If you were hurt while on another person’s property, you may have a right to file a legal claim under Pennsylvania premises liability law. Property owners in Bedford County are legally responsible for keeping their premises reasonably safe for visitors.

You might be able to collect damages even if you were partially at fault for the incident. A Bedford County premises liability lawyer could review your situation and determine whether you have a viable case.

If so, your dedicated personal injury attorney could contact the property owner and initiate negotiations with his or her insurance company. You could receive monetary damages for all your past and future economic and non-economic losses.

Premises Liability Covers a Range of Events

Falls resulting from slips or trips are the most common reasons for premises liability action in Bedford County, but many other incidents could trigger a property owner’s obligation to pay damages. Premises liability cases could arise from:

  • Elevator or escalator malfunctions;
  • Fires;
  • Criminal activity in a public place, like a parking lot or apartment complex;
  • Swimming pool accidents;
  • Playground accidents;
  • Dog bites and domestic animal attacks; and
  • Bedbug infestations in a hotel or apartment building.

A proactive Bedford County premises liability attorney could determine whether a specific property owner might be liable for an incident that occurred on his or her land.

An injured person could file civil litigation against the property owner if the accident resulted from negligence. An owner is negligent if he or she does not take adequate care to ensure a visitor’s safety. However, the degree of care necessary to avoid negligence depends on the relationship between the injured person and the property owner.

Nature of Relationship Determines the Degree of Care Required

When property owners invite the public onto their property for business purposes, the people who enter have the status of “invitees”. An invitee could be a customer, a window shopper, or just someone passing through the space—a person need not intend to spend money on the premises to be an invitee. A property owner’s duties to an invitee include:

  • Maintaining the premises in a clean and safe condition;
  • Conducting regular inspections to find hidden dangers;
  • Repairing any hazardous conditions promptly; and
  • Warning of any unrepaired hazards.

A commercial property owner who fails in these duties could be liable to anyone who suffers an injury.

A person who enters a property not usually open to the public with permission is a “licensee”. Social guests, meter readers, and delivery people are considered licensees. A property owner must warn licensees of dangers they might not notice, but an owner has no duty to inspect or repair for a licensee’s benefit.

Generally, property owners owe no duties to trespassers, unless there are artificial conditions on the property, such as trip wires. Further, if the property contains a feature like a pool or a treehouse that might tempt a child to trespass, the owner must take steps to prevent a child from entering. These types of features are called “attractive nuisances” because they are known to draw attention from children, who are too young to recognize the danger. Parents whose child was injured when trespassing on someone else’s property should consult a seasoned lawyer in Bedford County about taking legal action against the negligent owner.

Seek Legal Assistance Soon After the Incident

Premises liability claims can be complicated. An owner might dispute whether an injured person was an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. A skilled legal professional could present evidence demonstrating that an injured person in Bedford County was entitled to a reasonable duty of care and that the property owner did not provide it.

When the property owner’s insurer learns that someone suffered an injury, the company could send a representative to approach the injured person with a quick settlement offer. 42 P.S § 7102 would reduce a claim’s value if the injured person were partially responsible for an accident. An insurer will likely use this law to convince the injured person that his or her claim has little value. The injured person’s best strategy is to refer the insurance company representative directly to his or her attorney and avoid making any statements.

A committed premises liability lawyer in Bedford County could negotiate with the insurance company until reaching at a settlement that offers appropriate compensation for the injured person’s losses. By engaging legal help early, an injured person is relieved of the stress of negotiations and enhances his or her chances of receiving a fair and comprehensive settlement.

Work With a Bedford County Premises Liability Attorney

If a property owner does not take reasonable precautions to protect visitors, he or she is liable when people get hurt. Your damages could include medical costs, lost income, and payments for your pain and suffering.

A Bedford County premises liability lawyer at Marcus & Mack could provide robust representation against the property owner’s insurance company. Schedule a case review with our capable team as soon as possible after your accident.

Come And Visit Our Offices

Marcus & Mack

Marcus & Mack
57 S 6th Street,
The Mitchell House

Indiana PA   15701
1216 11th Ave
Suite 219

Altoona PA   16601
108 West Beaver Avenue,
Suite 203

State College PA  16801
334 Budfield St,

Johnstown PA  15904
12 West Long Ave.
Suite 203

DuBois PA  15801