Pittsburgh premises liability claims fall under the umbrella of personal injury law in which a victim was hurt by a dangerous condition on a poorly maintained or unsecured building, home, or other property, or by a dog. In premises liability law, a duty of care is one person‘s legal obligation to treat other people in a reasonable manner.
In order to win damages after your Pittsburgh premises liability accident, you must prove the property owner’s negligence and breach of this duty. Don’t face the insurance company alone. If you have been in a Pittsburgh premises liability accident, then you deserve compassionate counsel throughout the legal process. Call our Pittsburgh PA law office at (412) 502-5804 today to speak to a premises liability attorney from Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C.
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
Premises liability claims are types of personal injury claims that are filed when someone was hurt while lawfully on another party’s property. Whether a company or an individual homeowner, the property owner has a legal obligation to ensure that their premises are kept reasonably safe and maintained and to warn others of any unsafe conditions that are not obvious. When a property owner, manager, or landlord is negligent in this duty, they can be responsible for any damages arising from an injury on their property.
Most Common Types of Premises Liability Lawsuits
Each premises liability case is different, so they each deserve individualized attention. However, there are some common types of premises liability lawsuits.
Slip And Fall
Slip and falls are a type of premises liability claim that occurs when the injured party has slipped, tripped, and fallen on someone’s Pittsburgh, PA property. The most common places where slip and falls occur are grocery stores, restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, and other types of places open to the public. Some of the most common conditions that lead to fall accidents are:
- Wet floors
- The accumulation of ice or snow
- Cracked pavement
- Loose or cracked floors or stairs
- Hidden extension cords
- Low lighting or poor visibility
- Defective staircases
A property owner has a duty to secure access to the building to only those with permission to be on the premises. To this end, many property owners have doormen or security guards in the lobby of apartment buildings that guests must check in with. Call our law firm today to learn how you can recover compensation if you were assaulted and believe you have a premises liability case.
When an object or structure is not properly secured, it can fall and cause serious injuries. These accidents usually occur on construction sites where tools, equipment, and machinery can fall from roofs, scaffolding, or ladders. Warehouse workers and bridge repair or road construction workers are also at risk of these types of accidents.
A dog on a person’s property must be restrained within reason when another person is visiting the premises. However, the property owner is also liable for the damages if the dog attacks someone on or off the property, regardless of whether the owner knew of the dog’s vicious tendencies.
Premises liability fatalities occur when a person dies because a property owner or landlord was aware of the danger and their responsibility to the safety of visitors and yet neglected their duty of care to address the danger. The surviving family members have a right to file a premises liability claim for wrongful death. The family may be able to recover damages that can compensate them for:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills before the decedent’s untimely death
- Lost inheritance
- The decedent’s lost wages and benefits
What to do if Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
Your promises liability case starts at the moment of the accident or injury. It’s important to follow these steps:
- Inform the property owner of the incident as soon as possible. If you are asked if you want to file an incident report, then you should, and ask for a copy. If you have been bitten by a dog, then you need to report the bite to the Dog Warden or the police.
- Obtain contact information for witnesses, the manager on duty, or the property owner.
- Take photographs of the scene, or ask someone to take them for you if you are unable to. You should take photos from different angles that identify the hazard that contributed to your injury.
- Seek medical attention by going to the nearest emergency room. You may have latent injuries that you don’t feel yet but could become incredibly painful within the next few hours or days. Only a physician can determine if you need additional medical care.
How to prove negligence in a premises liability case?
Proving fault in a premises liability case can be difficult. Your Pittsburgh premises liability lawyer will have to present evidence that stands up to the scrutiny of the judge and jury. Your attorney must prove:
- That the property owner owed a duty of care to visitors
- There was a breach of duty of care.
- There was a foreseeable hazard on the property that the property owner did not address, and that hazard caused your accident.
- You suffered financial losses as a result of being injured.
Not all accidents on a property make for a valid premises liability claim. Although property owners must take precautions to prevent the risk of serious injury to others, some accidents are unavoidable or bad luck. If you were inebriated or under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident that prevented you from being cautious, or if you were distracted by a cell phone and missed signs indicating that there was a dangerous condition, then you could be held partially liable for your damages. It’s important to speak to a Pittsburgh premises liability lawyer about your case.
These are some of the most common questions about premises liability law.
What is the property owner’s duty of care?
In order to obtain financial compensation for your claim, your Pittsburgh premises liability lawyer must demonstrate that the property owner was negligent. That means that a premises liability lawyer must prove that the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property and immediately correct any dangerous condition that could harm visitors.
In Pittsburgh, PA, visitors are divided into invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Invitees have the express or implied permission of the property owner to enter the property, such as friends, family members, and neighbors. Licensees also have permission from the property owner to enter the premises, like a contractor or handyman.
A trespasser is not authorized to be on the premises, and a property owner generally does not owe a duty of care to trespassers unless the trespasser is a child. Premises liability claims can become complicated easily, and laws differ from state to state, so you should speak with a Pittsburgh premises liability lawyer immediately if you believe you have a valid premises liability lawsuit.
Under Pennsylvania law, who is held liable for a premises liability accident?
The answer depends on the type of injury and the circumstances surrounding it:
- Property owners: landlords, homeowners, and property managers can be held liable for not addressing a hazardous situation on their property. Property owners have a legal responsibility to manage their homes or buildings properly. When negligent security or dangerous conditions cause serious injuries, they can be held liable for not keeping guests safe on the premises.
- Dog bites: The owner of the dog is held responsible for the dog bite even if they did not know that the dog had vicious tendencies and even if the dog has never bitten anyone before
- Swimming pool accidents: Private property owners can be held liable for injuries to a trespassing toddler or child since pools are considered an “attractive nuisance”
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, then a Pittsburgh premises liability lawyer can discuss with you how much your case is worth. The attorneys at Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C. will review your losses (e.g., lost wages, medical bills, and future medical expenses) to determine how much your personal injury case is worth. Then, we will send a formal demand letter requesting the maximum compensation for your losses from the property owner’s insurance company.
Call Our Pittsburgh Law Office Today
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, then call (412) 502-5804 today to speak to a Pittsburgh premises liability attorney from Ogg, Murphy & Perkosky, P.C.. Our law firm has recovered over $250 million for injured victims in Pittsburgh, PA. Enduring the physical pain and financial hardship arising from an accident on someone else’s property is incredibly stressful, so we provide you with experienced, proven, and aggressive legal counsel to take the stress off your shoulders. We have been helping Western Pennsylvanians for the past 35 years, and we will give your case the attention it deserves. Call us now to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our personal injury attorneys.