Premises liability is an area of the law that deals with owners’ legal liability for damages if an injury occurs on their property. If injured on another person’s property as a result of the owner’s negligence or carelessness, you might have a justifiable foundation for a claim for premises liability. Lawyers in Bucks County, Penn., at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help you pursue compensation.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
Nearly 30 million people visit the emergency room each year for an intentional injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) While some injuries occur as a result of car accidents, work-related incidents or accidents in the home, approximately 9.4 million injuries occur in public on others’ premises, according to the National Safety Council.
People suffer injuries in nearly every fathomable venue. An accident can occur in a grocery store, parking lot, construction site or public facility. They can occur on a sidewalk, at a community parade or while patronizing a business. Some types of premises liability claims include:
- slip, trip, and fall accidents.
- falling debris accidents.
- escalator and elevator accidents.
- drowning and near drowning.
- fires and explosions.
- and, amusement park ride accidents.
Who can be liable for a premises liability claim?
Determining liability in premises liability cases takes a degree of knowledge of Pennsylvania statutes and careful investigation. In most cases, the property owner will be the liable party, but there are other parties that could be liable, too, depending upon the situation, such as:
- business tenants (leased from the owner);
- contractors; or
- maintenance companies.
Also, if the accident involved a piece of equipment, the equipment manufacturer might be liable in addition to the property owner. For instance, if a guest is injured in a hotel elevator accident, the hotel owner might be responsible for failing to ensure the elevator was properly maintained, and/or the elevator company may be responsible for careless, faulty or negligent installation, maintenance or repair work.
Elements of Proof Needed for Premises Liability Claims
Not all accidents in public or on others’ property warrant a claim; some injuries are simply unfortunate events for which no one is liable. For instance, if you simply trip over your own feet in a store, strike your head and suffer injuries, you’ll likely have to foot the bills for medical treatment yourself.
In order to bring a premises liability claim, there are four elements that must exist:
- Duty – The party must have owed you a duty of care. The liable party must have owned, leased, occupied or controlled the property. This also depends on your status on the property (i.e., licensee, invitee or trespasser).
- Negligence – The party must have acted in a negligent manner, either in the use or maintenance of the property.
- Cause – The owner’s negligence must have caused or substantially contributed to your injuries.
- Damages – You must have suffered damages. If you slip and fall in a store but don’t get hurt, you won’t have a valid claim.
Your case can be substantiated with a variety of evidence, including maintenance records, eyewitness testimonies, video footage of the accident, accident reconstructionist reports and medical records. A premises liability lawyer can assist in locating and compiling evidence to demonstrate your claim to the insurance company or the courts.
Discussing Your Accident with a Bucks County Premises Liability Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured on another party’s property and you believe you have a claim for premises liability, the lawyers in Bucks County, Penn., at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. You can call to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation to go over your options and determine the best route for your particular case. Contact us today at 215-642-2335.