Premises Liability Attorneys in Pittsburgh
Skilled Personal Injury Lawyers Represent Clients Injured in Premises Liability Cases in Allegheny County and Throughout Western Pennsylvania
Premises liability cases arise in situations where a property owner neglects the legal duty to keep a property in a reasonably safe condition for invited visitors and guests and, as a result, someone else is injured because of the hazard. The theory is logical in that the person injured has no control over conditions on the property and, absent adequate warnings, would not even know that a danger existed until it was too late to prevent injury. As with other negligence cases, premises liability claims in Pennsylvania require that the injured party establish the property owner’s duty of care, show that the duty was breached, and then both prove the causal link between the breach and a specific injury that caused the injured party to suffer quantifiable damages.
Although the basic theory seems straightforward, premises liability claims are often complicated by evidentiary issues and various defenses that can be difficult to navigate on your own. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our premises liability lawyers have a collective 50-plus years’ worth of experience successfully helping clients recover fair compensation in Western Pennsylvania premises liability cases. We conduct a detailed investigation to gather the evidence needed to refute any defense strategies that the property owner may employ and will use our strong negotiation skills and knowledge of the legal system to fight for the compensation you deserve.
When Does Premises Liability Law Apply?
Broadly speaking, premises liability theories will apply anytime you are injured on property owned by someone else, whether by a business, friend or even the government. Some common examples of premises liability claims include:
- Slip and fall accidents. Most slip and fall accidents occur because a property owner fails to properly maintain the property to ensure safety—such as by filling in potholes in a parking lot, removing snow and ice from walkways, cleaning up spills in a supermarket or fixing staircase railings. Liability attaches here based on the idea that the property owner could have warned of the danger or corrected the problem, but failed to do so.
- Falling objects. These types of cases commonly begin when a retail store owner, construction site employer or factory owner fails to property store and secure items in the facility, which eventually fall and cause injuries to those below.
- Fires. Injuries sustained in a fire on someone else’s property can be serious and if the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the fire or injuries—for example, by maintaining fire alarms or ensuring that electrical wiring was up to code—it is that person who will be held responsible for the injuries.
- Negligent security. In a negligent security case, the premise behind imposing liability is that the property owner must take reasonable steps to prevent criminal activity on the property. The level of security that is reasonable will, of course, depend upon the safety of the neighborhood in general, but most business owners should at minimum install adequate lighting and security cameras in parking lots or garages.
- Drowning accidents. Property owners with swimming pools are required to take steps to keep the pool safe—and must even install barriers designed to keep children from wandering into a pool, even if it is private.
Seasoned Premises Liability Lawyers Goodrich & Geist Have the Experience Necessary to Get Results for Pittsburgh, PA Clients
At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., we take care of all legal aspects of your case while you focus on getting well physically. The basic and essential steps to successfully establishing a claim for compensation based upon premises liability involve:
- Showing that you were legally on the property (as a customer or invited guest, for example),
- A dangerous condition existed on the property,
- The property owner either knew of the condition or reasonably should have known of the condition (noting that business owners have a legal duty to conduct regular inspections to identify and warn of hazards),
- The property owner did nothing to correct the problem or provide adequate warnings,
- You were injured because of the dangerous condition, resulting in compensable damages in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Call Our Trusted Premises Liability Lawyers for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case Today
If you or a loved one sustained injuries on someone else’s property, those injuries can have consequences that you may not initially anticipate—in terms of ongoing medical care and lost wages. Our experienced premises liability lawyers are here to help you get the compensation that is justly yours. To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case, call us today or fill out this online contact form.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability Law
FAQ: What happens if the property owner claims to have had no knowledge that the hazard existed? Can I still establish a valid premises liability claim?
Yes. Actually, in most cases, it will be unnecessary to establish actual knowledge of the hazard—the fact that the owner reasonably should have known of the hazard if he or she had exercised reasonable caution is sufficient. In many cases, witness testimony or video surveillance can be useful in establishing that the hazard had existed for a sufficient amount of time so that the property owner should have discovered it and placed warnings to prevent injuries in the time period between discovery and correction.
FAQ: The property owner is claiming that I am responsible for my own injuries because I didn’t see the hazard. Can I proceed with a premises liability claim?
Under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law, you can still recover compensation if you were less than 50 percent responsible for the accident that caused your injuries—meaning that you can pursue a premises liability claim even if you were partially at fault, as long as the property owner is considered to be mostly at fault. Our skilled lawyers will work with the evidence at hand to build a strong case arguing that you were not at fault for the accident.