Pennsylvania Premises Liability Law
There are thousands of personal injuries claims reported each year involving properties owned by employers, business owners, transportation companies and landlords each year. It’s the responsibility of these businesses to ensure the safety of everyone on their premises. When this fails to occur, you need a Premises Liability lawyers in Philadelphia that have your best interests in mind. At Kane & Silverman, we know the law. We’ll fight to help you recover damages and regain your peace of mind.
Premises liability law varies from state to state. In some states, premises liability law focuses on the status of the visitor. Or whether the person was legally on the property. In other states, the focus is on the condition of the property and the activities of the owner and visitor. The owner will be faulted if he knew of a dangerous condition and did nothing to fix it, causing the visitor’s injury.
Types of premises liability cases:
A Kane & Silverman premises liability lawyer can fully explain your state’s laws.
- Personal injuries
- Slip and fall personal injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
- Animal and dog bites
- Wrongful death
It’s important to speak with a premises liability lawyer near you who can inform you of your rights.
Premises Liability Hot Topics
- Visitor’s legal status
- State premises liability law
- Premises liability and trespassers
- Children and premises liability
- Premises liability and tenants
When you go out in public or you are a guest or otherwise lawfully present on someone’s property, you have a right to expect that the property is safe. The property owner, the tenants and others responsible for maintaining the property may each owe you a legal duty of care reasonably to ensure your safety. Premises liability claims arise when that duty of care has been breached.
Between our three locations in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lancaster Pennsylvania and Marlton, New Jersey, we have handled literally hundreds of premises liability claims, and they arise from a wide array of factors. The most common premise liability case arises from what is commonly referred to as a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accident. These cases arise frequently from slippery substances left on the floor in a supermarket, retail store, apartment building, office building or any other building. Other slip and fall cases that give rise to premise liability law suits involve individuals who trip on snow, ice or debris left in areas where one might be expected to walk, such as sidewalk or walkway in front of a business.
Although slip and fall cases are among the most common and well know premises liability cases, our premise liability attorneys handle cases due to many other causes. Premises liability claims also arise, for example, from dog bites, exposure to toxic chemicals, and even to injuries suffered as the result of criminal acts by a third party that you may have suffered while on another’s property. Visit the American Justice Network information center to learn more about the following premises liability claims.
Click any of the liability claims below for more details.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury and over 17, 000 people die in the U.S. annually because of these injuries. Slip, trip and fall injuries make up 15 percent of all job related injuries, which account for between 12 and 15 percent of all Workers’ Compensation expenses.
The CDC categorizes falls into two basic types: elevated falls and same-level falls. Same-level falls are more common and therefore cause more injuries to more people, but elevated falls are the most serious and cause more severe injuries to a less number of people. Over 60 percent of all elevated falls are from a height of less than 10 feet. Same-level falls are usually slips and trip accidents and injury generally takes place when the individual hits a walking or working surface or hits another object in the course of the fall.
According to the CDC unintentional falls account for 19,565 deaths annually in the U.S. The Center estimates that 20% to 30% of people who experience a slip and fall will suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head injuries. These injuries can inhibit mobility and hamper independent living. Slip and fall accidents are the common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and these account for 46% of fatal falls among older Americans. The most common fractures that occur from slip and fall accidents are fractures are of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
Slip and falls are mainly caused by a slippery surface. When human beings walk two types of slips can occur. One of these occurs as the heel of the forward foot meets the walking surface and the front foot slips forward forcing the person to fall backward. The other type occurs when the rear foot slips backward applying force to move forward on the sole of the rear foot.
Property owners, property managers and land lords have a responsibility to ensure that safety hazards on their property will not cause harm to tenants and guests alike. There are literally thousands of ways in which the person or management company in charge can violate the standard of care but in our experience the following are some of the most common:
- failure to screen new tenants
- engaging in advertising that overstates security
- failure to follow security procedures
- failure to perform background checks on employees
- failure to seek advice from law enforcement
- failure to provide adequate signage around danger areas
- failure to review safety precautions
If any of these standards of care are not adhered to a civil action can be filed in which a plaintiff will attempt to hold a landlord or property manager liable for money damages for injuries that occur on their rental property. The damages sought can be for both physical and psychological injuries suffered following an injury. The allegation is usually that the landlord contributed to the plaintiff’s injury because of a failure to provide adequate security on the property.
About 27 People Die from Escalator Accident in the United States Every Year
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are over 30,000 escalators that carry more than 575 million riders each day. It was an estimated 12,000 injuries that occurred on these escalators in 2009, up almost ten percent from the estimated 11,000 injuries in 2007. While the media usually only tells us about the catastrophic injuries like entrapment of a person’s hand or foot these injuries account only for about 10% of the total number of injuries.
Any escalator related accident is attributable to the fault or neglect of the building owner, manager or landlord as it is their responsibility to ensure that proper maintenance and safety of all tenants and visitors. Over the past two decades, we’ve built a reputation of integrity, skill and professionalism with clients, other lawyers, judges and the community- specializing in personal injury cases resulting from automobile accidents, medical malpractice, premise liability and products liability, plus insurance bad faith, worker’s compensation and social security claims.
