Doylestown Premises Liability Lawyer
Landowners must act reasonably towards those entering their property or be held liable for any injuries that occur. Each Doylestown premises liability lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC has dedicated their practices to helping the injured and we look forward to helping you and your family.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is legal doctrine that states that landowners (or those in control of land) have a legal obligation to protect those coming onto that land from known dangers. The landowner owes a different degree of care depending on the type of visitor.
- Invitee. An invitee is on the property primarily for the benefit of the landowner. For example, a customer at a restaurant would be an invitee as they have been invited onto the property to conduct business that will benefit the landowner. Landowners are required to (i) inspect their property for dangerous conditions and (ii) take measures to protect invitees from those dangers.
- Licensee. A licensee is someone that is generally visiting the property as a guest. For example, someone who is invited to a home for a birthday party would be considered a licensee. Landowners do not have a duty to inspect their properties for dangerous conditions but must warn and protect licensees from known dangerous conditions.
- Trespasser. A trespasser is someone who has entered a property without the permission of the landowner. A landowner need only warn trespassers of known dangers if the property is frequently visited by trespassers.
There are many types of landowners in Doylestown and elsewhere who may owe a duty of care to those entering the property. Homeowners, stores, and those with undeveloped land all may owe a duty of care to their guests. Contact a premises liability lawyer today if you have been injured while visiting the property of another.
How Will Your Doylestown Premises Liability Lawyer Show Liability?
Generally, there are four major elements that must be proven to demonstrate a premises liability claim.
- A dangerous condition existed on the property.
- The landowner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
- The landowner failed to warn, repair, or appropriately mitigate the dangerous condition.
- The entrant (the person coming onto the land) was injured because of the dangerous condition.
There are times when a dangerous condition in Doylestown would not be known to a landowner or where there would be no reasonable expectation that the landowner know of the dangerous condition. However, where the landowner does know of a dangerous condition that landowner must take appropriate steps to ensure that visitors are properly protected. If the landowner fails to do so, then they should be responsible for any harm.
What are Common Defenses to a Premises Liability Claim?
After an injury, there are several common defenses that get raised to limit or prevent liability on behalf of the landowner. Some of the most common defenses to a premises liability claim are:
- Assumption of Risk: The assumption of risk defense states that the injured party was aware of the dangerous condition or risk but assumed the risk by confronting the dangerous condition. For example, where a guest is aware that a property owner’s shed is in a dangerous condition but enters the shed anyway, then that guest may have assumed the risk and therefore the landowner would not be liable for any injuries.
- Contributory and Comparative Negligence: The legal defenses of contributory and comparative negligence generally state that while the landowner may have been somewhat responsible for the injuries they were not the only ones responsible. In other words, the landowner is arguing that injuries were caused, at least in part, by the recklessness of the guest.
These are just a few of the many defenses that might be raised by the landowner when you try to get compensation for your injuries. Your Doylestown premises liability lawyer can manage responding to these defenses and we will work with you to ensure that you understand the entire legal process.