Premises Liability Overview
Have you ever been injured on private property? Were you a guest of the house owner? If so, then it’s important to learn a little bit about premises liability laws.
Defining Premises Liability
What exactly is premises liability law? What happens when an accident occurs on private property? Premises liability law is a set of regulations that assign liability to a landowner when an injury or damage occurs on the property. In many circumstances, property owners will be required to pay back financial compensation when an accident occurs on their property and causes an injury to a guest. These set of laws also contain exceptions where the owner doesn’t have a specific duty of care to a person on their property. These situations include:
- When the person is trespassing, the owner has no duty of care other than to avoid intentionally injuring the person other than for self-defense
- When a licensee is on the property, the owner only has a duty to post warnings about potential dangers. The owner isn’t obligated to repair or maintain the dangerous condition to a licensee
One of the major exceptions included in premises liability laws involves trespassers. This exception does not apply when the trespasser is a child and the homeowner maintains a dangerous condition that entices children to play with it. This doctrine is called the “attractive nuisance doctrine,” and it may apply to swimming pools, hot tubs or trampolines. Additionally, there is an exception to trespassing if the trespasser is a “known trespasser,” wherein the property owner held a duty to warn others of the known danger.
Who is Liable for Injuries, the Owner or Occupier?
In most premises liability lawsuits, the owner or occupier of the property will be responsible for damages caused by an injury. Usually, the person in control of the property will be the liable party. Courts will have to determine whether the occupier or the owner was in control of the location, and in most situations, they consider the occupier the liable party.
What Happens When No One is Occupying the Property?
If an injury occurs while the property is abandoned, then who is responsible? Usually, the liability falls on either the last person to occupy the property or the person who intends to take control of the property. When no one has lived in the property yet, the owner or development property owner will be considered the responsible party.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Premises Liability Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries on an abandoned or in-development property in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients injured on unsafe properties in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Westmoreland County areas. Call 412-766-1455 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.