Property owners have a duty to keep their premises free of hazards that could cause visitors harm. Failure to execute this duty could provide grounds for civil recourse should someone get hurt while visiting the property.
If you got injured on the property of another due to a dangerous hazard or condition, a Southampton premises liability lawyer might be able to help. Seasoned injury attorneys understand the necessary elements for a claim and could help you recover damages for your financial, physical, and emotional losses.
Proving Property Owner Negligence
Premises liability cases require a claimant and their local attorney to establish that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the land. Negligence asks if the defendant were acting as a reasonably prudent person would under the circumstances. To succeed in a negligence claim, the plaintiff must establish four elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- The defendant’s breach must be causally related to the injuries suffered by the plaintiff
- The plaintiff suffered compensable losses
However, the plaintiff’s visitor status plays a major role in determining if the person operating the premises is liable for their resulting injuries.
Who are Trespassers, Licensees, and Invitees?
Premises liability is contingent upon whether the injured party is a trespasser, invitee, or licensee. This is because property owners owe different levels of care to different types of visitors under state law. An attorney experienced with premises liability claims in Southampton could help determine what type of visitor a plaintiff was.
Trespassers are individuals present on the property of another without consent. The property owner may only be held liable for injuries to a trespasser that occur due to willful or wanton negligence.
Licensees are individuals present on the property with the consent of the owner, while invitees include individuals present on lands open to the public or for business purposes. The most common invitee is a shopper at a retail store, while a licensee may be a friend visiting another’s home. Owners have the highest duty to invitees and have an obligation to warn them of observable risks and hazards that would have been discovered by a reasonable person conducting a proper inspection.
Recoverable Damages in Dangerous Property Suits
People who suffer harm on another person’s property, such as in a slip and fall accident, can seek economic and non-economic compensation. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, decreased earning potential, and other monetary expenses. Non-economic losses include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and decreased quality of life.
Southampton lawyers understand the personal and financial impact an injury suffered on an unsafe property can have on a person. A hardworking attorney could help injured parties calculate their damages to ensure they are fairly compensated for all their past and future losses stemming from the accident.
Legal Deadline to File
Generally, plaintiffs have two years to file a cause of action for premises liability, as per 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524. However, Pennsylvania recognizes the discovery rule which allows for up to two years after the plaintiff knew or should have known of the injury.
Seek Help from a Southampton Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you were injured on the property of another, you should seek guidance from a Southampton premises liability lawyer. Even if you are a trespasser, the law may provide remedies if the defendant was willful or wantonly negligent.
Contacting a local attorney could help you secure compensation for all your losses. Call our office today to schedule your free case consultation with our team of reliable attorneys.