When you’re out shopping, or dining at a restaurant, it’s likely that you’re not thinking about safety. Yet the business you’re patronizing may not follow adequate procedures. They may have merchandise sprawling all over, or the floor may be wet from a spill. These, among other hazards, can cause customers to injure themselves.
If you find yourself harmed by a business’ negligence, you may wonder if you can receive recourse. By knowing what responsibilities businesses have, you can work to hold them accountable.
Understanding premises liability
Businesses in Pennsylvania must follow the state’s premises liability law. These rules require property owners to warn customers about any dangers they may face. If they can remedy the hazard, they must do so. If you injure yourself at a property where its owner failed to do so, their actions qualify as negligence.
To make a claim against a business, you must prove that:
- The business had a duty of care to protect customers from injury
- The business violated their duty of care
- Their breach of duty led to your injuries
Exceptions to premises liability
A business may claim that you were partly at fault for your injuries. And a court may find that you could have prevented some of your injuries. This ruling does not prevent you from making a negligence claim. But your damages will decrease by the percentage of the accident that you’re found at fault for. You may also have injured yourself on the premises of a place where you were trespassing. In this case, the property owner has no legal right to ensure your safety. Since you violated the terms of invitation which govern liability cases, they are not obligated to protect you.
If a business’ conditions caused you injury, you may worry that they won’t take responsibility. But understanding Pennsylvania’s premises liability law can help you work toward the outcome you deserve.