Personal Injury Attorneys / Premises Liability Lawyers
What to Do When You’re Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
If you were injured because of a hazard on another person or entity’s property, you do have the right to pursue compensation. However, premises liability cases can be complex. The injury victim will need to prove the property owner was negligent. That’s why if you are injured on someone else’s property, your first step is to contact a premises liability lawyer at Munley Law.
For more than 60 years, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law have been handling auto accident claims throughout the United States on behalf of injured victims. Whether you were injured in a slip and fall at a restaurant, was attacked by a neighbor’s dog, or something more complex, you need an experienced premises liability attorney who can fight for you every step of the way. For more than 60 years, the attorneys at Munley Law have built a reputation as national leaders in personal injury and premises liability law. We have earned the highest possible peer and client ratings and have been listed in The Best Lawyers In America for decades.
What is Premises Liability?
Premise liability is a legal concept that holds a property owner liable for any injuries to a person that occurred on their property. For example, you’re shopping at the local grocery store. In the freezer section, a puddle of water has been forming in front of a broken freezer. There are no warning signs about the puddle. Walking through the section, you slip on the puddle and fall, breaking your hip. In this example, the grocery store may be held liable for your accident. But how?
All property owners in Pennsylvania have a duty of care to maintain reasonably safe conditions for invitees or warn invitees of or repair unsafe conditions. Even if the grocery store manager in the example above mopped the floor but didn’t put up a sign warning of slippery conditions, it may have breached that duty of care. Similarly, if your best friend knows that their new dog likes to bite people and allows it to run free and bite you during a visit, they may have breached their duty of care.
Such cases are similar to most other types of personal injury lawsuits in that your premises liability lawyer must prove negligence on the part of the property owner. When unsafe or defective conditions on someone else’s property cause you to suffer an injury, the law is on your side. Still, you need an attorney that understands the legal complexities that come with deeming such parties responsible.
How Can Munley Law Prove a Property Owner is Responsible for My Injury?
Proving your premises liability case will take a team of top investigators and some of the best experts in the field, all of whom are at Munley Law’s disposal. Our legal team will gather photographic evidence from the business or property owner, get eyewitness testimony, retrieve physical evidence, and more. We also have the best experts deduce what happened to give you the best chance possible of receiving the money you deserve for your injuries. Sometimes, more than one party is responsible for a premises liability accident. If this is the case, our team of experienced liability attorneys will go after everyone responsible for your injury.
To prove your accident was caused by the negligence of a property owner, the following must be shown:
- The person or entity owned the property where the injury occurred;
- The property owner or business was negligent in their duty of care in keeping the premises safe;
- An accident occurred on the property, causing an injury; and
- The injury was a direct cause of the negligence by the property owner or business.
Moreover, your injury attorney must establish why you were on the property, as your reason for being there affects the owner’s duty of care. In Pennsylvania, there are three categories in which a person can be considered a visitor to a property:
- Trespasser: A trespasser enters a property with no legal authority. Property owners owe them a fundamental duty of care, which is to not willfully or recklessly injure them. Other than that, there is no responsibility (except in the case of children).
- Licensee: A licensee has implied permission to be on the property for their own purposes, such as a salesman or a customer. The property owner does have a duty to warn the licensee of danger conditions, as long as the owner knows about the condition and it’s not likely the licensee will discover it on their own.
- Invitee: An invitee has permission from the property owner to enter the property, such as a friend or a neighbor. The owner has a duty of reasonable care to keep the property reasonably safe for the invitee.
There may be times when the property owner will say the injured victim was at fault for the accident. Either the owner didn’t know of the danger or the victim had done something to cause the injury, whatever the case may be, you need an experienced attorney to help you with your claim. Even if you think you may have had some part in causing your injuries, you may not be barred from seeking recovery. Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence rule, so long as you were less than 51 percent at fault, you can still collect damages for your injuries. If you are found to carry more than 50 percent of the fault for the accident, you will likely be barred.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with My Premises Liability Case?
Because of the intricacies of premise liability law, you need a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling injuries that resulted from an unsafe or defective condition. By hiring a premises liability lawyer, you can focus on your physical recovery, while a law firm takes on the negligent party.
Learn what a premises liability lawyer can do for your claim.
A Premises Liability Lawyer Can Handle the Insurance Company
In most personal injury cases and premises liability cases, the first step in seeking compensation is by filing an insurance claim. Typically, liability cases are settled outside of court and end in an insurance settlement. However, if you cannot prove that the property owner’s negligence was the cause of your slip and fall, or other injury, a premise liability attorney can determine who the liable party is to ensure you get the compensation you deserve through the insurance companies. This can include handling all communications, negotiating with the insurance adjusters, and accepting a settlement on your behalf.
