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Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer

Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyer

When you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a property owner’s negligence, selecting the right legal representation is crucial. The Philadelphia premises liability attorneys at PhillyLaw stand out for our dedication, experience, and proven track record of securing favorable outcomes for our clients. With a deep understanding of both state and local laws around premises liability cases, we are meticulously prepared to advocate for your rights, ensuring that property owners are held accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. A Philadelphia premises liability lawyer from PhillyLaw takes pride in our personalized approach, taking the time to understand every detail of your case, and will craft a legal strategy that is tailored to your specific premises liability situation and needs. Contact us for a free consultation from a Philadelphia premises liability lawyer to learn more about your options if you have been injured in a premises liability incident.

What is a Premises Liability Claim?

A premises liability claim arises when an individual suffers an injury due to unsafe or defective conditions on someone else’s property. This legal concept will hold a property owner or occupier accountable for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises under the principle that they must maintain a safe environment for visitors. Premises liability covers a range of incidents, including slip-and-falls, inadequate maintenance, defective conditions, and insufficient security, among others. The nature of a person’s visit, whether as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, can significantly impact the duty of care owed by the property owner and the viability of a claim.

Pennsylvania Law on Premises Liability

Under Pennsylvania law, premises liability is governed by the principle that a property owner has a duty to ensure their property is safe for those who enter it. This means that property owners must engage in regular inspection and maintenance of their property to prevent hazardous conditions. The extent of this duty can vary significantly based on the status of the visitor. Pennsylvania recognizes three types of visitors: invitees, licensees, and trespassers, each with different rights under the law.


An invitee is someone who enters the property for the benefit of the owner, such as a customer in a store. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, including warning them of known dangers and regularly inspecting the property for potential hazards.


A licensee enters the property for their own purpose but with the owner’s permission, like a social guest. Property owners must warn licensees of known, dangerous conditions that the licensee is unlikely to discover on their own.


Trespassers enter without any right or the owner’s permission. Owners owe the least duty of care to trespassers, mainly to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring them.

In Pennsylvania, the concept of “comparative negligence” may also apply, potentially reducing the compensation if the injured party is found to be partly at fault for their injuries. Understanding these distinctions and how they apply to a specific case can profoundly impact the outcome of premises liability claims in Pennsylvania.

Negligence in Pennsylvania for Premises Liability

Negligence plays a crucial role in premises liability cases in Pennsylvania. To establish a claim, the injured party must show that the property owner or occupier was negligent in maintaining the property or failed to correct a dangerous condition that directly led to the injury. This involves proving several key elements:

  • Duty of Care: Demonstrating that the property owner owed a duty of care to the person injured on their premises, based on the status of the visitor (invitee, licensee, or trespasser).
  • Breach of Duty: Showing that the property owner breached this duty by failing to maintain the property safely or warn of dangerous conditions.
  • Causation: Connecting the breach of duty directly to the accident or injury, proving that the unsafe condition on the property was the direct cause of the injury.
  • Damages: Providing evidence of the damages suffered as a result of the injury, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Understanding Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania Premises Liability Cases

Comparative negligence is a crucial concept in Pennsylvania premises liability cases that can significantly impact the outcome of a claim. It refers to a situation where the injured party may share some level of responsibility for the accident or injury. Under Pennsylvania law, this shared fault doesn’t automatically disqualify one from recovering damages, but it does proportionally reduce the compensation based on the percentage of fault.

For instance, if a court determines that an injured person was 20% at fault for their injury due to not paying adequate attention to warning signs, and the property owner was 80% at fault for failing to maintain safe conditions, the injured party’s compensation will be reduced by their share of fault — 20% in this case. This means that if the total damages were calculated to be $100,000, the injured party would be eligible to receive $80,000.

However, it’s worth noting that Pennsylvania follows a “modified” comparative negligence rule, which stipulates that if the injured party is found to be more than 50% responsible for their own injury, they are no longer eligible to receive any compensation from the other party. This threshold underscores the importance of a detailed investigation and expert legal representation to effectively minimize the injured party’s assigned fault and maximize the potential for receiving damages. The Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at PhillyLaw understand premises liability law and are able to ensure that you are able to seek compensation for your injuries as a result of a property owner’s negligence.

