Visiting someone else’s property should be no more dangerous than staying at home, so long as that landowner or property manager takes good care of their premises. Unfortunately, not all landowners fulfill their basic legal duty to ensure the safety of visitors, and that sometimes leads to accidents with devastating consequences.
If a dangerous property condition has left you dealing with serious injuries, you should consider talking to a Harrisburg premises liability lawyer about possible civil litigation. While property liability cases can be complex in many ways, a capable injury attorney’s guidance can massively improve your chances of obtaining the compensation you need.
Holding a Landowner Accountable for Specific Losses
When it comes to protecting visitors from accidental harm, landowners in Pennsylvania have different “duties of care” depending on why a specific visitor is on their property to begin with. Property owners have the substantial duty to protect “invitees” visiting for the landowner’s benefit. To protect these kinds of visitors, property owners must provide advance warning of all hazards they know about, remedy known hazards within a reasonable amount of time, and inspect their land regularly so they become aware of any hazards.
Conversely, landowners only have to warn “licensees”—people visiting for their own benefit—about known hazards. Property owners have no liability to licensees for hazards they were unaware of. “Trespassers” have even less protection under the law, as landowners are generally only liable for injuries caused to them through intentionally malicious conduct.
If a landowner is found liable for a visitor’s injuries, they can be made to pay for all economic and non-economic consequences those injuries have already caused and will likely cause in the future, including:
- Medical expenses
- Personal property damage
- Lost working income and/or capacity
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Physical and psychological suffering
A Harrisburg premises liability attorney can provide more information during an initial consultation about who might be liable for a specific injury and what damages might be recoverable as a result of a premises claim.
How Comparative Fault Could Impact Recovery
Establishing that a landowner bears some fault for a visitor’s injury does not exempt that visitor from being held partially responsible. A visitor’s own reckless or careless conduct could leave them facing an assignment of fault for their injuries. A property visitor who plays a role in causing or worsening their own damages—for example, by running in an area when they should have been walking or not paying attention to their surroundings—may end up having their total available compensation reduced in accordance with 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §7102. A property visitor who is found to be primarily at fault for their injuries will be ineligible from obtaining any compensation at all.
Support from a seasoned premises liability lawyer in Harrisburg can be key to fighting back effectively against allegations along these lines and maximizing the available compensation. A skilled attorney can fight back against unfair accusations of fault from insurers who are looking to get out of paying out a fair damages award.
Get in Touch with a Harrisburg Premises Liability Attorney
Holding a property manager or owner legally liable for an accident on their land can require substantial evidence, as well as the legal experience necessary to get the most out of that information. Building and effectively presenting a strong lawsuit or settlement demand after an incident like this can be hard for anyone to manage, let alone someone dealing with serious physical, personal, and financial losses.
Having help from a knowledgeable Harrisburg premises liability lawyer can make all the difference in how your case goes. Learn more by calling Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys today.