The duty of the property owner depends really upon the status of the person who is on their property. A person who is on someone else’s property will be considered either a trespasser, a licensee or an invitee. The duty of the landowner differs according to these statuses. There are very few obligations held towards a trespasser; with a licensee, a landowner has a little bit more responsibility; and for an invitee, the landowner has the most responsibility. But the responsibility ultimately boils down to keeping the property clear and safe from any unusual hazards.
What Steps Should Someone Take If They Are Involved In A Premises Liability Accident?
The first and foremost step would be to gather as much evidence as possible about the condition that caused the fall because sometimes these conditions can change and end up being repaired. If that happens before the evidence is gathered, it makes it tougher to pursue the claim. So photographing the thing that has caused the fall is very important. The photographs should include something that would help give the scale of whatever caused the fall, such as holding a coin or a dollar bill next to the hole, crack or bump.
The second most important thing is to pursue any medical treatment that might be needed as soon as possible so that the injuries are documented and treated appropriately. The third thing is to follow the recommendations of the doctor and get all the treatment necessary.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Premises Liability Claim?
For injuries that occur on private property, the statute of limitations is typically two years, which can vary by state, but the general standard is two years. In claims against government property, though, there can be a limited timeframe. Notice has to be given to the government, and that can be as short as three or six months, depending on the jurisdiction. It doesn’t mean that a lawsuit has to be filed within that time, but it means that the government has to be put on notice that there was an injury within a much shorter timeframe, which is why it is so important for someone to consult an attorney immediately after they’ve suffered an injury.
How Long Does A Premises Liability Case Typically Take To Get Resolved?
That depends very much on where the claim is filed and what the court calendar is like there. In Philadelphia an arbitration-level case would be taken from complaint through arbitration in about nine months. If the case is filed as a jury trial case, that might be closer to a year. If it is in one of the surrounding counties, it can take longer than that.
Why Is It Necessary To Retain An Experienced Premises Liability Attorney From The Start?
Any time that you are dealing with an adversarial party, which in this case would be considered the property owner, you need to make sure that you have someone representing and defending your interests because it is very likely that the property owner is going to have somebody defending theirs. Also, when it comes to premises cases, it’s important to consult an attorney because they would be in a position to determine whether or not there is some insurance coverage that would be able to cover and compensate for the injuries suffered and also identify all the potentially responsible parties if there has been any maintenance or repair done to the property where the fall occurred. Those parties, ultimately, may be responsible for the fall.
For example, if it is a fall involving snow or ice, there may be snow and ice removal companies that could be potentially responsible. All those things require investigation that the typical individual is really not suited to conduct, but we handle it as a matter of course.
Additional Information About Premises Liability Claims In Pennsylvania
Every case is unique, and every case presents its own issues, which is why an early and comprehensive investigation is critical.
For more information on Duty Of A Property Owner, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 569-1212 today.