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Holiday decorations may lead to premises liability claim

Homeowners in Pennsylvania have a responsibility to exercise a reasonable degree of care when it comes to maintaining their premises. If they fail to do this, lawful visitors may end up getting injured on their premises. In this situation, the injured visitors may seek to hold the allegedly at-fault homeowners accountable through premises liability claims.

One cause of visitor injuries is the improper placement of items such as holiday decorations or landscape decorations near a walkway, entranceway, driveway or sidewalk that blocks or interferes with visitors' path. These items can easily pose a tripping hazard. Although homeowners must act reasonably, they must also receive notice of a condition that may cause injuries so that they have the chance to correct it.

A person who has been injured on a homeowner's premises has to prove that what caused the injury was a particular condition that the homeowner could have discovered via reasonable inspection. There must also be proof that the homeowner knew about the condition or should have known about it. Only then can the homeowner be held liable. A homeowner is not considered liable for any injuries resulting from a condition that does not pose a hazard considered to be reasonably foreseeable.

Once liability has been established in a premises liability case, claims for monetary damages can be adjudicated. Financial damages achieved from a successfully litigated claim may help an injury victim to cover medical treatment costs, the loss of wages and other losses tied to the injury-causing accident. Financial restitution may also help to address pain and suffering and emotional distress caused by the ordeal in Pennsylvania.

Source:, "Holiday Safety", Frank Pacella, Dec. 28, 2015

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