You may be Entitled to Compensation After a Premises Liability Injury
Property owners and premise managers must maintain a reasonably safe environment for their guests and patrons. They have a duty of care to protect people from unnecessary harm. If you or your family member were injured because of the owner’s negligence or misconduct, you have the right to seek payment for your condition.
Compensation can pay for the related medical costs and other financial losses. An Erie premises liability lawyer from Berger and Green can review your case and work on seeking compensation for your injury. Call us at (412) 661-1400 to talk about your claim.
For a free legal consultation with a premises liability lawyer serving Erie, call 412-661-1400
Responsibility for Injuries from Property Hazards
An injury suffered because of an unsafe environment on someone’s property might be a premises liability case. Premises liability holds those with a vested interest in the property legally responsible for maintaining the premise so that it does not pose a risk of harm to the public.
The person responsible for the upkeep of a place is typically the property owner. Property owners include:
- Homeowners, like neighbors and landlords
- Business owners, such as grocery stores, retail shops, and warehouse wholesalers
- Federal, state, and local governments own land and buildings, including the town hall
However, other parties besides the property owner might be liable for injuries. Managers and occupiers can also be responsible.
How the injury occurred can indicate who is responsible for damages. For instance, a rental tenant could be the at-fault party if their guest tripped over an extension cord. The landlord might be liable if the injury was the result of tripping over an uneven or cracked walkway.
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Types of Property Liability Cases
Slip and fall incidences are common premises liability cases. Injury can stem from slick floors to unsecured staircase railing. An example of owner negligence can include not warning customers about a wet floor from mopping. Premise liability claims can include the following and more:
- Slips from spills, ice, or snow
- Falls from tripping over a hazard, like torn carpet
- Animal attacks, such as dog bites
- Collapsed structures, like flooring or decks
- Falling objects
- Improper maintenance
- Elevator problems
- Hazardous and toxic chemicals or fumes
- Amusement attraction accidents
- Fire and smoke injuries
- Inadequate security
- Food poisoning
Injuries suffered from owner negligence can range from minor to severe. Slip and fall accidents can cause broken bones, cuts, bruises, and torn ligaments. In some cases, a trip could result in someone’s death.
At Berger and Green, an Erie premises liability lawyer will investigate your case to determine if you have a premise liability claim. Our team will look into your claim and establish which pieces of evidence are most helpful for strengthening your case.
Seeking Compensation for a Premise Injury
According to 42 Pa. C.S.A. §5524, you have two years to act on a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Your action to recover damages for an injury first starts by calculating your losses. The following might pertain to your claim:
- Medical bills show how much money the injury cost you. Even if your insurance pays for a portion of your care, the responsible party should cover your out-of-pocket costs.
- If your injury stopped you from going to work, you can seek reimbursement for your lost wages. Past pay stubs show how much you lost during your time out of work. You can also request payment for future lost earnings if your injury keeps you from returning to your job.
- If your family member died as a result of an owner’s negligence, you have the right to recover damages for their death, according to 42 Pa. C.S.A. §8301.
- General damages are non-economic losses or losses that do not have a dollar amount. Examples of general damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of a family member.
While these documents can provide a basis for your compensation amount, you will also need to gather evidence.
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The Burden of Proof
To collect compensation for your injury, you must show proof that the owner was negligent. Negligent means they did not take action to prevent a known risk.
For instance, an owner knows their walkway is icy before inviting friends over for a party. They might be liable for slip and fall accidents if they fail to reduce the risk of harm by not removing the ice or warning guests of the potential harm.
Evidence of negligence can include:
- Photos and video of where the injury occurs. If you slipped on ice or a spill, documenting the cause may be used as proof during the case. A security camera can also show the whole incident.
- Witness statements from others who saw what happened can strengthen your case.
- Medical records of your condition might also establish negligence. For instance, the laboratory results of your food poisoning could show that it was improperly prepared, cooked, served, or stored.
Your legal team might have other suggestions and options, depending on the specifics of your case.
How Berger and Green Can Help You
Property owners should have insurance that covers them in case of premise liability. When you seek compensation for your injuries, you must notify the other party of your intent to sue. Typically, the insurance company will step in for their policyholder and attempt a settlement.
A settlement is a legal agreement that resolves the dispute. The insurance company often offers a low amount, and the two sides negotiate until they agree on an amount. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, the case will move to court.
An Erie premises liability lawyer from Berger and Green can look over your claim and fight for the maximum compensation. Our team can negotiate with the insurance company and argue your case in a court of law.
We work on a contingency basis, so you do not have upfront costs for our services. You do not pay us unless we recover your financial compensation. Call us at (412) 661-1400 with your questions and speak with one of our representatives about pursuing your claim for payment.