Erie property owners and property owners throughout Pennsylvania have a legal duty to keep their premises safe for visitors and guests. When a property owner fails in this duty of care, the owner can be held liable for damages under premises liability laws. However, before you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages, you must provide evidence that establishes each of the legal elements of a premises liability claim.
What Are the Legal Elements for a Premises Liability Claim?
The legal elements for a premises liability claim are:
- A property owner owes you a duty of care
- The property owner breached the duty of care by failing to take reasonable care of the property
- The property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition of the property but did nothing about it
- The hazardous condition was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the breach of care
If you prove that the property owner is liable for your damages, you can receive compensation for your financial losses, pain, and suffering. Common financial damages in a premises liability claim include loss of income, medical expenses, medications, personal care, and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Noneconomic or “pain and suffering” damages include physical pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disabilities, and mental anguish. Scarring and disfigurement are also included in noneconomic damages.
What Accidents Can Lead to a Claim for Premises Liability?
A premises liability claim might arise from numerous situations. Any property hazard or dangerous condition could potentially lead to liability for the property owner.
Common situations that often result in a premises liability lawsuit include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Tripping hazards
- Swimming pool accidents
- Playground injuries
- Broken steps and handrails
- Inadequate lighting or security
- Damaged flooring and carpeting
- Potholes and broken pavement
- Toxic or hazardous chemicals
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Electrical hazards
- Items falling from shelves
Numerous hazards could result in an injury. If you were injured on another person’s property, you need to take steps to protect your right to compensation for your injuries.
What Should I Do After an Injury on Another Party’s Property?
If you or your child is injured while on another party’s property, report the injury to the property owner immediately. Request medical assistance for your injuries. If possible, take photographs and make a video of the area. Make sure that you photograph any hazards that could have contributed to your injuries, such as broken, missing, or defective materials or objects.
When you go to the hospital, ask the staff to place your shoes and clothing in a bag. You need to preserve what you were wearing as evidence in a personal injury claim.
Keep careful notes about every conversation you have with your medical providers or any other party regarding the accident. In most cases, it is not in your best interest to deal directly with the insurance provider or property owner. They may be more interested in limiting their liability for a premises liability claim instead of ensuring you receive the medical treatment and financial compensation you deserve after an injury.
If your injury occurred on public property or government property, call a personal injury lawyer immediately. The rules for filing claims involving the government are different from filing claims related to private or commercial property. You need to act quickly to protect your right to file a damages claim against the government.
Contact Our Erie Personal Injury Lawyer for More Information
Our Erie premises liability lawyer can help you file a claim to recover the compensation you deserve. Contact The Travis Law Firm by calling (800) 401-2066 to schedule your free legal consultation with a lawyer.