Dangerous conditions on someone’s property, whether temporary or permanent, can put visitors at risk of harm. While people often think of warehouses or industrial sites as full of hazards, even a small amount of liquid on the floor of an office or restaurant can cause a devastating injury.
The people who own, occupy, or manage property are responsible for keeping it reasonably safe. This is true for homeowners, shopkeepers, building managers, and anyone else responsible for real property. If you have been hurt on another person’s property due to someone else’s negligence, you may require a Blair County premises liability lawyer. By speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney, you could better understand your legal options and develop a plan for moving forward.
What Property Hazards Can Result in Injury?
Property owners, occupiers, and managers have a duty to safely maintain their premises and surrounding grounds. If a dangerous condition exists, they must repair the condition or warn visitors of its existence. Failing to do so could result in a premises liability lawsuit if someone suffers an injury due to the hazard.
Depending on the type of property, there are different dangers that could prompt a civil action. Premise liability claims in Blair County often arise from:
- Uneven sidewalks
- Lack of handrails
- Accidents on uneven stairways
- Failure to properly remove snow and ice
- Spills and slippery surfaces
Proving Landowner Negligence
In most premises liability cases, a plaintiff and his or her attorney must be able to show that a property owner, occupier, or manager was negligent. This requires the claimant to prove he or she was owed a duty of care, the duty was breached, the breach caused an accident, and damages resulted.
The law defines visitors to a property in different classifications. The highest duty of care is owed to invitees, followed by licensees, and trespassers. The person who owns and/or maintains the property owes licensees and invitees a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe. A landowner must remove potential hazards or warn guests of their existence. However, a property owner does not owe a trespasser this duty and must only refrain from causing intentional harm.
If a hazard existed and there were no adequate warnings, then there was a breach of the duty of care. Sometimes defendants will argue that they did not know of the hazard, but premises liability will apply if the defendants should have known of the hazardous condition, even if the plaintiff cannot prove actual knowledge.
A local attorney must be able to prove the property hazard caused or contributed to the claimant’s injuries. However, a defendant may argue that the plaintiff’s actions caused the accident, not the hazard. A well-practiced lawyer could anticipate and counter these arguments.
The accident must have caused an actual injury or loss. A skilled personal injury attorney will develop all of the aspects of your injury claim and then present your case to the insurance company for the defendant in an attempt to obtain the maximum allowable compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney in Blair County Today
Pennsylvania law gives injured people only two years after an accident to bring a lawsuit. Failure to file a claim before this deadline passes could result in dismissal of your claim. Therefore, it is advisable to seek legal counsel at Marcus & Mack as soon as possible after an accident.
You do not have to handle this complicated legal procedure on your own. Contact a Blair County premises liability lawyer today to discuss your case with a compassionate legal professional.