In general, your lawyer will be able to:
- File an insurance claim
- Collect evidence
- Submit documents within the required deadlines
- Negotiate with insurance companies
- Review settlements
- Handle denied claims
A Premises Liability Lawyer Can Represent You In Court
While only a small percentage of premises liability cases will go to court, if your claim is complex are the other party’s negligence is in question, you may have no choice but to go to court.
Though just because your your claim goes to court, doesn’t mean it won’t end in a settlement. Sometimes, a court case can be leveraged to get more compensation than you otherwise would have in an insurance claim.
Determining Liability With Evidence
Gathering the evidence needed to prove liability can be complicated. If you don’t move quickly enough, evidence can disappear. But without it, it can be hard to build your case. If you are hurt on someone else’s property, evidence that can be used to prove negligence and build a claim includes:
- Accident/ police reports
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Eyewitness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Surveillance or traffic videos
- Maintenance/building repair records
- Lease and rental agreements
- Evidence of toxic substances
- Documentation of repairs or replacements related to the property
What Are the Different Types of Premises Liability Cases?
Although we typically don’t think about it, most of us spend every day of our lives out on someone else’s property. When we go to the grocery store, the mall, the gym, and even our friends’ and neighbors’ houses, we are leaving our property to visit that owned by another.
As your premises liability lawyer can explain to you, hazardous conditions can be created by poor maintenance, inadequate security, or irresponsible pet ownership. Premises liability accidents include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Workplace injuries
- Amusement park accidents
- Power line injuries
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Chlorine gas poisoning
- Asbestos exposure
- Negligent security
If you suffer an injury because of a hazard on someone’s property, the property owner is most often responsible. However, it can be challenging to identify the property owner and prove they are the party responsible for your injuries, even if your injuries are severe. In a premises liability lawsuit, property owners will have a formidable team of lawyers. You will need a team of tough, experienced injury attorneys fighting for you.
What Type of Injuries Can I Sustain in a Premises Liability Accident?
Premises liability lawsuits can be extremely time-consuming and overwhelming, especially when looking to put your life back on track after a severe injury. Because these types of cases cover so many different kinds of injuries and a variety of different scenarios, it is possible that you may have suffered any number of injuries due to unsafe or dangerous conditions on someone else’s property. Negligence casts a wide net, but the experienced team of injury attorneys at Munley Law is here to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
A premises liability attorney at Munley Law can help you seek compensation for:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries and head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries and back injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Internal injuries
There is also the possibility of losing your life in these types of cases. When your loved one loses their life because of unsafe conditions on a property they were visiting, the trauma upends your entire family. If negligence caused your loved one’s death, you or another surviving family member could file a wrongful death lawsuit based on premises liability. You may seek compensation for:
- Outstanding medical debt
- Funeral costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of benefits
- Estate planning
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
Pennsylvania does have a two-year statute of limitations on premises liability claims. However, the experienced team of injury attorneys at Munley Law can help you now. With over 60 years of experience winning verdicts and settlements for injured clients, we know how to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability
After suffering severe injuries from a premises liability situation, you may have some questions. At Munley Law, we understand you may be wondering how you’re going to pay your bills, feed your family, and more. That whole process can be overwhelming and stressful. That’s why we gathered a few of the most common questions that come across our desks. If you do not see the answer to your question below, or if you would like to discuss your particular situation with an experienced car accident lawyer, contact Munley Law at (855) 866-5529 today.
How Long Do I Have to File a Premises Liability Claim in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations states that you have two years from the date of your injuries to file a premises liability claim.
However, if someone dies as a result of the injuries sustained in a premises liability case, you have two years of the date of the person’s death to file for wrongful death compensation.
Is There a Limit to What I Can Claim in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
In Pennsylvania, the law states that you can only sue for actual damages in a premises liability lawsuit, which would include such things as medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and more.
But, Pennsylvania does not impose caps on compensatory damages for injury or wrongful death cases so there is no limit to the financial amount you may be entitled to. The only limitations on what you can collect in a lawsuit are:
- The severity of your injuries
- Your medical bills and future medical needs
- Who is liable for your injuries
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- The value of any personal property damage
Is the Property Owner the Only Person I Can Sue in a Premises liability lawsuit?
