If you are hurt at a store or business…
Premises liability is just a legal term for what the duties are of a business or property owner towards another person. For example if you had a slip and fall at a Shop and Save and needed surgery because of the fall can you bring a claim against the Shop and Save where you fell?
Yes of course you can.
However the law on this issue of being hurt or injured on another person’s property can be confusing..
Because 1st you have determine the legal status of the injured victim concerning the property.
There are 3 categories in Pennsylvania regarding a person injured on someone else’s property.
By property I mean a sidewalk, a street, a business like McDonald’s, or a privately owned business like Westinghouse.
In all premises liability cases, a lawyer must determine whether the injured party is a trespasser, a licensee or an invitee.
1st trespasser- a trespasser is a person who enters or remains on someone’s property without having the right to do so by the owner’s consent.
A business owes the lowest duty of safety for a trespasser of land. A business may be liable to the trespasser for their injuries only if the possessor of the land was guilty of wanton or willful misconduct. That means the business knew it was certain that the condition of the land was going to cause injury to someone.
The 2nd category for a person injured on property in Pennsylvania is that of a licensee.
A licensee is a person who is allowed to enter or remain on the land by virtue of the landowner’s consent.
A Costco or Target is responsible to the victim if it reasonably fails to exercise care to make their property safe or warn the person of the dangers on the property itself.
For example if Wendy’s restaurant knew there was a spill in the back of its restaurant and didn’t do anything about it causing the victim to fall on the water they are liable.
The 3rd and best category for a person injured on someone else’s property is an invitee. An invitee is a person who is invited to enter the property as a member of the public for the purpose which the land or property is open to the public.
An invitee status gives the injured party the most legal rights.
The business owner owes the highest duty of care to a business invitee or a public invitee. If they fail to exercise reasonable care in preventing injuries on their property they are responsible.
So there you have it in a nutshell for premises law. Pittsburgh premises attorney and injury attorney Bernie Tully asks you to keep in mind those 3 terms. Trespasser, licensee and invitee.
Legally those are the 3 categories that have to be determined in making a premises liability case against a company like Sam’s Club or Red Robin or TGIF Fridays.
If you are injured at a restaurant or a business open to the public,you are probably an invitee.
And that is a good thing!
Pittsburgh premises liability and accident attorney Bernie Tully is available to talk to you at any time regarding serious injury cases under the premises liability laws of Pennsylvania.
Thanks for reading.
How about those Pittsburgh Penguins? Two Stanley Cups in a row…
How incredible is that?
Bernie the attorney.