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What duty of care do property owners owe you?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Personal Injury

Most of us have tripped and fallen while walking at some point in our lives. These accidents can result in more than just embarrassment. Slip-and-fall accidents have caused many serious injuries, including bruising, fractures, traumatic brain injuries and paralysis.

If your accident occurred in public, it is likely that someone else’s negligence contributed to the incident. Pennsylvania property owners have a responsibility to make sure their properties are reasonably safe for anyone on the property legally. Their obligations will depend on the type of guest:

  • Invitees: These are people who have been invited onto the owner’s property for a business reason or reason that benefits the owner (e.g., customers at a store or restaurant patrons). Owners owe invitees the highest duty of care in that they must take reasonable steps to make sure their property is hazard-free and fix any dangerous conditions that arise within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Licensees: These are people allowed onto a property for reasons that do not benefit the owner (e.g., guests visiting a resident at an apartment complex). Property owners must warn of any known dangers on the property but are not obligated to inspect the property for dangerous conditions like they are obligated to do for invitees.
  • Trespassers: These are people who have entered a property without permission from the owner. An owner has no legal obligation to make sure trespassers are reasonably safe, but they are not allowed to cause them injury through intentional acts or gross negligence.

If a property owner has breached their duty of care owed to you, you may be entitled to damages. A personal injury attorney can help you file a premises liability claim against the owner following your accident.