Slip & Fall

Premises Liability Lawyers in Lancaster, PA

Holding property owners in Lancaster County responsible for their dangerous spaces

All businesses, organizations, and homeowners have a duty to keep their property safe for anyone who has a right to be on their property. Safety steps include conducting reasonable inspections, anticipating common dangers such as slippery floors or icy parking lots, responding to complaints, and warning visitors of known dangers. Many premises liability cases involve someone slipping and falling, which can cause head trauma, spinal cord damage, and other serious injuries. In tragic cases, a loved one may lose their life due to unsafe premises and property.

At KBG Injury Law, our Lancaster premises liability lawyers have been fighting for personal injury victims for almost 40 years. We have a strong track record of success negotiating settlements and litigating cases in court. This success is due to our attention to detail, our network of investigators and other professionals, and our ability to persuasively argue your case. We are 100 percent dedicated to helping you obtain a just and fair result.

What are the main elements of a Lancaster, PA premises liability claim?

In order to hold a property owner liable for negligence, you must show that:

  • The property owner owed you a duty of care. Property owners have a responsibility to invitees and licensees to keep their property safe from hazards. Generally, owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers, though there are some exceptions.
  • The breach of duty caused your accident. Generally, a breach means that the property owner knew or should have known of a dangerous condition and failed to take corrective safety measures.
  • The accident is the proximate cause of your injuries. For example, if uneven flooring causes you to fall, then you may be eligible to claim damages for any injuries you suffer, such as a broken leg.

What is the difference between invitees, licensees, and trespassers?

A key part of your claim is determining whether you were an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Pennsylvania defines these categories as follows:

  • Generally, an invitee is a person the owner of the premises asks or encourages to be on their property. Businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, professional services, and hotels want people to enter their premises to either buy their products or use their services. These customers are invitees. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees.
  • A licensee is generally someone who has permission to be on the premises but is not there for the express benefit of the property owner. A common example is when you walk on your neighbor’s sidewalk. You have permission to be on the sidewalk but are not on the sidewalk to benefit the owner.
  • These are people who do not have permission to be on the owner’s property. A common example is someone who climbs over a fence to be on an owner’s property or is on the property after the hours of operation have ended. 

While property owners generally do not owe a duty of care to trespassers there is an exception called “attractive nuisance.” In Pennsylvania, property owners owe a duty of care if they should know that a minor child is likely to enter the property and use or explore the nuisance without permission. A common example is when a child sees a swimming pool or trampoline. If the child is injured while using the pool or trampoline, the property owner may be liable. Owners need to take extra precautions such as securing their property from outside entry.

Property owners may also be liable if they set up a device to harm a trespasser.

What are some examples of premises liability claims?

You may have a claim if, while you are on someone else’s property, you:

  • Slip and fall or trip and fall.
  • Are bitten by the owner’s dog.
  • Are physically attacked due to negligent security.
  • Suffer an accident due to defective equipment which the owner knew or should have known about.
  • Suffer an elevator or escalator accident.
  • Are injured in a fire.
  • Are exposed to dangerous chemicals.
  • Suffer a swimming pool accident.
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How do you prove negligence in a Lancaster, PA premises liability claim?

Many accidents could have been avoided if the property owner took reasonable precautions. At KBG Injury Law, our lawyers examine if the property owner was negligent for the following reasons:

  • Failed to conduct routine inspections inside and outside. Inspections should include looking for wet or slippery surfaces, torn carpets, broken tiles, uneven surfaces, loose railings, and anything that might cause someone to fall. Entrances and parking lots should be checked for safety when it is raining or snowing.
  • Failed to look for objects that might fall. Owners that stock merchandise, do construction work, or any type of work with inventory or tools should make sure that any overhead objects are secure, so they do not fall and hit you on the head.
  • Failed to make repairs to known defects. Owners need to respond quickly if they know a dangerous condition may injure you.
  • Failed to warn customers and visitors of known defects. For example, if escalators or elevators are not working, the owners should place warning signs at all relevant locations to warn you not to use them.
  • Did not install or repair lighting. There should be outside and inside lights both for better visibility and personal protection.
  • Negligent security. Failure to install locks, fences, cameras, and video equipment in places where a lot of money is being handled or where altercations, such as at taverns, may lead to injuries.

How long do I have to file a premises liability claim?

Generally, accident victims have two years to file an accident lawsuit for injuries that occur on someone else’s property. It is always best to speak with an experienced Lancaster premises liability attorney as quickly as possible after an accident. Your lawyer needs to investigate the property as quickly as possible, preferably before any repairs are made.

At KBG Injury Law, we immediately send investigators to the accident site. We conduct extensive discovery, including questioning all the defendants and witnesses. It is best to conduct these questions while everyone’s memory is fresh.

What are the dog bite laws in Pennsylvania?

Generally, in Pennsylvania, dog owners have a duty to ensure their dog does not bite a child or a visitor if the owner knows the dog has a propensity to bite or attack. The owner may be strictly liable for any medical bills a victim accumulates as a result of his or her injuries.

What is the value of my Lancaster, PA premises liability case?

If you are injured while rightfully on the property of any business, organization, or individual, you may claim damages for all your:

  • Medical expenses. These costs include ER care, surgeries and hospital stays, time with specialists such as orthopedists and pain management doctors, and all the visits you need with physical therapists and other rehabilitative therapists. Medical costs also include your medications and the costs of assistive devices such as prosthetics.
  • Lost income. Any income and benefits you lose because you cannot work or because you have a permanent disability.
  • Pain and suffering. These are the pains, anxieties, and worries that often add up to the largest part of your case.
  • Scarring and disfigurement. Many people who suffer facial scarring, lose a limb, or other disfiguring injuries may be eligible for extra compensation.
  • Loss of consortium. Spouses can claim compensation for loss of enjoyment of their relationship with their wife or husband.

How can a Lancaster, PA premises liability attorney help?

Our skilled premises liability lawyers help in many ways, including:

  • Investigating how the accident occurred. This includes taking photos and videos of the accident site and conducting discovery of your case.
  • Determining who is responsible. Parent companies may be liable in addition to the primary owner. Tenants may also be liable, as are repair and maintenance companies, depending on the circumstances.
  • Examining any prior complaints. In some cases, other customers or visitors raised complaints about the dangerous condition that caused your accident. Or, local building code authorities may have warned the owner or issued building code violations.
  • Working with your doctors. We review your diagnosis with your physicians, your current and future treatment, and all the ways the accident affects your ability to function and enjoy life.

Do you have a Lancaster, PA premises liability attorney near me?

Our Lancaster office is located at 1776 Harrisburg Pike, right across from the LGH Health Campus. We make home and hospital visits for the critically injured and maintain four other offices for your convenience.

Speak with an experienced Lancaster, PA premises liability lawyer today

At KBG Injury Law, our Lancaster personal injury attorneys have the experience and resources to help accident victims like you obtain justice. We anticipate the arguments that insurance companies and defense lawyers raise and know how to respond. Our lawyers answer all your questions and help you step-by-step through the litigation process. To discuss an accident that happened on someone’s property, please call 717.397-9700 or toll free at 800.509.1011, or fill out our contact form. KBG Injury Law has offices in Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Hanover, and Gettysburg. We proudly serve victims and families throughout South Central Pennsylvania.