According to ConsumerWatch.com there are an estimated 900,000 elevators serving an average of 20,000 people per year, each. If you do not feel like doing the math I will tell you that those numbers equivocate to over 18 billion passenger trips each and every year. Passenger, freight, LULA, home and personnel elevators are are subject to errors that may or may not include the following:
- wiring malfunction
- unbalanced leveling
- incomplete repairs
- incomplete maintenance
- incomplete inspections
- faulty wiring
- open shaft
- pulley system malfunction
- mechanical breakdown
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (which does not officially report on injury and death associated with elevators), about 27 people are in in elevator accidents each year and more than 10,000 others are affected in some way. Roughly half of all elevator fatalities can be attributed to people who work on or near elevator shafts.
An Average of 9 People Drown in the United States each and every Day
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental injury related death among children under the age of 14 and the leading cause of accidental injury related death among children under the age of 4. Unfortunately, the most common place for a 1-4 year old to drown is a home swimming pool and in nearly 90% of all drowning a parent or caregiver claimed to be watching the child.
According to the United States Lifesaving Association, there were a total of 101 drowning fatalities on America’s lifeguarded beaches in 2008, 109 in 2007, and 100 in 2006. It is not completely uncommon for someone to survive from a drowning and face brain damage from lack of oxygen to the brain. Studies show that a lack of supervision, life jacket, and barriers result in too many injuries and deaths each year.
Amusement Parks - It is estimated that there are roughly 270 million amusement park visitors each year, and nearly 7,000 people are admitted to the emergency room with injuries related to these theme parks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has found that the rate of injuries has risen 87% in the last 5 years. Common injuries associated with amusement parks are broken noses, whiplash, bruised and broken ribs, neck injuries, brain hemorrhages, broken or amputated limbs, and even death. These injuries can be the result of mechanical failure, operator behaviors, poor maintenance, and design defects.
Liability for amusement park injuries involves several types of different law: premises liability, negligence (tort), and product liability. Needless to say, these lawsuits can be complicated. At the time when you or a love one has been a victim of an injury, then the last thing on your mind is a lawsuit, but seeking compensation for the following emergency room treated injuries is justified.
Playgrounds - From January 1990 – August 2000, the CPSC received reports of 147 deaths on playgrounds.
From January 1990 through August 2000, CPSC received reports of 147 deaths to children younger than age 15 that involved playground equipment. In the 128 incidents for which location was reported, 90 (70 percent) occurred in home locations and 38 (30 percent) occurred in public locations.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report in October of 2009 of an 8 year study that between 2001 and 2008, an average of 218,851 preschool and elementary school children received emergency department care for injuries that occurred on playground equipment. 51% of the injuries occurred on public playground equipment, 19% occurred on home playground equipment, and 20% went unrecorded.
As you may have guesses, the strong majority, 67% to be exact, of injuries involve falls or equipment failure. Other injuries include hazards around the equipment (8%), collisions with other children or equipment (7%). entrapment (7%), and other injuries (11%). While there were forty deaths associated with playground equipment the top four playground equipment pieces associated with injuries are:
- climbers – 23%
- swings – 22%
- slides – 17%
- overhead ladders – 9%
The majority of injuries involve fractures, contusions, abrasions, lacerations, strains, sprains, and concussions. With regards to injuries on public equipment, the 8 year study also finds that 45% occurred in schools, 31% occurred in public parks, 10% occurred in commercial childcare centers, 2% occurred in home childcare, 3% occurred in apartment complexes, 2% occurred in fast food restaurants, and the remaining 9% occurred in other locations.
Building codes are local laws and state laws that set the standards of construction on residential, commercial, private and public property to protect the health and safety of the public. Violating any of these codes can subject the property owner or property manager to civil liability and in some rare cases criminal liability. Building codes regulate lighting levels, sanitary facilities, ventilation, fire safety, plumbing, electricity, energy conservation, door height clearances, hallway clearances, and sprinkler systems amongst other things.
When a property does not meet specific code requirements, it could be deemed unsafe or hazardous. If the property owner or manager negligently maintains any part of the property that leads to an injury, he or she may be held liable. It is estimated that there are thousands of injuries in the U.S. each year due to the failure to meet building codes. It is often hard to access if your injury has been the result of a building code violation, and dealing with government entities can be tricky and complicated.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What needs to be proven to recover damages?
Like most other personal injury claims, premises liability is based on a theory of negligence. In other words you have to prove that there was a breach of the commonly accepted duty to exercise care.
- Who can I sue for damages?
Any party whose actions are said to be a “proximate cause” of your injury can be liable for damages. To establish a proximate cause, you must prove that the injuries were reasonably foreseeable.
- How much will it cost me?
Almost all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency bases so you will only be charged legal fees if there is compensation recovered for your losses.
- I fell on a hotel's premises. Can I sue?
A hotel may be held liable if you slipped, tripped or fell on hotel premises because of negligence on their part. For example, if the floor was slippery because someone spilled a drink or because it was raining outside and the hotel knew about it and did nothing to warn about the possibility of danger and/or remedy the problem, the hotel could be held responsible.
- Can I sue the city if I fell on a broken piece of city sidewalk?
The answer to this question is tricky. Many states have statutes that give local governments immunity and prohibit recovery in many kinds of cases. With that said municipalities have a duty to keep both streets and sidewalks repaired so an injured party may have a case if he or she can show that the municipality failed to maintain the street or sidewalk properly.
- I was injured at a neighbor's house when I was attending a holiday party. Can I sue?
Depending on how you received your injuries you may be able to recover damages. Any guest should be warned about potential dangerous conditions that may arise.