Property ownership comes with certain rights, but it also comes with certain responsibilities. Many of these responsibilities recognize the fact that the person who owns, is occupying, or in control of a property is in the best position to be aware of dangerous conditions. This individual is also the best situated to repair or warn guests and the public about dangerous defects or hazards.
Unfortunately, all too often, property owners and residents neglect their duty to maintain their property. They may allow an array of dangerous conditions likely to cause injury to come into existence. Unfortunately, it is often the innocent pedestrian or bystander who pays the price for the landowner’s negligence or carelessness. Accidents and injuries occurring on the property of another, or premise liability accidents, can inflict serious injuries that alter the course of an individual’s life. Debris can also fall from buildings or due to accumulations of ice and snow that avalanche downward from a building roof.
If you have suffered a severe injury due to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of a property owner the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily may be able to fight for you. For more than 36 years, Pennsylvanians and Philadelphians have trusted the attorneys of Reiff & Bily to fight for compensation for serious injuries.
What Are Common Types of Premises Liability Accidents?
Since a premise liability accident can include nearly any accidental injury that occurs on the land or property of another individual, there are a significant number of injuries that can occur. For instance, a shopper at a retail store or well-regarded supermarket may nevertheless suffer a serious injury when unbalanced products stacked on a shelf avalanche to the ground. Here, an array of injuries can be inflicted ranging from a concussion or traumatic brain injury due to the falling boxes to broken bones and other serious injuries that are sustained after a fall.
One other premises liability accident that is fairly common to retail environments involves insufficient lighting or security in attached parking lots. The failure to provide sufficient lighting may result in injuries due to a trip or a slip and fall. A lack of sufficient lighting may also constitute negligence if a shopper is attacked or assaulted because the parking lot was unsafe.
Other premise liability accidents can involve a failure to maintain the property. For instance, a homeowner may allow wiring to fray or fail to properly ground certain electrical outlets. Over time, the condition may deteriorate and a handrail or other metal object may become electrified. Needless to say, this scenario can result in serious or fatal injuries.
Alternatively, the owner of an apartment may fail to warn a guest about a problem with the hot water in the bathroom sink. When the guest goes to turn on the water, he or she is scalded by extremely hot water or steam. This too would represent yet another mechanism of injury for a premises liability accident.
The Slip and Fall is the Most Common Accident Type
While the above represent many types of premises liability accidents, the most common accident is the slip and fall. Slip and fall accidents can occur in many scenarios. For instance, an unsecured electrical cord may cause an individual to trip and fall. Likewise, a spilled drink or other liquid can render a home, restaurant, or store floor extremely slippery thereby significantly increasing the odds of a slip and fall. Furthermore, a dimly lit stairway or a stairwell with a loose handrail or banister may also contribute to a premises liability injury.
Ice and Snow Is a Common Cause for Premises Liability Accidents
Aside from these man-made scenarios, winter weather can also play a significant role in causing premises liability accidents. While not all slip and fall accidents due to slippery winter conditions are actionable, injuries caused by the negligence of the landlord or tenant frequently are. Furthermore, liability typically exists for injuries caused by snow or ice that accumulates due to man-made conditions. Examples of this could include a concrete pathway with insufficient drainage where water frequently accumulates and freezes. Alternatively, leaky downspouts or gutters that create puddles that can freeze also typically result in premises liability.
Unprotected Swimming Pools are a Common Cause for Accidents Involving Children
On the opposite end of the seasonal spectrum, swimming pools often make for a refreshing way to enjoy a hot summer day. However, swimming pools and other artificial conditions are also extremely enticing for children. A child’s mind does not process the risk that swimming alone or even with a friend in the absence of parental supervision can present.
Due to the nearly magnetic attraction, a swimming pool can have on a child coupled with a child’s inability to appreciate the risk, Pennsylvania law treats “attractive nuisances” like swimming pools in a special manner. Homeowners who fail to take action to secure the pool from unauthorized entry with a fence or other measures are typically held strictly liable for any premises liability accidents that flow from this oversight. In the case of swimming pools, drownings and other catastrophic or fatal injuries are not uncommon.
What Should You Do if the Landlord or Insurance Company Wants to Settle?
It is extremely common for the property owner, insurance company, or a lawyer speaking on these party’s behalf to attempt to settle a premises liability accident. This is done so that all parties can avoid the time, expense, and uncertainty of personal injury litigation. However, while these parties may frequently negotiate accident injury settlements, injury victims rarely have the experience to know how much it will cost to recover from their injury. Therefore, it is not uncommon for initial offers to the injury victim to be insufficient to cover injuries, lost wages, and additional rehabilitation costs.
Furthermore, injury victims are often not in the frame of mind that makes for successful negotiations. The injury victim may still be in significant pain. Pain can make critical thinking difficult or impossible. This may lead to rash decisions just to resolve the matter and “move on with one’s life.” Unfortunately, injury victims who place reaching a settlement above all else often subsequently find themselves in a difficult financial and personal situation.
Our Philadelphia Premises Liability Injury Lawyers Can Help
Like most legal matters, personal injury matters stemming from a premises liability accident are often extremely fact-intensive. Aside from questions of fact, numerous questions regarding how the law should apply may also exist. An experienced lawyer can meet the dual challenge of gathering factual information through investigations. He or she can then utilize that evidence to support conclusions of law or fact.
At Reiff & Bily our lawyers are dedicated to assisting injury victims. For more than 36 years, our attorneys have fought on behalf of the injured and to hold negligent and careless parties accountable for their actions. We believe that our decades of legal practice brings numerous benefits to our clients. Furthermore, we are extremely proud of our commitment to client service and dedication to fight for a compensation and a just result. Holding negligent parties accountable for their actions allows injury victims to receive the medical treatment they need while also discouraging others from engaging in similar careless behaviors.
If the consequences of your injury are costly or life changing, we can strive to obtain compensation for your losses including medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. We know how financially, physically, and emotionally difficult an accident can be, so we work diligently and as quickly as practicable for our clients.
Please contact the slip and fall attorneys of Reiff & Bily if you believe you may have a valid premises liability claim. If you or someone you care about has been injured please call us for your free & confidential consultation at 1-800-861-6708 or contact us online.
1125 Walnut Street, Floor 3 Philadelphia, PA 19107