Under Pennsylvania law, any business held open to the general public must act reasonably for the safety of invitees – people who are invited to the premises for the benefit of the business. This means that grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, gas stations, etc. must take reasonable precautions to resolve or at the very least, warn of hazardous conditions inside and outside buildings, in annexed parking lots, storage areas, etc.
There are two main types of cases in which a store or business may be held liable under Pennsylvania negligence law.
1. Negligent maintenance leading to an accident.
Whether it’s a slip and fall on snow/ice or a trip and fall over broken concrete on a stairway, stores in Pennsylvania have an obligation to conduct reasonable inspections of property to discover dangerous conditions. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances, including factors such as:
- time of day,
- day of week,
- type of business,
- location of accident, and
- prior knowledge of the hazard or other similar hazards.
Related: Pennsylvania Fall Down Accident Law – Parking Lot & Garage Fall Accidents
2. Negligent security leading to criminal conduct
Stores and businesses may be liable to customers who are injured due to criminal conduct of others. The key is that the criminal conduct must have been foreseeable before the incident occurred. For example, a customer who is mugged and injured in a parking lot may have an actionable case when there is evidence that other customers had been mugged in the days, weeks or months leading to the incident at issue and that the store knew about these incidents.
The basis of liability in a negligent security situation is similar to the basis of liability for negligent maintenance – breach of the duty to take reasonable precautions to protect customers. In a negligent security case, a store or business may be liable for failing to warn customers of the criminal conduct or failing to take affirmative steps such as installing security cameras, hiring a security guard, and/or resolving any lighting issues.
Recovery for Those Injured on Store Property/Premises
Under Pennsylvania law, a party who is injured due to the negligence of another has the legal right to bring action to recover for personal injuries as well as financial losses caused by the incident and injuries, such as lost wages, medical bills, etc.
Those who are injured in a store accident or due to criminal conduct at or near a store premises should be sure to speak to a store liability lawyer to discuss their rights.
- Filing an Accident or Injury Lawsuit in Philadelphia – What to Expect (Part 1)
- Discovery in an Accident or Injury Lawsuit in Philadelphia – What to Expect (Part 2)
- Resolving an Accident and Injury Lawsuit in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Store Liability & Accident Lawyer 215.925.4451
Schwartz & Blackman has been representing the injured and their families for over thirty years in store and business liability and 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 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.