Any time you enter a building, visit a swimming pool or step into a parking lot or parking garage, you expect it to be structurally sound and safe. This is because property owners have a legal duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition that is free of safety hazards.
Unfortunately, property owners don’t always comply with laws that are meant to protect all of us. If a property owner fails to keep a building, pool, or their land in a safe condition, it may result in terrible injuries or even death.
If you or one of your loved ones were injured on a defective property, or if one of your loved ones became a victim of wrongful death, you may be able to hold the wrongdoer accountable and recover compensation by filing a claim or lawsuit with assistance from an experienced premises liability attorney in Philadelphia. To talk about your Pennsylvania or New Jersey personal injury claim in a free and confidential legal consultation, call the Wieand Law Firm at (215) 666-7777.
What Does Premises Liability Mean?
In order to understand what premises liability involves, you need to understand how you define premises and liability. A “premises” is simply property that belongs to an individual, business or the government. Some examples of types of properties where injuries or fatal disasters frequently occur, potentially giving rise to a premises liability claim, include:
- Amusement Parks
- Apartment Complexes
- Concert Venues
- Convenience Stores
- Department Stores
- Fast Food Franchises
- Gas Stations
- Grocery Stores
- Hardware Stores
- Hotel Pools
- Hotels and Motels
- Movie Theatre
- Parking Garages
- Parking Lots
- Public Pools
- Retail Outlets
- Shopping Malls
- Spas and Resorts
- Subway stations
- Train stations
- Other Businesses
“Liability” is a legal term which means to hold a negligent party accountable for injuries and losses sustained by the victim. For example, if a person is injured because they slip on a puddle of leaked sauce or soda at a grocery store, one or more companies or individuals could be liable, depending on when, how, and why it occurred. In most cases, the negligent party has insurance which will cover damages caused by the negligence of the insured.
The answer to this question depends on the circumstances under which the injury or death occurred. A property owner may be liable for an injury caused on his or her property if the following criteria are met:
- Duty of care. The property owner had a duty of care to the victim. For example, companies have a duty of care to ensure that their business locations are reasonably safe and hazard-free for visitors and customers, which involves regular maintenance and repairs.
- Breach of duty. The property owner and/or other parties, such as individual maintenance workers, failed in their duty to maintain a property in reasonably safe condition.
- Causation. The victim’s injuries and/or death occurred because of the property owner’s actions or failures to take action.
- Damages. Actual harm was caused by the negligence, such as injuries and medical bills.
If the above facts are true, it may be possible for the injury victim to recover financial compensation by:
- Negotiating a settlement.
- Going to court and litigating the case.
The Wieand Law Firm has a track record of obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts for clients who suffered serious injuries because of a dangerous or hazardous condition on another’s property. We have a deep understanding of the complex premises liability law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and regularly handle premises liability cases, including slip and fall cases, throughout both states. We are experienced at holding property owners accountable for their carelessness and will fight aggressively on your behalf.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorney Handling Slip and Fall Claims
The most common types of premises liability cases involve falls on a defective condition. These so-called slip, trip, and fall accidents a rarely an accident. Instead, they are due to a dangerous or defective condition of the property. For example, you may have a premises liability case if you were injured because you slipped and fell on a wet floor when shopping, or if you tripped on a broken sidewalk.
While slip and fall claims account for a large number of premises liability cases, there are many other hazards that can also injure or kill innocent people. Some examples of common premises liability claims we handle include:
- Assault injuries, sexual assault, and wrongful death resulting from negligent security
- Balcony collapses
- Building code violations
- Burn injuries caused by fires
- Chemical burns caused by cleaning agents and other volatile substances
- Collapsing stages
- Defective stairways or railings/banisters
- Elevator Injury
- Escalator Injury
- Exposure to toxic fumes or poisonous chemicals
- Failure to salt ice
- Falling objects, such as ceiling tiles or dropped pieces of equipment
- Faulty wiring that causes electrical hazards
- Fire escape collapses
- Improper, precarious commercial displays that collapse or tip over
- Inadequate lighting
- Negligent property maintenance
- Negligent snow removal and/or ice removal
- Porch collapse Injuries
- Smoke inhalation injuries caused by fires
- Swimming pool accidents involving serious injury, drowning or near drowning
Property owners are not responsible for all injuries that occur on their property, even if the injuries are very severe or permanent. Instead, the liability of the property owner depends on a complex factual and legal analysis. This includes factors such as:
- Any comparative negligence of the victim (the victim contributing to their own injuries)
- The injury victim’s guest status on the property
- The negligence of the property owner and/or land occupant
Because determining liability is such a complex task, it is crucial to be represented by a highly skilled and experienced attorney.
Liability and Compensation for Swimming Pool Drowning and Injury Cases in PA and NJ
During the hot and humid summer, taking a plunge into a cool swimming pool can be fun and refreshing. Unfortunately, swimming pools are also known to be hazardous and inherently dangerous to children. Even adults who are strong swimmers can drown or suffer life-altering submersion injuries (“near drowning”), living with extensive brain damage and limited functionality afterward. Some common causes of drowning in Pennsylvania and New Jersey include:
- Diving board injuries
- Lack of supervision
- Lifeguards who are intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol while on duty
- Lifeguards with inadequate training or experience
- Slipping and falling near a pool
- Unsafe and defective pool parts, such as defective drains that snag hair or jewelry, or trap people with excessively powerful suction
Swimming pool injuries and drownings occur each year at school pools, gym pools, private pools, hotel pools, resort pools, water parks, and public swimming pools. However, pool owners are required to take precautions to ensure that pools are reasonably safe and comply with regulations. Additionally, pool owners must take special precautions to protect children.
For example, Pennsylvania public pools are required by law to have a lifeguard on duty and must have a fence around the property. In addition, many municipalities require private pool owners to have a fence surrounding their pool. Lack of supervision and lack of fences or other barriers are two main causes of drowning.
If you or your child’s injuries occurred at a private pool or public pool, you may have a case against the owners of the pool. You should consult with an experienced drowning accident lawyer who can help determine if the property owner was negligent in some way. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income, and other losses.
Do You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer for a Premises Liability Claim?
Although your claim may appear straightforward, premises liability cases can be challenging to prove in court. It is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows common defenses to premises liability cases and how to overcome them.
The Wieand Law Firm knows how to get maximum compensation for your premises liability claim. We offer free initial legal consultations, and work on a contingency basis. That means we don’t get paid unless we take your case and recover money for you.
We handle personal injury cases throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call us today for a free legal consultation at (215) 666-7777. If your injury prevents you from traveling, we will come to you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
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