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AWARDS: $2,350,000 award to automobile accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – double criminal homicide • $1,000,000 award to motorcycle accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – criminal homicide • $465,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal – criminal homicide, recklessly endangering another person, neglect of a care dependent person • $325,000 federal jury verdict, UIM and insurance bad faith award to automobile accident plaintiffs • jury acquittal – attempted criminal homicide • $300,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal- attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon • $300,000 award to automobile accident/ products liability plaintiffs • jury acquittal – homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle DUI, aggravate assault by vehicle • $115,000 award to truck accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – murder, rape • $100,000 non-jury trial verdict to facial laceration plaintiff • jury acquittal – 1st degree Murder (capital case) • $90,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI, terroristic threats, carrying firearms without a license • $440,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property • $135,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (PWI) • $636,000 jury verdict in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice case • jury acquittal – indecent assault, indecent exposure • $550,000 award in plaintiffs’ personal injury case • juvenile case acquittal- solicitation to commit aggravated assault, aggravated assault of unborn child • $250,000 award to mass transit accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy • $130,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiffs • court-appointed appellate counsel – Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversal of rape conviction • $465,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – aggravated assault • $125,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of armed robbery charges • $170,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • successful jury verdict in defense of attorney charged with legal malpractice in professional liability case • $140,000 award to injured bicyclist plaintiff • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of 2 counts of criminal homicide • $180,000 award to employment discrimination plaintiff • jury acquittal – indecent exposure • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to paternal grandparents over natural mother • juvenile decertification petition granted to criminal homicide charges – release at age 21 • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • jury acquittal – DUI • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to mother • $50,000 jury verdict for plaintiff- passenger in automobile accident case • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • hung jury – Arson trial (no criminal punishment imposed) • $265,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – delivery of a controlled substance • $125,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • $190,000 award to products liability plaintiff • $150,000 award to premises liability/construction accident plaintiff • $750,000 award to prison medical malpractice and civil rights violation plaintiff • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • $108,500 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $80,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $150,000 award to truck accident plaintiffs.

Personal Injury

Premises Liability

Premises Liability Lawyer

What is ``Premises Liability?``

In general, the concept of “Premises Liability” involves injury suffered by an individual on the property of another that is caused by some defect, dangerous condition, or activity on the property. Some common forms of premises liability involve:

Slip-and-fall injuries on private or commercial property

Criminal acts by third parties on commercial property

Dog bites or animal bites

Electrocution

Explosions, Natural Gas, and Pipeline Accidents

Structural Collapse

Fire and Smoke related Injuries

Elevator, Escalator or other Equipment Accidents

Injuries occurring on state or municipally owned streets, roads or sidewalks

Injuries on Undeveloped Land or Natural Conditions

Dram Shop or Alcohol-Related Injuries

Swimming pools & Artificial Conditions Highly Dangerous to Trespassing Children (``Attractive Nuisances``)

Falling Objects

Asbestos, Chemicals, Fumes and other Toxic Materials

Housing and Building Code Violations

Slip-and-Fall Cases

The “slip-and-fall” case probably is the most common form of “premises liability.” Falls resulting from slipping, tripping, stumbling, tumbling or crumpling (i.e., a fall resulting from sudden loss of consciousness, fainting or intoxication) are a common occurrence in life.   Falls can occur in any number of venues, such as the  homes of family, friends, or neighbors;  driveways, parking lots and parking garages; grocery stores; department stores; shopping centers; airports; construction areas; restaurants, bars, and clubs; office buildings; public restrooms;  gyms; and pools.  Any fall can result in  serious, life-altering injuries including, but not limited to: concussion and head injuries,  back and neck injuries, hip injuries, elbow and wrist injuries, facial injuries, broken bones and even death. Many times the cause of injury in the  slip-and-fall case is not  due to the fault or negligence of the injured person but, instead,  to a dangerous condition,  defect or activity on the landowner’s property, such as:

Slippery or uneven sidewalks, curbs, steps or other walking surfaces

Snow and ice hazards

Loose rugs

Pot Holes and Poorly Maintained Streets

Poor lighting or illumination

Loose or missing handrails or stairs

Faulty or poorly maintained equipment, such as elevators, escalators, and moving walkways

Poorly distinguished wheel stops and speed bumps

Grates, utility boxes, manhole covers

Hidden Dangers

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF CARE THAT A POSSESSOR OF LAND OWES TO OTHERS?

When you are injured on another’s premises  because the possessor of land breached a duty of care, you may have a legal right to be compensated for your medical bills,  injuries, pain and suffering, and other resulting damages under Pennsylvania law.  The duty of care which a possessor of land owes to an entrant upon the land depends upon whether the entrant is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.  Generally, the determination of whether an individual is an invitee, licensee, or trespasser is one of fact for the jury.

 

What is an ``Invitee?``

An” invitee” is either a public invitee or a business visitor: (1) a public invitee is a person who is invited to enter or remain on land as a member of the public for a purpose for which the land is held open to the public; (2)  a business visitor is a person who is invited to enter or remain on land for a purpose directly or indirectly connected with business dealings with the possessor of the land. Restatement (Second) of Torts, §332.

