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:
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:
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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.
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).
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:
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.
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.