Everyone, in Reading and across the nation, has the right to enter someone else’s property and feel assured that the space is safe, well kept, and free from danger. This right is not just theoretical; rather, it is protected by premises liability law. In essence, this type of law means that every Pennsylvania property owner has a duty to keep their property safe and free from any potential hazards.
These rights are protected by Reading premises liability lawyers, like those at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. The Munley law firm has decades of experience protecting injured parties and ensuring they receive the rights they deserve.
If you or a family member has been injured due to an accident on someone else’s property, do not hesitate to contact a Reading personal injury lawyer. We service all of Reading PA, and have a track record of satisfied clients. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability cases essentially involves any case in which another person’s carelessness causes an injury on their property.
Examples of premises liability accidents can include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Accidents caused by dangerous conditions such as falling debris, ice-covered steps, and more
- Construction site accidents
- Accidents caused by poor or dim lighting
- Power line injuries
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Asbestos exposure
- Gas explosions
These are just a fraction of the accidents that may fall under the umbrella of premises liability. Property owners — which includes business owners, owners of a residential property, and more — have a duty to keep their premises safe. If a property owner breached this duty, you as the victim likely has the right to compensation. Contact a premises liability attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today to learn how we can protect your interests.
Types of Injuries from Premises Liability Cases
Any number of injuries can occur from a premises liability case. They can range from fairly minor to very severe, with some causing permanent disability. Some of the injuries for which you may be able to seek compensation include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries and head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries and back injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Internal injuries
In the most extreme cases, a premises liability injury can result in the loss of life. In a situation such as this, the surviving kin may be able to file a wrongful death suit based on this premises liability case. This can help the deceased party’s family obtain compensation for loss of income, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
If a loved one has died due to a premises liability injury, we are so deeply sorry for your loss, and are ready to help you fight for justice. Contact a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys attorney at any time to begin the process and learn how we can protect your interests.
Understanding Pennsylvania Premises Liability Laws
The particular laws around premises liability claims vary from state to state, so it’s important to work with a lawyer that knows the rules in your area. In Reading, and throughout the state of Pennsylvania as a whole, property owners are legally required to keep their premises and grounds maintained. This duty of keeping a premises safe and maintained applies to both licensees and and invitees who visit the property.
The difference between these types of visitors is that a licensee is invited onto property for business or commercial reasons, while an invitee is invited to a property for non-commercial or business-related reasons, including social calls. All of these visitors have the legal right to safety when they enter a property.
Both of the types of visitors discussed above have been invited or welcomed onto the premises, which may lead to the assumption that a trespasser does not have the same legal right to safety as these parties do. However, it may come as a suprise to learn that in Pennsylvania, there are some situations in which even a trespasser could file a premises liability suit. Those situations include:
- Dangerous dogs. Pennsylvania law requires that dangerous dogs be safely enclosed, and that a warning (along the lines of “BEWARE OF DOG” is clearly posted somewhere on the property). If these requirements are not met, and a dangerous dog bites or otherwise injures a trespasser, the trespasser may have the right to file a claim.
- No warning given to a discovered trespasser. Again, it may seem counterintuitive, but if an owner discovers a trespasser and is also aware of certain hazards on their property, they have a duty to warn the trespasser about these hazards. This can be done verbally or through existing signage on the property.
- Willful or wanton negligence. If a trespasser exhibits no actual threat, but a property owner intentionally harms them, the trespasser may have the right to file a claim against the owner. In this case, willful negligence or misconduct refers to a case in which the owner desired to bring about harm to the trespasser, or was at least aware that harm could possibly result from their actions. Wanton misconduct means that the owner acted without any regard for risk, when a reasonable actor would have considered the consequences of the same situation.
It’s rare for a trespasser to successfully win a premises liability claim against a property owner, but as illustrated above, it is possible. If you have further questions regarding this kind of premises liability claim, do not hesitate to reach out to an attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
What Constitutes Negligence
Premises liability claims occur when a property owner’s negligence leads to an accident or injury. But what exactly constitutes negligence in a case like this?
In order to show that a property owner breached their duty of care and exhibited negligence, a plaintiff and their personal injury attorney must prove four things.
1. The property owner had a duty of care.
In most cases, this is easily proven; Pennsylvania requires property owners to keep their property safe and hazard free, which means the owner has a duty of care to do so.
