purchase, george & murphey.
purchase, george & murphey.
Maintenance of property in Pennsylvania is not optional, and for good reason. Poorly maintained property, either residential or commercial, can cause significant or fatal injuries. An incorrect gradation of steps, the wrong paint, an unmonitored aisle, an unlatched gate, or poor lighting can result in broken bones, drowning, or violent injury. When property owners do not maintain their premises, it is important that they are held accountable for injuries and fatalities that occur because of their negligence.
Lawyers at the Erie, Pennsylvania firm of Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C. help clients who are injured or who have lost loved ones due to defective or dangerous property conditions. We seek compensation for medical bills and lost wages, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. Our goal is to obtain the resources needed to allow our clients to move forward with their lives.
Recovering compensation in a premises liability case requires a comprehensive knowledge of the civil justice system that only an experienced legal team can provide. Our lawyers give personal injury clients comprehensive support and legal care. Our Erie, PA legal team is made up of experienced attorneys and client support staff who are seasoned, empathetic, and professional. We fuse our unrelenting approach to client advocacy with a hands-on approach that has obtained millions of dollars for clients in our four-plus decades of practice.
Premises liability matters can present unique, nuanced, and complex challenges. These cases often involve multiple defendants, including owners, lessors, property managers, and public entities. Premises injuries can occur in stores, homes, parks, sidewalks, office buildings, recreational facilities, and construction sites. Significant investigation is often required to determine the precise nature of the property conditions and to determine whether the people responsible had knowledge of existing dangers.
Some examples of premises liability matters include:
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To learn about your rights and options after an injury caused by dangerous or defective property conditions, schedule an initial consultation with one of our Erie County lawyers. You can call 814-273-2010 or use our contact form.
We know that evaluating what to do after sustaining injuries on someone else’s property can be difficult. Our lawyers are here to help regardless of the circumstances. We will evaluate the facts of your case for free to help you decide whether to pursue your right to compensation from the property owner. For more information, call or contact our office online today.
Premises liability law gives injured parties the right to seek financial compensation when they are injured on someone else’s property. Slip and fall accidents and negligent security claims are two common examples of premises liability cases.
At Purchase, George & Murphey, P.C., our trusted premises liability lawyers know that it can be difficult and complex to recover compensation even if you were injured on someone else’s property. We put our more than two decades’ worth of experience to work in our fight to recover fair compensation for injured clients in Erie, PA. Below are some frequently asked questions about premises liability claims in Western Pennsylvania.
Call or contact our office today to explore your case with our lawyers in greater detail.
What is premises liability? +
Premises liability is the legal term for holding property owners financially responsible for accidents that take place on their property. Property owners have a duty to keep their property safe for invited guests, customers and visitors. The extent of this duty depends largely on why you were on the property owner’s property. Business owners are subject to a higher standard of care than private property owners, for example.
What do I have to prove to recover compensation based upon premises liability if I was injured on someone else’s property? +
It is first necessary to establish why you were on the property—whether as a customer in a store or guest at a party. That determines how high the threshold of proof in your case will be. It is also necessary to show that there was an unreasonably dangerous condition on the property. The property owner must have known about the danger and failed to warn you that it existed to prevent you from getting hurt. In the case of business owners, the property owner might also be liable if the owner reasonably should have been aware of the danger through inspecting the property. You also have to show that the injuries and harm you suffered were caused by the dangerous condition.
What difference does it make if I was trespassing and was injured on someone else’s property? +
Premises liability law does not provide strong legal protection for trespassers. Property owners only have the duty to avoid causing intentional harm to the trespasser. In other words, they do not have the same duty to make their property safe for trespassers.
What should I do if I was injured on someone else’s property? +
You should seek medical care and also be sure to report the dangerous condition to the property owner (if you were in a store, restaurant or other public place, report the condition to a manager). You should also take photographs of the scene to document the dangerous condition. If anyone else witnessed your accident, get their contact information. As with any other accident, keep written documents of your injuries and anything else you can remember about the accident, and make sure you speak to an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
What are some common types of premises liability claims? +
The most common type of premises liability claim is a slip and fall accident claim. Property owners can also be held responsible under this theory of law if they fail to provide adequate security—such as where an owner’s property is located in a dangerous neighborhood, and the owner fails to install proper lighting in a parking lot or other relevant security measures.
What if the property owner says that my injuries are my own fault because I should have seen that the danger was obvious? +
Even invited visitors and guests on property have a duty to avoid obvious dangers to avoid injury. Depending upon the circumstances, this may be a valid defense to the property owner’s liability. Our lawyers can evaluate the facts of your case to counter this type of defense if possible.
What if I am found to be partly, but not totally, responsible for the accident? Can I still recover compensation in a premises liability case? +
Like other injury cases, premises liability compensation awards are subject to Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence rules. This means that if you are partly responsible, you might be able to recover only a partial compensation award. Your award may be reduced to the extent that the accident was found to be your fault.
What do I need to know about dealing with the insurance companies when making a premises liability claim? +
It is important to remember that even though the property owner has a legal duty, the insurance company will usually ultimately pay your compensation. However, the insurance company is a profit-motivated business. That means the insurer may attempt to pay less than you deserve. Before speaking with the insurance company or signing any documents, make sure to speak with an experienced premises liability lawyer about the value of your claim.
Can a property owner be found responsible financially if I was physically attacked while on their property? +
In some cases, yes. If the property owner failed to take proper and appropriate security measures—and knew that the possibility of an attack was likely given past experiences or the neighborhood in question—the property owner might be responsible. This is the case even though someone else committed a crime by attacking you and the property owner had no control over that person’s illegal actions.
I was injured at a friend’s house and don’t really want to sue them. What can I do when I need help to pay my bills? +
Premises liability law imposes responsibility for warning guests of dangers even if you were at a friend or loved one’s home. Importantly, your friend’s insurance company is actually going to be responsible for paying your bills. Your friend’s homeowner’s insurance will apply—and, in fact, is one of the primary reasons they have been paying for homeowner’s (or renter’s) insurance in the first place.
How long do I have to bring legal action under a premises liability theory of law? +
Like other Pennsylvania injury cases, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for compensation.
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