You are going to visit a friend at their home. Once you arrive you notice someone in the yard working on your friend’s vehicle. There is oil on the driveway that you did not really notice. You slip and fall on the oil and are injured. Your friend calls the ambulance and you are rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. The doctor says you severely injured your head, spinal cord, and had bruises to your tailbone.
Will you be responsible for paying the medical costs, or should someone else be?
Homeowners have a duty to keep their property safe for you
Believe it or not, it is your friend’s responsibility to keep you safe in their home. This theory is called “premises liability.” This is when the owner of the property can be held legally responsible for your injuries. States have different laws on the books when it comes to determining who should be held liable for your injuries and when.
If you live in Pennsylvania, you should keep your timing in mind. Did you know there are time limits? You only have two years to make a premises liability claim from the date of the accident in order for you to receive damages. Pennsylvania law also states that the property owners have a duty to keep you safe and keep the property free from any hazards, like spilled oil.
Start thinking about the information you may need to support your claim. Ask yourself:
- How long was the oil on the ground before having your accident?
- Did the owner of the property produce the condition that was unsafe?
- Did the owner of the property create a barrier or anything to show that there was a hazard?
- Were you on the property for a legitimate reason?
- Was the owner of the property aware of the hazard and did nothing to fix it?
It is a good idea to check your own property for dangerous conditions or hidden hazards that could cause injury to your guests. Is your home considered to be a safe place? If not, you can make sure that it is by making the necessary changes or repairs needed.