If you have suffered an injury on the property of another person or entity, you may require help from an Altoona premises liability lawyer. Skilled legal counsel might be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries if they resulted from the negligence of the Altoona property owner.
However, not every injury on the premises of another person results in a viable claim for damages. The nature of your visit will play a significant role in determining if you are entitled to monetary recovery. To learn more about the viability of your injury claim, contact a personal injury attorney right away.
Duties Owed to a Visitor in an Altoona Premises Liability Case
To recover damages in a premises liability lawsuit, a plaintiff must establish that the property owner owed a duty to the plaintiff. The specific duty owed by the property owner depends on the nature of the plaintiff’s visit. While a property owner owes some visitors a significant duty to ensure their safety, they owe other visitors a lesser duty of care.
In an Altoona premises liability case, visitors fall within three different categories: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An Altoona property owner owes the highest duty of care to an invitee. An invitee is a person invited onto the land for the benefit of the property owner. This typically involves business invitees, including customers entering the premises of a business. A property owner is liable for an injury caused by a condition on land if, but only if, the owner knew of the condition, or if the condition would have been discovered by the owner with a reasonable inspection. Next, it must be established that the invitee would not discover or realize the danger on their own. Finally, it must be shown that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care to protect the invitee from the danger.
The owner of real property owes a lesser duty to a licensee. Licensees are persons legally entering the property of another for their own benefit. One example of a licensee is a social guest. A landowner is responsible for physical harm suffered by a licensee that is caused by a condition on the land if that landowner knew or reasonably should have known of the condition. In those circumstances, the landowner is liable if he or she fails to warn the licensee of the condition and associated risks. Alternatively, the landowner may also be responsible for the harm if he or she fails to take reasonable efforts to make the condition safe.
A trespasser is any individual who enters the property of another person without permission. Typically, a landowner will not owe a duty to a trespasser unless the landowner acted in a willful or wanton manner in regard to the injured trespasser.
Statute of Limitations
One of the pitfalls in a premises liability case is the failure to comply with the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a law designed to prevent a plaintiff from filing a lawsuit after a long delay. If a plaintiff files a lawsuit after the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court is empowered to dismiss the case permanently.
In Pennsylvania, the applicable statute of limitations for a premises liability lawsuit is set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. § 5524. The statute requires a plaintiff to file a premises liability case within two years of the date of the injury. A seasoned Altoona premises liability attorney could help by working to ensure compliance with every legal deadline.
Reach out to an Altoona Premises Liability Attorney Right Away
You have the right to pursue compensation from a negligent property owner on your own. However, a skilled Altoona premises liability lawyer may have experience that could benefit your case. Recovering damages for your injuries is essential, and the assistance of experienced legal counsel could go a long way in aiding your recovery. To discuss your legal options regarding your premises liability case, call Marcus & Mack today to schedule an initial consultation.