Pennsylvania Premises Liability: What You Need to Know
Pennsylvania premises liability has rules you need to know to stay safe legally and physically, whether you’re a tenant learning your rights or an injury victim seeking out compensation. However, these laws can be complex.
That’s why it’s important to reach out to an attorney. If you’re hurt and suffering and need guidance, here are the laws and guidelines your lawyer can use to help you recover.
What Is Premises Liability?
Landlords must protect tenants and visitors. As property owners, they’re responsible for injuries caused by negligence. Inadequate security, hazardous materials or conditions, a lack of safety equipment, or any other preventable risk that causes injury or death on your property.
Premises liability is about who pays for damages from an accident on another’s property. A Pennsylvania premises liability attorney can help determine if a case can be made due to the state’s statute of limitations.
Such cases require evidence of safety violations or protocol violations to prove negligence. Inadequate snow removal can cause winter slips and falls, and failure to respond quickly to dangerous issues that need repairs are typically the landlords’ responsibility. It depends on local authorities requirements and whether landlords follow them.
Thus, Pennsylvania property owners must understand their legal obligations to protect tenants and guests. It’s hard to predict accidents and crimes, but maintaining one’s property can reduce the likelihood of legal issues.
Property owners must warn visitors and invitees of known dangers and correct them to ensure safety.
The property owner also must warn visitors or invitees about known hazards and take reasonable steps to keep the premises safe. This includes preventing entryway and sidewalk design issues and regularly maintaining their property. Unless they control the activity or the area, an individual is not fully responsible for injuries on their property.
Given these expectations of both parties, landowners must maintain their properties in accordance with established standards to maintain this shared sense of safety. Due to premises liability laws, the landowner may be liable even if maintenance fails. If you’ve been injured on this property, you may have grounds to sue if they fail to maintain it.
Pennsylvania property owners must take reasonable precautions to protect visitors from dangerous or defective conditions. Visitor status—invitee, social guest, licensee, or trespasser—determines duty of care.
Social guests often visit residences with implicit or explicit invitations, while invitees are usually business guests like store customers. Licensees enter with the owner’s knowledge but without permission, while trespassers enter without permission. Invitees and social guests are owed the most care, trespassers the least, and licensees in between.
Landlords must protect tenants from known hazards. This includes inspecting the home and fixing any issues or warning tenants of potential dangers. Businesses must check for hazards and fix or warn customers. If a dangerous condition that was known or should have been discovered through reasonable inspections caused an injury, property owners or occupiers may be liable.
Duty to Warn
Property owners and occupiers must warn visitors of dangerous conditions before they enter. This warning may be posted on a sign or spoken by an employee. This duty covers open pits, loose flooring, broken glass, hazardous materials, and other hazards that would surprise a visitor or tenant.
Courts often examine whether a person entering the premises acted with care and caution and used good judgment in light of all known conditions to determine whether a violation occurred and whether a premises liability lawsuit can be filed. When determining invitees’ duty, courts often look at photos of the hazard and whether warnings were posted.
Property owners must generally maintain their premises safely and warn others of any dangerous conditions, but courts carefully evaluate each case to determine if premises liability laws and related duties owed to invitees have been violated.
Talk to a Lawyer About a Premises Liability Claim
When you’re hurt and suffering because of an accident that could have been avoided if the property owner had been more cautious, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. The team at Baratta Law, LLC is ready to help you when you’re hurt and suffering.
Sure you have a case but are unsure where to begin? Reach out for a free consultation with a lawyer. Our attorneys can be reached when you call 215-914-8132 or when you fill out the following online contact form.