Inadequate Maintenance in Philadelphia
A property owner is generally required to keep their property safe and well maintained for visitors, but they are not always responsible for injuries that occur on their land. The owner’s duty depends on both the type of property and the reason the person is visiting the property.
At Rosenbaum & Associates a Philadelphia inadequate maintenance lawyer has handled many claims against property owners and can quickly evaluate you situation and advise you of the strengths of your case.
Someone who possesses land or property is liable for the physical harm caused to invitees by a condition on the land if he:
- Knows or by exercise of reasonable care would discover the condition, and should realize that it involves an unreasonable risk of harm to such invitees, and
- Should expect that they will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves against it, and
- Fails to exercise reasonable care to protect them against danger. An invitee is someone who has been invited on the land for business purposes or who is on land that is open to the general public.
Therefore, the possessor of land must undertake to properly maintain their property and protect invitees from foreseeable harm. The business owner’s duty to those who enter their property requires them to see to it that the condition of the property is safe for the activities for which it is regularly used, intended to be used or reasonable foreseen to be used. The question of whether the condition that caused the injury was a dangerous condition requires a case-by-case review of the specific facts.
However, a business owner is not responsible for insuring the safety of their patrons. Just because someone is injured in their business does not mean that they breached their duty of reasonable care or are liable for injuries. A business owner must have notice of the dangerous condition. If the harmful condition is fairly traceable to the owner or his employees or agents then the person injured does not have to prove notice. However, if it is not traceable to the owner then the jury will consider how long the dangerous condition existed and whether exercise of reasonable care would have led the owner to discover the dangerous condition. Further, if the condition is one that the owner knows has frequently reoccurred, a jury may find that they had actual notice of the dangerous condition.
An invitee may also assume the risk of injury, relieving the business owner of liability. A business owner is liable to invitees for physical harm cause to them by any activity or condition on the land whose danger is known or obvious to them unless the owner should anticipate the harm despite the knowledge or obviousness.
If the possessor of property allows someone on their property, but not for business purposes, such as a visiting a friend, that person is called a licensee. In that case they owe a duty or reasonable care to disclose dangerous conditions known to them and not likely to be discovered by the licensee. Therefore, there is no duty to fix the property or search for defects, just disclose conditions known to the possessor.
If someone trespasses land the owner or possessor of the property’s only duty is to refrain from willfully or wantonly injuring the trespasser.
A trip and fall accident can cause serious injuries to an unexpected victim. If you would like to set up free consultation with a Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyer at our firm, please contact us online or call (215) 569-0200.