The Law Firm of Leisawitz Heller

Hazardous conditions on property could lead to premises liability

Whenever someone visits the property of another person in Berks County and suffers an injury due to a dangerous condition on the property, the owner or tenant of the property could be liable to the injured party under the law of premises liability. There are often dangerous conditions on people's property. How is liability determined? Must a property owner or tenant eliminate all hazardous conditions to avoid being held liable in a court of law?

The law requires that owners and tenants exercise reasonable care for the safety of non-trespassing visitors. The specific circumstances of each case are what will determine whether an owner or tenant will be found liable for premises liability in a particular case. Courts will examine a number of factors when deciding whether to assign liability. These factors include the use the property is put to, the circumstances under which the visitor entered the property, the foreseeability of the injury and the reasonableness of the owner or tenant's efforts to warn visitors or fix a dangerous condition.

What about trespassers? Well, a property owner or tenant may have an obligation to warn potential trespassers to prevent injury too. This duty to warn applies to artificial conditions on the property if the conditions are known to the owner or tenant to be likely to cause death or serious injury.

If the trespasser in question is a child, the duty to warn is broader. If a property owner or tenant knows or should know that children are likely to enter the premises, the owner or tenant must give warning if any dangerous condition exists on the property, not just artificial dangerous conditions.

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