In a premises liability lawsuit, you can sue anyone responsible for your injuries or, rather, any negligent party. That would include the property owner, any employees, contractors, security, or anyone else accountable.
What Shouldn’t I Do In a Premises Liability Case?
There are things you should do to preserve the integrity of your personal injury claim, as well as things you should not. In general, the steps you take for a premises liability accident are similar to other personal injury filings.
First, you should not hold off filing a claim with the police. That document will be instrumental in your recovery process.
Second, you can’t be ashamed of the accident, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Finally, do not give a statement which puts fault on you. Let a lawyer help you navigate the process instead.
What About Premises Liability Claims in the Workplace?
In PA, you cannot sue your employer for injuries sustained at work; you must go through the workers’ compensation system. However, you can sue anyone else responsible for your injuries. This is called a third-party claim.
What is Comparative Negligence?
In Pennsylvania, a victim can receive compensation for their injuries as long as they are 50% or less responsible for the incident in question. If a jury deems you to be 20% responsible, you can receive compensation, but if you are considered to be 51% responsible, you will receive no compensation.
What is an Attractive Nuisance?
When something on private property catches the eye of a child but can cause them harm, this is considered an “attractive nuisance.” For example, you have a pool in your backyard and there is no fence surrounding the pool. Your neighbor’s child sees the pool and wants to go swimming. They trespass into your yard and fall into the pool. Even though the child had trespassed onto your property, you can still be held responsible under the attractive nuisance doctrine.
How Does Implied Consent Impact My Premises Liability Claim?
Under Pennsylvania’s implied consent laws, you are often only eligible to collect compensation for injuries sustained on another’s property when you were an invitee, or have been given express or implied permission to be on the property.
However, there are cases where you may not have been invited to the property, but the property owner was aware of the potential dangers and did nothing about it, and you became hurt.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Premises Liability Claim?
You are never required to get an attorney for a premises liability claim, but there are benefits to doing so.
In Pennsylvania, premises liability claims can be complicated, especially if more than one party is at fault. The experienced attorneys at Munley Law can assist you with receiving the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What is a Strict Liability Claim?
While most premises liability accidents are based on a property owners negligence and breaching a duty of care, some are based on strict liability.
In strict liability cases, the accident victim can argue that an inherently or abnormally dangerous situation or condition on the property led to the accident that caused their injuries. With strict liability claims, the injured victim does not have to prove that the property owner breached any duty of care.
An example where strict liability may come into play is if somewhere were hurt by an extremely dangerous animal a property owner housed.
What Should I Look For In a Premises Liability Law Firm?
When searching for property injury lawyers to help with your premise liability lawsuit, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
- Experience: Not all personal injury law firms are equipped to handle a premise liability case. Because of this, you’ll want to find the best premises liability lawyer with a track record of success.
- Communication and Collaboration: There is nothing worse than finding a law firm with experience, only to find out you’ll never talk to the same attorney or paralegal twice. You’ll want to make sure the premises accident attorney you select will be able to communicate with you throughout the entire process and be the one working on your case. Further, if the attorney isn’t willing to collaborate with you, and take into account your experiences, you may want to find a new firm.
- Trial: Despite personal injury claims rarely going to trial, it does happen. It is best to work with a premises accident lawyer who has the trial experience needed to bring your case to a successful conclusion.
- Cost: Most premises liability law firms work on a contingency fee basis which means you do not pay up front for their legal guidance and instead, will have a percentage of your award deducted to cover their legal fees. Further, if an attorney is charging you by the hour, it is likely because they don’t know if they’ll get enough out of the settlement or verdict otherwise. Because of this, be sure you understand how they expect to be paid, and how.
Contact Our Premises Liability Lawyer For a Free Consultation
You need immense physical and emotional support when you suffer from an injury. Putting your life back together means paying your bills, going to doctors, and attempting to return to work, among many other things. As any premises liability attorney can tell you, injuries resulting from someone else’s negligence or due to unsafe conditions can cause lifelong trauma.
For more than 60 years, Munley Law has been the go-to firm for injured workers and their families. The personal injury attorneys at Munley Law understand how a dangerous or unsafe condition at someone’s property can change your life. No firm is more experienced or more successful in handling premises liability cases.
At Munley Law, we believe that cost should not stand in the way of justice for the injured. Therefore, we do not collect a fee for our services unless we recover benefits for you. You can find us at our offices throughout Pennsylvania, including Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, Philadelphia, and more. As our client, you will not have to pay anything up front or out of your pocket.
Chat, email, or call us today to arrange a free consultation with an injury lawyer.