What is a ``Licensee?``

A licensee is a person whose entry upon or use of the premises in question is by express or implied permission of the owner or occupier; a licensee enters upon the land of another solely for his own purposes, and the invitation extended to him is given as a favor by express consent or by general or local custom and is not for either the business or social purposes of the possessor.  Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 330,

What is a ``Trespasser?``

A “trespasser” is a person who enters or remains upon land in the possession of another without a privilege to do so created by the possessor’s consent or otherwise. Restatement (Second) of Torts, §329

What is the duty of care owed to ``Invitees?``

A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to his invitees by a condition on the land if, but only if, he: (1)  knows or by the exercise of reasonable care could discover the condition, and  should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees;   (2) should expect that the invitees will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it; and (3) fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against the danger. Restatement (Second) of Torts, §343

However, where a danger is “open or obvious,” the possessor of land does not owe the invitees a duty to take precautions or warn of open or obvious dangers.

What is the duty of care owed to ``Licensees?``

A possessor of land is subject to liability for physical harm caused to licensees by a condition on the land if, but only if,

(a) the possessor knows or has reason to know of the condition and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such licensees, and should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, and

(b) he fails to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe, or to warn the licensees of the condition and the risk involved, and

(c) the licensees do not know or have reason to know of the condition and the risk involved. Restatement (Second) of Torts  §342.

What is the duty of care owed to ``Trespassers?``

In general, a possessor of land is not liable to trespassers for physical harm caused by his failure to exercise reasonable care (a) to put the land in a condition reasonably safe for their reception, or (b) to carry on his activities so as not to endanger them. Restatement (Second) of Torts, §333. 

 

The duty owed to trespassers by a property owner is only to refrain from willful or wanton misconduct. Krivijanski v. Union Railroad Co., 357 Pa.Super. 196, 515 A.2d 933 (1986).

Premises Liability Cases can be Complicated

What factual and legal issues affect an injured party’s legal right to recover money damages?

The law surrounding premises liability cases can be complicated and confusing to the layperson. An injured party’s legal right to recover money damages for injuries suffered on another’s  premises  may hinge on a variety of factual and legal issues, such as:

  1. whether the landowner knew, or by the exercise of reasonable care should have known, of the risk or dangerous condition;
  2. whether the injured party held the legal status of a business invitee, licensee or trespasser at the time of the injury;
  3. whether a duty of care was owed to the injured party by the landowner (including duties imposed by law by virtue of a special relationship between the landowner and victim);
  4. whether the risk created by the dangerous activity or condition on the land was obvious or known to the injured party beforehand;
  5. whether the injured party had a “choice of ways” and voluntarily “assumed the risk” of injury;
  6. whether the injury occurred on state or municipal property that is statutorily protected by sovereign or governmental immunity from lawsuit, or whether there exists one or more  statutorily enumerated exceptions to sovereign or governmental immunity from lawsuit;
  7. whether the landowner is granted statutory immunity from civil and/or criminal liability (such as the Pennsylvania Retail Theft Act, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3929);
  8. whether a “trivial defect” caused the injury, thereby barring recovery of damages ;
  9. whether the “hills and ridges” doctrine applies  in slip-and-fall cases following the natural accumulation of  ice or snow on a sidewalk, parking lot or paved surface;
  10. whether the defendant landowner is an “unincorporated association”to which the injured plaintiff belongs and, therefore, legally cannot be sued in tort for negligence;
  11. whether the landowner committed a violation of jurisdictional regulations, such as local ordinances, codes, state and federal statutes and regulations that constitute  negligence per se, thereby imposing liability as a matter of law upon the landowner for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Trust the Highly Experienced and Talented Trial Lawyers at Charles Law Offices with your Premises Liability Case

With so many legal issues and factual complications surrounding premises liability that could spell defeat for the injured person, it is imperative that he or she seek the legal guidance of a highly experienced  trial attorney who is knowledgeable not only in the law of premises liability but, also, in the litigation of such matters — like the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

Attorneys Fredrick E. Charles and Dennis G. Charles of the Charles Law Offices have been successfully representing injured plaintiffs in premises liability cases for nearly 40 years with a reputation for excellence.  Their record of stunning victories, large verdicts and out-of-court settlements in premises liability cases speaks for itself.

The attorneys at Charles Law Offices  have access to, and successfully utilize, some of the nation’s finest experts in the fields of  science and engineering, accident reconstruction, medicine, physics, bio-mechanics, toxicology, psychiatry, psychology, and other forensic disciplines in successfully representing injured plaintiffs in premises liability litigation.  Attorneys Fredrick E. Charles and Dennis G. Charles utilize cutting edge techniques in the field of forensic engineering — such as laser scanning technology — to collect numerous measurements cost-effectively and with unprecedented accuracy.  Their meticulous and thorough evidence collection, trial preparation, and mastery of the art of courtroom persuasion has produced winning results for the injured premises plaintiff for nearly four decades.

So if you’ve been hurt on another person’s property, trust our law firm to get results for you. We’ll recover money for your medical bills, missed time at work, pain and suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, impaired earnings capacity, loss of life’s enjoyments and pleasures, and more. With nearly 40 years of success helping injured people, our knowledge and experience is the best asset to have on your side.  Don’t settle for anything less!

 

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with a lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the attorneys at Charles Law Offices.

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After being turned away and told by two other medical malpractice law firms that my case was “unwinnable,” I contacted Charles Law Offices. Both Attorneys are excellent, hard-working trial attorneys who are extremely knowledgeable and highly ethical. They produced an outstanding and favorable outcome for me.

Catherine R. Van Langen | Retired Radiological (ASRT) and Nuclear Medical Technologist

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A Family History of Devotion to
Law and Public Service

The Charles Brothers’ devotion to the law is derived from a family history in the legal system and of service to others. Their father, Charles “Chink” Charles (depicted in the lower left-hand corner of the photograph) held a 35 year career in law enforcement, and was selected to serve as the personal bodyguard for former United States Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson during their campaign visits to Allentown.

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