Thousands of Pennsylvania residents visit hospital emergency rooms each year after falling prey to slip-and-fall accidents. Lawsuits stemming from slips, trips, and falls are among the most common kinds of personal injury litigation. Building owners usually limit their exposure to this kind of legal action by inserting provisions in their leases that make safety the responsibility of tenants, and it is usually the occupiers of premises that are named as defendants in slip-and-fall lawsuits.
Plaintiffs must establish two things in order to prevail in a premises liability lawsuit. They must first demonstrate that the defendant was aware of a situation or condition that was unsafe or potentially unsafe and then prove that they suffered injury, loss, or damage because the defendant failed to take adequate actions to protect visitors. While this type of litigation is usually filed on behalf of injured visitors, vendors, or customers, even trespassers are owed a duty of care by premises occupiers.
Business owners can limit their exposure to this kind of lawsuit by ensuring that their premises are safe and well maintained. Regular inspections and a rigorously enforced reporting procedure may help, but most business owners also rely on general liability insurance coverage to protect them from significant premises liability lawsuits.
The injuries suffered by slip-and-fall victims are sometimes serious, and attorneys seeking civil remedies on their behalf may have strategies in place to counter arguments of contributory negligence. Defendants in premises liability lawsuits may claim that plaintiffs could have avoided injury by simply looking where they were walking, but these arguments may not be received warmly if attorneys are able to establish a pattern of negligent behavior and a lack of concern for the safety of visitors.