose parts
  • Sudden escalator stops
  • Sudden elevator drops or incorrect landing
  • Inadequate or irregular maintenance
  • Sidestep entrapment on escalators, especially dangerous for small children

 

Poor Building Security

Maintaining a safe environment for visitors includes having adequate building security, which can vary depending on the property. Sometimes, the property owner needs only to provide lighting in outside spaces, and other times the owner might need to have a security gate or restricted building access. Furthermore, the concept of security means different things in different situations. Yet, if someone assaults, stabs, shoots, rapes, robs, or intentionally harms a visitor in any way, the property owner might share liability with the offender for not providing adequate security to protect visitors from outside dangers.

 

Fires and Explosions

Many different scenarios might cause a fire or explosion that leads to an injury in a home, store, hotel, or other business, such as faulty electrical wiring, a cigarette that wasn’t properly extinguished, or flammable liquids. If a visitor suffers harm or a loved one loses his or her life in a fire or explosion, a Pennsylvania court might hold a property owner financial liable for some or all of the related damages, depending on the circumstances. Survivors who suffer severe burn injuries face one or more corrective surgeries, including skin grafts, months of recovery, and permanent scars. In some cases, burns are so severe that a victim might need to remain in a medically-induced coma until he or she partially recovers. Although fires and explosions are not as frequent as some other types of premises liability accidents, they cause serious destruction when they do happen, often resulting in lifelong challenges for those lucky enough to survive.

 

Swimming Pool Accidents

The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) gathers data and reports on dangerous consumer products. The CPSC estimates that about 150 children under age 15 drown in swimming pools each year across the United States. This doesn’t take into account accidents or fatalities involving adults or non-fatal injuries occurring at a swimming pool. Swimming is a great way to exercise, relax, or cool down during oppressive heat, but careless pool owners put a visitor who usees their pool at risk for severe injury. Swimming pool accidents can happen at someone’s home, a hotel, a theme park, a community pool, a fitness facility, or school. Some common issues that can cause injury or fatality include:

  • Poor maintenance and failure to inspect pumps, filters, drains, diving boards, and steps
  • Slippery or cracked concrete or tiles
  • Lack of a barrier or fencing to keep children away from the pool
  • No buoys, cushions, or other flotation devices to help swimmers in distress
  • Overcrowding
  • Lack of supervision
  • Improper chemical maintenance leading to illness from a dirty pool or toxic exposure when too many chemicals are added

 

Visitor Status in Pennsylvania Premises Liability Cases

Many different parties might be financially liable when an accident occurs on their properties, including individuals, businesses, or government entities, such as Pennsylvania or Philadelphia. As mentioned above, Pennsylvania property owners have a legal obligation to maintain a safe environment for visitors, but what does it mean to be a visitor? Like most other states, Pennsylvania categorizes visitors by status into three groups: (1) invitees, (2) licensees, and (3) trespassers. The extent to which a property owner owes a duty of care toward a visitor hinges on the visitor’s status. Landowner duties for each type of visitor are as follows:

 

Invitees

When a visitor is an invitee, he or she has been invited to the property for business or personal reasons or for public use. In any case, property owners owe the highest legal duty of care to invitees. Owners must warn invitees of any dangers or hazards on the property and correct any known issues. Property owners can be liable for hazards that a court concludes they should have known about too. Examples of invitees include people spending time at a public park or playground, retail shoppers, theater-goers, diners at a restaurant, and clients at an accountant’s office.

 

Licensees

The legal obligation a property owner has toward licensees varies based on whether the licensee was invited or uninvited. Licensees who are invited to another party’s property are typically social guests, such as neighbors, friends, and family. Property owners have the same duty of reasonable care for them as they do for invitees. Owners must also protect their invited licensees from third-party crime. Property owners cannot intentionally harm or trap uninvited licensees, but they owe them no other duty of care. Examples of uninvited licensees include solicitors of all types, delivery persons, and the guy who reads your electric meter each month. Uninvited licensees come upon or enter your property for their own benefit or convenience.

 

Trespassers

Trespassing Lawyer

Visitors who go on another party’s property without permission are trespassing. Property owners cannot willfully harm trespassers, but they don’t owe them any other care, unless they are children. If an adult trespasser gets hurt on someone’s property, it’s highly unlikely a court will hold the property owner financially liable for damages.

 

 

Child Trespassers in Pennsylvania

Children who trespass are protected under the attractive nuisance doctrine. An attractive nuisance is a hazardous or dangerous object that tempts a child to trespass because he or she does not understand the risk or danger associated with the nuisance. If a child suffers harm or dies while trespassing, a Pennsylvania property owner might be liable for damages, if an attractive nuisance is present. The courts can apply the doctrine to a wide array of fixtures and objects on a property, but the following are the most common attractive nuisances:

  • Swimming pools without a gate, barrier, or proper fencing open property owners up to liability if a young child trespasses and gets injured or drowns in the pool.
  • Outdoor play equipment, like swing sets, jungle gyms, trampolines, tree-houses, and skateboard ramps, can lead to injury or death when adults aren’t nearby to supervise.
  • Construction sites are full of big and shiny machinery, empty buildings ripe for exploring, and big piles of dirt and sand, all attractive nuisances that might draw young children and result in their death or injury.

 

Suing for Damages in Pennsylvania Premises Liability Cases

If you, your child, or a loved one suffered harm on another party’s property because the owner failed to maintain a safe environment or intentionally harmed you, Pennsylvania law entitles you to seek compensation for damages related to injury and loss, as long as you take legal action within the two-year statute of limitations period. Some common damages that a court might award you in your premises liability case include:

  • Medical costs, including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, x-rays, surgery, follow-up visits, and medication
  • Future medical expenses for severe or catastrophic injuries that require extensive recovery or lead to a permanent disability requiring long-term care around the clock
  • Lost wages for time away from work due to injury, treatment, and recovery or for caring for an injured child
  • Lost future wages when a premises liability accident causes a severe injury that prevents a victim from returning to his or her job or seeking any type of gainful employment
  • Rehabilitation expenses for specialists, such as physical therapists and occupational therapists, to help an injured person regain any lost functions and return to his or her daily routine, or for assistive devices, such as crutches, wheelchairs, and artificial limbs
  • Costs for home modification to make an injured person’s home more accessible, such as installing handrails in bathrooms and showers or building a wheelchair ramp
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse

 

In the tragic event that you have lost a loved one after he or she suffered a fatal injury on another party’s property, you might be eligible for compensation in a wrongful death suit depending on your relationship to the deceased. Your attorney will discuss your options with you and advise you on what course of action is best for you and your family.

 

Contact a Qualified Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorney

Experiencing a serious injury can be a traumatic, life-altering event that brings with it financial stress and emotional suffering. No amount of money will erase history, but holding those who caused you harm financially responsible for your injury and related losses can help alleviate some of your stress. We are here to help you secure compensation for the full cost of your injuries.

 

If you live in the Greater Philadelphia, contact the knowledgeable legal team at the Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183 or online for a free consultation and to discuss the circumstances surrounding your injury and learn how we can assist you. At the Levin Firm, we take cases on a contingency fee basis, collecting attorney fees from any compensation that we secure for you.

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