A property owner must maintain a safe property, so when a preventable accident results in an injury to a visitor, the property owner may be liable to compensate that victim. These types of personal injury lawsuits fall under the umbrella of premises liability law.
If your injury was the result of an unsafe condition while on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for financial compensation that a personal injury attorney could help you pursue. A Johnstown premises liability attorney could provide guidance about what legal resources are available under your circumstances.
Duty of Care in Johnstown
The duty of care a property owner is required to give to someone depends on the type of visitor they are. There are three commonly encountered legal classifications of a visitor:
A trespasser is someone who had entered property without permission from the property owner. Generally, a property owner does not owe any duty of care to a trespasser, other than refraining from intentionally inflicting an injury.
A licensee is someone who entered property without the purpose of benefitting the property owner, such as a visiting neighbor. There is a greater duty of care owed to a licensee, which includes warning the licensee of the dangerous condition.
An invitee is someone whose purpose for being on someone else’s property is to benefit the property owner, such as customers of a business that is open to the public. The highest level of care is owed to an invitee, as the property owner may be held responsible for both known and unknown hazards.
When an injury occurs on someone else’s property, the value of compensation available for those injuries may vary depending on the type of injuries received. A qualified Johnstown property liability attorney could help analyze the facts of a particular case and determine what damages may be available.
Strict Liability and Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim
In a lawsuit for premises liability, there are two avenues for recovery for damages. The first is strict liability, which alleges that a condition is inherently dangerous. Under these circumstances, it is not required to show that a property owner breached a duty of care, only that there was an abnormal condition that led to the injury.
The second avenue for compensation is a lawsuit for negligence. To succeed in receiving compensation for a negligent injury, a plaintiff must show that:
- The property owner owed him or her a duty of care.
- The property owner knew about or should have known about the dangerous condition on their property. Alternatively, the plaintiff may prove that the owner caused or created the dangerous condition.
- The property owner failed in fixing the dangerous condition.
- The property owner’s breach of duty was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
In Pennsylvania, a duty of care rarely extends to someone who is trespassing on the property. However, some exceptions may exist, such as a swimming pool that may attract children. This is sometimes referred to as the attractive nuisance doctrine. Firmly establishing the duty of care owed to a victim may be easier and more straightforward with assistance from a premises liability lawyer in Johnstown.
Contact a Johnstown Premises Liability Attorney
If a property owner failed to provide the adequate duty of care to prevent an injury, they could be held liable for injuries sustained on their property. If you were injured by a property owner’s negligence, a knowledgeable injury attorney from Marcus & Mack may be able to help you recover damages for your injuries.
The litigation process for an injury claim could be time-consuming. Fortunately, you do not have to do it alone. Call a Johnstown premises liability lawyer today and take the first steps towards recovery.