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Pennsylvania Premises Liability Attorney
Metzger Wickersham: Serving Justice Since 1888
Perhaps you tripped outside of your local grocery store on an obstructive object or slipped on a dangerous walkway that was not clearly marked. If the injury was preventable had the owner or manager of that property taken their proper duty, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a premises liability claim.
When a person has an accident and is injured on someone else's premises, the property owner can sometimes be held responsible. Premises liability cases are commonly referred to as "slip and fall" cases, because many of these claims arise when a person slips, falls or trips due to a hazardous condition on a property.
What Elements Must Be Proven in a Premises Liability Case?
Premises can include restaurants, hardware stores, grocery stores, office buildings, parking lots, department stores, other people's homes, and any land or buildings that are considered to be someone's property. The legal basis for a "premises liability" case is that property owners have a duty to make sure their premises are reasonably safe for others.
In order to build a strong premises liability or slip and fall case, the injured party should be able to prove that the property owner knew or should've known a danger existed on their premises and had adequate notice to fix the dangerous condition, yet failed to take the necessary steps to fix it in a timely manner. You may also have grounds for a premises liability claim if the owner caused the dangerous condition.
Insurance companies work hard to deny premises liability claims. At Metzger Wickersham, we aggressively defend the rights of people injured in a variety of accidents involving premises liability.
Begin your free case evaluation with our Pennsylvania premises liability lawyers by calling (888) 286-2850 today!
Common Types of Premises Liability Accidents
Whether someone is visiting a private residence, shopping in a grocery store, or walking along a public sidewalk, accidents can occur for a variety of reasons. An injury could result from tripping on an uneven sidewalk, slipping on a wet floor at a mall, or falling down crumbling steps.
- Inadequate lighting
- Unsafe or narrow stairways
- Merchandise falling from shelving
- Wet or slippery floors
- Torn carpeting or unbalanced flooring
- Uneven sidewalks
- Negligent care of a publicly owned area, such as a pothole in the ground
- Safety code violations
Depending on the cause of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation if you are injured on someone else's property.
Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
Many slip and fall injuries are minor, but even seemingly small injuries can have a far-reaching effect on your life. You may get strapped with unplanned bills or be unable to enjoy certain activities due to pain.
Examples of common injuries sustained as a result of fall down accidents include:
- Deep cuts or scrapes
- Severe bruising
- Sprained ankles
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
The most severe accidents may result in multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy. In extreme cases, a slip and fall can cause a victim's death, resulting in a potential wrongful death lawsuit.
How Do You Prove Premises Liability?
In order to prove a premises liability claim, you must establish the following elements:
- The Property Owner Owed You a Duty of Care: This means that the property owner had a responsibility to ensure your safety—within reason. If you are lawfully on public or private property, you are generally presumed to be owed a duty of care; the responsibility of commercial property owners to others is generally higher than private property owners. If you were trespassing, the property owner generally does not owe you a duty of care. However, a property owner can be held liable for injuries sustained by children under the state’s attractive nuisance doctrine.
- The Property Owner Failed to Uphold the Duty of Care: This typically means that the property owner did not take reasonable steps to maintain the property, repair a dangerous condition, or warn of a dangerous condition that he or she knew existed or should have known existed. For example, if snow and ice accumulate outside of the front entrance of a grocery store after a storm, the property owner (or another responsible party) should be aware that this presents a foreseeable hazard to customers trying to come in. As such, the store’s manager should attempt to clear away the hazard and/or warn customers that the ground is slippery. Failure to do so could constitute negligence.
- As a Result of This Failure, You Were Injured and/or Suffered Measurable Damages: Lastly, you must prove that the property owner’s negligence (in failing to address the dangerous condition) caused you some type of measurable harm. Typically, this involves showing that you were injured and, therefore, acquired medical bills and related transportation costs, lost wages as a result of being unable to work, and dealt with a certain degree of pain and suffering, among other damages.
Proving a premises liability claim can be complicated; it’s a good idea to work with a knowledgeable premises liability lawyer who can help you navigate this process and seek full compensation on your behalf.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania!
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else's property, get medical treatment immediately after the accident. Then, call Metzger Wickersham for a free case evaluation. One of our experienced premises liability lawyers may be able to assist you or your loved one in your case. We are backed by more than 130 years of excellence and the resources of one of the most established firms in Pennsylvania.
Contact us today. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that if we don't win, you don't pay us.