Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law Super Lawyers

How to prove fault in a premises liability lawsuit

Nearly every day, we all enter onto the premises of another. Whether we go to work, go to the store or visit a friend, we often step onto these properties without much thought about our safety. There is good reason for this. After all, the law aims to protect people who are invited onto property owned by another individual. Yet, far too often property owners fail to uphold their duty, thereby placing innocent and unsuspecting individual's in harm's way. When an accident occurs, these people can be left with significant physical injuries that can then cause serious financial losses.

Fortunately, these victims may be able to recover their losses by filing a premises liability lawsuit. However, before he or she can recover compensation for his or her damages, a victim of, say, a slip-and-fall accident, must prove certain legal elements by a preponderance of the evidence. First, the victim must show that the defendant owned or controlled the property in question. Then, it becomes vital to show that the property owner failed to take appropriate action to protect those who were invited onto the property.

There are essentially three ways to do this. First, a victim can put forth evidence showing that the property owner created the hazardous condition that resulted in injury. Second, liability may be imposed if the evidence supports a finding that the owner knew about the dangerous condition but failed to take timely corrective action. Third, even if the property owner did not know about the hazard, he or she may be held liable if the condition existed for so long that the property owner should have been aware of it and corrected it prior to any injuries being suffered.

Premises liability cases are very fact specific. Therefore, those who choose to pursue one of these claims needs a customized legal approach that fits their unique set of circumstances. Fortunately, experienced attorneys in the Pittsburgh area stand ready to assist those who want to recover the damages they have suffered at the hand of negligent property owners.

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