Aug 252013
 

One of the many questions individuals who are injured in fall down accidents such as slip and fall or trip and fall accidents have is whether they have a valid legal claim against the property owner. The answer, of course, depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. In addition, the level of difficulty, in terms of proving the property owner’s liability depends on the status of the individual.

Pennsylvania fall down accident law recognizes the status of three types of individuals, and property owners (i.e., store/business) owe different duties to each:

  • business invitee,
  • licensee, and
  • trespasser.

A business invitee is a person who is invited to the property for the benefit of the owner. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty under the law, which includes the duty to locate and warn of hidden defects. Read more about stores and duties to invitees.

Example: A person is walking around a mall and slips on water on the floor coming from a leaking roof. The mall may be liable for failing to make reasonable inspections of the mall floors.

A licensee is a person who is on the owner’s property with the owner’s permission, not necessarily for the benefit of the owner. Property owners owe licensees a duty to warn of known, hidden defects.

Example: A gas worker comes onto a property to read a gas meter and trips over a large hole on the property while walking to the meter. The owner may be liable for failing to warn the worker of the hole.

A trespasser is a person on the owner’s property without the owner’s permission. Property owners must refrain from intentional conduct which injures a trespasser.

Example: A man taking a walk ventures onto private property and falls on the property. The owner might be liable if and only if the owner engaged in willful conduct, such as setting a trap.

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Pennsylvania Fall Accident Lawyers

Schwartz & Blackman has been representing the injured and their families for over thirty years in fall accident cases. Our firm offers a free consultation for all Pennsylvania and New Jersey injury and accident victims. Call now and ask for your free consultation. 215.925.4451

Schwartz & Blackman handles fall down accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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