In Pennsylvania, premises liability laws determine responsibility for injuries on someone’s property. You may have to pay for medical bills and other costs if someone gets hurt at your home.
These factors influence fault in state cases involving injuries on private property.
Property owner’s duty of care
State homeowners have a legal duty to maintain a reasonably safe condition. You must prevent hazards that could injure visitors or guests. You should regularly inspect the property to address known dangers and warn visitors about things you cannot fix right away.
Duty of care only applies to people you have permitted on the property. The law covers visitors and individuals doing their work, such as mail carriers. It does not extend to trespassers in most cases.
Attractive nuisance doctrine
Pennsylvania uses the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. This law extends the duty of care to child trespassers. Examples of attractive nuisance include:
- Swimming pools
- Playground equipment
You could be legally responsible if a child trespasses to access an attractive nuisance and gets injured. The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine reports that 29 serious accident injuries and one fatality affect US children every hour.
Pennsylvania follows the rule of comparative negligence. Under this law, the injured person and the property owner may share responsibility. The court may reduce the injured person’s compensation if their actions had a role in the injury.
Leased or rented property
If you rent out property you own, you may hold part of the responsibility for injuries that occur there. The tenant and the injured person may also share responsibility depending on the circumstances. The lease agreement may outline specific duties related to maintenance and repairs.
Proof of liability
The injured party must show that your negligence directly caused the injury. They have to show the court that a hazard existed and that you knew or should have known about this danger. They also need proof that you failed to warn them about or take steps to fix the issue.
Property owners should maintain a safe environment, while visitors should exercise reasonable caution on someone else’s property. Understanding these principles can ensure a fair resolution in cases of property-related injuries.