Statute of Limitations in Pennsylvania for Premises Liability Cases

The statute of limitations is a critical aspect of premises liability cases in Pennsylvania, establishing a deadline by which an injured party must file a lawsuit against the property owner or manager. Under Pennsylvania law, most premises liability claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. This time frame is intended to ensure that cases are brought to court while evidence is still fresh and memories of the incident are clear.

It is essential for potential plaintiffs to be aware of this strict deadline. Failing to file a claim within the two-year statute of limitations can result in the loss of the right to seek compensation for injuries and damages sustained due to the property owner’s negligence. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule, such as when the injured party is a minor or when the injury was not discovered immediately. In these cases, the clock on the statute of limitations may start at a later date, giving the injured party more time to file a claim.

Nevertheless, navigating the complexities of the statute of limitations and its exceptions requires a detailed understanding of Pennsylvania law. Potential claimants are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in premises liability cases to ensure their right to compensation is preserved.

Who is Liable for Premises Liability Claims?

In Pennsylvania, several parties can be held liable for injuries sustained on a property, depending on the specifics of the premises liability claim. The most commonly liable party is the property owner, who has an overarching duty to ensure their property is safe for those who enter it. However, liability can also extend beyond the property owner.

Property Owner

For a property owner to be held liable for a premises liability case, it must be shown that they had knowledge of the dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable steps to rectify it. This liability hinges on the concept of foreseeability, meaning that the property owner could reasonably anticipate that their negligence could lead to someone’s injury.

For instance, if a property owner was aware of a faulty stairwell but chose to ignore it, and someone was subsequently injured as a result, the owner could be held liable for negligence. Similarly, if a dangerous condition developed over time and the owner failed to conduct regular inspections or maintenance, their lack of action could be construed as negligence. Proving liability requires demonstrating not only that the dangerous condition existed but also that the owner was aware or should have been aware of it and did nothing to mitigate the risk.

Commercial Property Owners and Liability in Premises Liability Cases

In the realm of premises liability, commercial property owners are held to a particularly high standard of care. This is because businesses that invite the public onto their premises are expected to ensure a safe environment for their customers and employees. The liability of a commercial property owner in Pennsylvania involves not only awareness of existing hazards but also an obligation to regularly inspect the property for potential dangers and to rectify any unsafe conditions in a timely manner.

For example, a grocery store owner must keep the floors clean and dry, ensuring that spills are quickly addressed to prevent slip and fall accidents. Similarly, a shopping mall owner is responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of the building, ensuring that no harm comes to visitors from avoidable architectural failures. The failure of commercial property owners to meet these responsibilities can result in significant legal repercussions, including being held liable for accidents resulting from their negligence.

Furthermore, commercial property owners must be vigilant about security measures to prevent criminal activities on their premises, such as theft or assault, which could harm patrons or employees. The concept of “negligent security” falls under premises liability, and owners may be held accountable if it can be proven that foreseeable crimes could have been prevented through proper security measures.

Thus, liability for premises liability among commercial property owners encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, from physical maintenance of the property to ensuring adequate security measures are in place. It highlights the imperative for commercial property owners in Pennsylvania to proactively manage risks to safeguard against legal liability and protect the well-being of their patrons and employees.

Property Occupiers and Renters

Individuals or businesses that occupy a property, such as tenants, can also be held liable if their negligence contributes to an injury. This includes failing to address known hazards or not following the landlord’s guidelines for property maintenance and safety.

Property Managers

When a property is managed by an individual or a company other than the owner, these parties might be liable for injuries. Their responsibility typically involves ensuring the property is safe and well-maintained, making them accountable for any negligence in executing these duties.


In cases where the injury occurs at a workplace, the employer may be liable under premises liability if it is determined that the workplace was not maintained safely. This can be in addition to or instead of workers’ compensation claims.

Government Entities

Public property managed by local, state, or federal government entities can also be subject to premises liability claims. However, claims against the government follow different rules and timelines, such as shorter notice periods and specific immunity clauses.

Identifying the liable party or parties in a premises liability claim in Pennsylvania requires a detailed examination of the roles and responsibilities of those involved with the property. An experienced premises liability attorney can help injured parties understand their rights and who to hold accountable for their injuries.

Do I Need to File a Lawsuit for My Premises Liability Claim in Pennsylvania?

Deciding whether to file a lawsuit for your premises liability claim in Pennsylvania is a significant decision that can be influenced by several factors. Initially, it’s essential to consider whether the responsible party is willing to negotiate a fair settlement out of court. Many premises liability cases are resolved through settlements where the injured party and the liable party come to an agreement on the compensation amount without the need for litigation.

