Premises liability is the area of law that deals with injuries sustained on another person’s property. A property owner could be liable for damages if his or her failure to maintain safe premises harms someone else.

Premises liability law can be complicated because an owner’s liability depends on the status of the injured person who was on the property. Someone seeking damages for injuries they sustained on another’s property should work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

A Somerset premises liability lawyer understands this complex area of law and how to use it to get appropriate compensation when a landowner’s negligence results in your injuries. Schedule a free consultation with a seasoned legal professional to discuss the circumstances of your case.

Property Owner’s Legal Duties Vary

Someone seeking damages for an injury suffered on another party’s property must prove the owner was negligent. Establishing negligence requires proving the party breached a duty to the injured person.

The nature of a property owner’s duty to provide safe premises varies depending on why the injured person was on the property. For example:

  • If the owner is a business and the visitor is a potential customer, the owner owes the highest duty of care; this requires actively inspecting the property to ascertain whether there are any defective conditions;
  • If the visitor is a social guest or someone entering for his or her own benefit—like an election canvasser or party guest—the owner must warn the visitor of hidden or unexpected hazards of which the owner has knowledge; and
  • If the visitor is a trespasser, the owner has no duty to keep them safe from harm, but must not create an artificially dangerous condition or do anything to injure the victim intentionally.

Most premises liability claims involve a patron suffering harm at a business.

Although property owners owe no duty to adult trespassers, a rule called the attractive nuisance doctrine sometimes makes property owners responsible for injuries to children. If the owner has a feature on his or her property that might entice a child to enter, such as a swimming pool, and the owner knows children are in the area, the owner must prevent children from entering and suffering harm. Parents whose children are injured while trespassing should consult a Somerset premises liability attorney to determine whether the property owner might be liable.

Various Situations Trigger Premises Liability

Most premises liability cases are slip and fall claims; however, premises liability encompasses various other situations that lead to injury.

For example, drowning or near drowning at a school, gym, or hotel pool could trigger premises liability. The property owner could be liable for a mugging in a parking garage or a sexual assault in a dormitory. The owner of a hotel or apartment complex could be responsible if a patron suffered illness or injury due to bed bugs, rodent infestation, or mold in the ventilation system.

Anytime a dangerous condition or preventable incident occurs on someone else’s property, the owner might be liable under premises liability. Get in touch with a knowledgeable legal professional soon after an incident to determine whether legal action is viable in your specific situation.

An Injured Person’s Conduct Could Affect Damages

Sometimes an incident that triggers a premises liability claim is not entirely the landowner’s fault. The injured person might also have been negligent. In such cases, 42 P.S. § 7102 says the injured person is entitled to limited damages.

The state of Pennsylvania follows the modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if the plaintiff is less than 51 percent responsible for the situation that led to the injury, he or she can collect damages from the property owner. The owner is responsible for the percentage of damages equal to his or her degree of fault, and the injured person must absorb the portion of damages attributable to his or her own conduct.

Negotiations around allocating fault can become complex, with insurance companies for property owners trying to shift blame onto the injured plaintiff. Therefore, you need a well-practiced premises liability lawyer in Somerset to represent you in negotiations to ensure fair fault allocation.

Pursue a Claim with a Somerset Premises Liability Attorney

Property owners are responsible for keeping his or her premises safe for customers and other visitors. You might have a premises liability claim if you suffered an injury or illness due to a landowner’s negligence.

Injured people have a limited time to take legal action on a premises liability claim, so do not delay. Call now to discuss your situation with a Somerset premises liability lawyer at Marcus & Mack.

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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