Understanding Premises Liability in Philadelphia: What You Need to Know

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Premises liability refers to the responsibility of property owners in Philadelphia to maintain safe conditions for people legally on their property. If negligent failure to address hazards results in injuries, the property owner can be held liable through a personal injury lawsuit.

For victims, understanding the nuances of premises liability is key to obtaining compensation for damages. Here is an overview of Philadelphia premises liability law and what it means for property owners:

Legal Duty of Care

Property owners have a legal duty to make their premises reasonably safe for visitors through proper maintenance and repair. This includes actions like:

  • Promptly fixing any dangerous defects or hazards
  • Adequate lighting in walkways, stairs, and common areas
  • Keeping sidewalks and parking areas free of debris, ice, and snow
  • Safeguarding wet or slick floors with warning signs
  • Securing loose railings, uneven floors, frayed carpet, etc.

They must regularly inspect their property and address any potential risks or unsafe conditions.

Typical Hazards

Some common hazards that can lead to premises liability claims include:

  • Wet, greasy or uneven floors
  • Poor lighting hiding trip/slip dangers
  • Unmarked steps, curbs, or changes in elevation
  • Defective or absent handrails on stairs or ramps
  • Unsecured rugs, carpeting, or mats
  • Clutter blocking walkways and exits
  • Lack of safety measures near swimming pools
  • Loose bricks, boards, concrete, etc.

If the owner was aware of the hazard or should reasonably have known and corrected it, they can be liable for any injuries sustained.

Types of Lawful Visitors

The duty owed to visitors depends on their lawful status on the premises:

Invitees: Customers, patrons, clients, etc. are owed the highest duty of care to keep areas safe.

Licensees: Social guests have permission to enter the premises. Less duty is owed but gross negligence must be avoided.

Trespassers: No duty is owed to unwanted visitors except avoiding intentional harm.

Comparative Negligence

If the injured person was also partly negligent themselves, Pennsylvania follows comparative negligence rules. Damages are reduced proportionate to degrees of fault. An experienced attorney must prove the property owner bore the larger share of blame.

Statute of Limitations

Premises liability claims in Philadelphia must be filed within 2 years of the accident or they can be barred. An attorney can advise on deadlines and proper timing to file.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Property owners found liable for premises injuries generally must pay victim’s medical bills, lost income, rehabilitation costs, and other verifiable out-of-pocket damages. An attorney will pursue full accountability.

Pain and Suffering

Additionally, compensation can be sought for harder-to-quantify damages like trauma, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. These factors can significantly increase the value of a claim with the right legal advocacy.


Many premises liability claims settle out of court if fair offers are made. Experienced attorneys have leverage to negotiate full settlements. They prepare strong cases showing clear liability and extensive damages if a suitable settlement isn’t offered.

Premises liability law aims to promote greater diligence among property owners in Philadelphia. But when negligence occurs, victims have legal recourse. Understanding these laws and consulting an attorney helps maximize compensation.

Hire Best Premises Liability Lawyer in Philadelphia from Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC

If you’ve suffered an injury due to unsafe conditions on a property in Philadelphia, don’t go it alone. For dedicated legal advocacy on your premises liability claim, turn to the experienced team at Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC. Their seasoned attorneys handle property negligence cases regularly and have an impressive record of securing favorable settlements and verdicts. They conduct prompt investigations, demonstrate clear liability, and work to obtain full compensation for all your damages. Backed by their litigation skills and local court expertise, Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC have the leverage to negotiate aggressively with insurance companies. For trusted representation on your Philadelphia premises liability case, choose this reputable firm.

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