Jul 1, 2015 - Premises Liability

Premises liability is a field of legal practice that encompasses the duties that landowners have to whomever sets foot on their properties. Basically, landowners must exercise reasonable care to ensure that their properties are free of potential hazards to visitors, customers, tenants, people soliciting goods and services, vendors and even trespassers. It is generally understood that the relationships between landowners and the people coming onto their properties directly affects the amount of care they should be liable for in situations involving injury accidents.

For example, the owner of a car dealership would likely owe a higher level of duty to prevent customers from slipping and falling on an oil puddle than they would owe to trespassers attempting to steal vehicles. The three basic tenants that every property owner should remember about premises liability are: inspect, correct and warn. Put simply, landowners should actively seek out potential hazards and either remove them from their properties or warn visitors about those potential dangers.

A good example of this can be found in situations where negligent landlords unnecessarily place their tenants at risk of harm. Exposing tenants to the hazards of chipping lead-based paints or failing to ensure that rental properties contain adequate fire suppression devices are two good examples of things that could potentially give rise to premises liability lawsuits.

Pennsylvania law allows injured victims to sue property owners for much more than just slip and fall accidents. You may have a claim regardless of whether you were attacked by third party at a nightclub or robbed in a poorly lighted grocery store parking lot. A premises liability attorney can review the particular circumstances of your case and determine whether you should proceed with civil litigation. If successful, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: Forbes, “What Every Business Owner Needs To Know About Premises Liability,” Anthony C. Johnson, accessed July 01, 2015

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