2. This duty of care was breached.
To prove this, a plaintiff must show how the property owner’s property was unsafe or hazardous. For instance, the injured party could provide evidence that a property owner knowingly let them walk up a set of rotten or unstable stairs.
3. The breach of care caused harm.
In the example of a dangerous condition like the unstable stairs, the injured party would need to prove that the rotten stairs directly resulted in injuries.
4. The harm resulted in damages.
“Damages” here refers to both economic and non-economic damages. The injury may have caused medical bills, lost wages, and even emotional harm and suffering.
With an experienced Reading premises liability lawyer, you have the best possible chance of winning your case. Premises liability law is one of our most common practice areas, and our premises liability attorneys have the expertise required to build you a strong case.
Determining Fault in a Premises Liability Case
In Reading PA, there are multiple parties that could potentially be at fault when injuries are caused by hazardous or unsafe premises.
Of course, the owner of the property may absolutely be at fault. But the possible source of fault does not end there; for instance, a tenant or landlord could also be at fault. Anyone legally occupying the space has a duty of care to keep the property hazard free.
Other potentially liable parties might include a work or construction crew (if an injury results from an unsafe construction zone) or any other party who is legally responsible for maintain a property.
Compensation in Premises Liability Claims
If you have been experienced injuries as the result of an unsafe or hazardous environment, you may be entitled to compensation. This can come in the form of medical bill coverage and all associated medical fees, such as necessary medical equipment, rehabilitation services, medication expenses, and more. You can also receive damages for lost wages and lowered future earning capacity if the injury has prevented you from working for any period of time.
The damage that an accident or injury causes can also go far beyond the physical. It can result in anxiety, depression, PTSD, and can impact your ability to enjoy your life to the fullest. For this reason, you may also be eligible for non-economic damages, which cover things like emotional and mental pain and suffering. It may seem difficult to attach a monetary amount to an abstract concept like pain and suffering, but that’s why it important to work with experienced liability lawyers. Your premises liability lawyers will have experience assessing cases in great deal to ensure you are asking for maximum damages.
What Can a Premises Liability Lawyer Do For You
You may be wondering whether it’s necessary to work with an attorney in a premises liability claim, and what exactly a lawyer can accomplish for you.
The reality is that personal injury law is exceedingly complex, and an individual without sufficient knowledge of the Pennsylvania legal system may struggle to navigate it on their own. When you work with an experienced premises liability attorney, you set yourself up for success. It also allows you to focus on your recovery, both physical and emotional, instead of being swamped by complicated legalese. Your attorney will handle that for you so that you can rest and get back to the things you love.
One of the key elements that an experienced attorney can provide is the ability to prove fault and negligence. As discussed earlier, there are many parties that could be at fault in any given scenario, and many different forms that negligence can take. Your premises liability lawyer will examine your case in great detail to ensure that all relevant parties are being held responsible for their actions and wrongdoing. Your lawyer can gather physical evidence, obtain eyewitness testimonies, enlist experts, and more, all in the name of proving that your case is valid and that you deserve compensation.
Your lawyer will head the negotiations as you seek a fair settlement, and will push back if the opposing side makes an offer that’s far too low. In the majority of cases, the first offer made will be a lowball one, and your Reading premises liability attorney will work hard to ensure negotiations continue. Your lawyer will make sure your case is valued appropriately so that the compensation you do receive is enough to meet your needs, covering medical bills, pains and suffering, and much more. What’s more, at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we can also defend you in court if necessary. Many personal injury cases settle before a trial becomes necessary, but in the unlikely event that we must go to court, we can protect you there as well.
Why Choose a Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys Reading Premises Liability Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured on someone’s property in Reading PA, you deserve justice. Experiencing an injury of any kind can be scary and overwhelming, and can put both a financial and emotional strain on the injured party and all those around them. At our firm, we fight tirelessly for our clients, ensuring you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, your lost wages, your pain and suffering, and more.
Our Reading premises liability lawyers will work round the clock to provide you with the support and legal expertise you need throughout your lawsuit. We will use every resource at our disposal to secure you a settlement that fairly and accurately compensates you for your suffering, and we will never accept a settlement offer that’s lower than what you deserve.
While other law firms have attorneys who are only experienced negotiating settlements, our Reading premises liability lawyers can also serve as your trial lawyer if needed. The majority of personal injury cases settle before a trial is necessary, but should the need arise, we can continue to fight for and protect you in the courtroom as well.