However, there are circumstances where filing a lawsuit may become necessary. If the liable party denies responsibility, disputes the extent of your injuries, or offers a settlement that doesn’t adequately cover your damages, taking legal action may be the most appropriate course to seek the compensation you’re entitled to. It’s crucial to consult an experienced Philadelphia premises liability lawyer who can assess the specifics of your case, advise you on the best legal strategy, and represent your interests, whether in settlement negotiations or court proceedings.

Remember, Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations for premises liability claims, meaning there’s a limited timeframe in which you can file a lawsuit. Therefore, seeking legal advice early from experienced premises liability attorneys can help ensure that your right to pursue compensation is preserved within these legal time limits.

Damages Available for a Premises Liability Accident in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, individuals who are injured in a premises liability accident may be entitled to pursue a variety of damages. These compensations are designed to cover both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages include tangible losses such as medical bills, which cover both immediate and long-term healthcare costs, and lost wages, for the time the injured party was unable to work due to their injury. Additionally, if the injury leads to a reduction in earning capacity, the injured party may seek compensation for this loss as well.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intended to compensate for intangible losses. This includes pain and suffering, which refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress the injured party has endured as a result of their accident. In some cases, if the behavior of the defendant was particularly egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are not meant to compensate the victim, but rather to punish the defendant and deter similar negligent or malicious behavior in the future.

Navigating the specifics of premises liability claims and understanding the types of damages available requires in-depth legal knowledge. Consulting with an experienced Philadelphia premises liability attorney at PhillyLaw can provide injured parties with the expertise necessary to secure fair compensation for their losses.

Steps to Take if You Have Been Involved in a Philadelphia Premises Liability Incident

If you’ve been involved in a premises liability incident in Philadelphia, taking the right steps immediately afterward can significantly impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries. Here is a concise guide on what to do:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the utmost priority. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, some symptoms may not appear immediately. Documenting your injuries with a healthcare provider will also create medical records, which are crucial for your claim.
  2. Report the Incident: Notify the property owner, manager, or the occupier of the property where the incident occurred. Ensure this is done in writing and keep a copy of the report for your records. This step is vital for documentation purposes.
  3. Document Everything: Take photographs or videos of the location where the incident happened, focusing on any conditions that contributed to your injury. Gather names and contact information of any witnesses. Write down your own account of the incident as soon as possible, including the time, date, and conditions.
  4. Do Not Provide Statements: Be cautious about discussing the incident with property owners, managers, or insurance companies before consulting with an attorney. Avoid providing written or oral statements, as these can be used against you later.
  5. Preserve Evidence: Keep your clothing and footwear from the day of the incident, as they might serve as evidence. Also, save all medical records and receipts related to treatment for your injuries, including medications, physical therapy, and any other related expenses.
  6. Consult a Philadelphia Premises Liability Attorney: An experienced attorney can provide invaluable advice on your legal rights and the best course of action. They can help in gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and, if necessary, filing a lawsuit to seek adequate compensation. Reach out to the skilled Philadelphia premises liability attorneys at PhillyLaw for a free consultation to learn more.
  7. Avoid Social Media: Refrain from discussing your incident or posting any related information on social media platforms. Such posts can be detrimental to your case.

By following these steps, you can safeguard your rights and build a strong foundation for your premises liability claim. Consultation with a seasoned Philadelphia premises liability lawyer at PhillyLaw early in the process is crucial to navigating the complexities of premises liability law and ensuring your rights are protected.

The Experienced Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers at PhillyLaw are Here to Help

If you’ve been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, a Philadelphia premises liability lawyer at PhillyLaw can offer comprehensive support to ensure your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve. Our experienced Philadelphia premises liability lawyers possess a deep understanding of Pennsylvania’s complex legal landscape and are adept at navigating its intricacies to build a strong case on your behalf.

From the moment you consult with us, we dedicate ourselves to meticulously investigating your case, gathering pivotal evidence, and consulting with experts to establish the full extent of the property owner’s negligence. We understand the impact such injuries can have on your life, which is why we work tirelessly to advocate for your interests, whether that involves negotiating a fair settlement or representing you in court. With PhillyLaw on your side, you can feel confident that we will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice and full and fair compensation for your premises liability accident. Our goal is to alleviate the stress of the legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.