Premises liability is a type of law that holds the owners of property financially liable for injuries and/or accidents that happen on their property. Most readers have probably heard of the most common type of premises liability incident, the slip-and-fall accident, but this is a broad area of law that covers numerous topics.
Here are three “categories” of accidents covered by premises liability law in Pennsylvania:
Slip-and-fall accidents: A slip-and-fall accident happens when a visitor on a property suffers some kind of injury as a result of unsafe conditions that should never have happened — if the property owner fulfilled his or her legal obligation to keep the property reasonably free of dangers. Slip-and-fall accidents might be caused by ice on a sidewalk outside a home or business, slippery floors in a restaurant or grocery store, poorly lit staircases, slippery rugs, chaotic walking spaces with too many obstacles, and virtually an unlimited number of other scenarios.
Swimming pool incidents: Swimming pools are breeding grounds for disaster, particularly if someone falls into the pool who cannot swim. Pool owners must take reasonable precautions to prevent people — and especially children — from wandering onto their pool areas and accidentally drowning. They must also keep a watchful eye during parties and social events, especially those in which alcohol is served, where guests could come close to the pool. Although the phrase “swim at your own risk,” may come into play to a certain degree, pool owners must take reasonable precautions to prevent pool-related deaths and injuries.
Muggings, assault and sexual assault: Property owners must keep their premises safe for guests in all respects — including security concerns. For this reason, bars and nightclubs should have a bouncer present to protect visitors from unruly party-goers who may try to attack, pick fights with or sexually assault other guests. If a visitor to a property gets attacked while walking to his or her car in a parking lot, this could also be grounds to pursue a premises liability lawsuit in some cases.
If you were seriously hurt on someone’s property, be it the home of a friend, a store or a government-owned facility, you might want to explore your legal rights and options. In some cases, the owner or manager of properties where injuries occur are financially liable to pay for the costs associated with medical care and other damages.