time and calendar

Accidents in the United States, including premises liability accidents, have a statute of limitations. These statutes aim to ensure that legal action is taken promptly and can protect a defendant from unfair convictions if a significant amount of time has passed. For more information on premises liability claims and legal time constraints, read on and contact a York County, PA premises liability attorney.

What is Premises Liability?

You may have heard of patrons suing grocery stores after they slipped and hurt themselves because of a wet floor with no warning sign. Or maybe you’re familiar with the famous case of the woman who sued a fast food chain after spilling her too-hot coffee and burning herself. These situations are related to what is known as premises liability.

Premise liability law states that a property owner has a legal obligation to provide their visitors with a reasonably safe environment. This means that they must keep their space relatively risk-free and do regular maintenance and checks to avoid hazards and prevent accidents. If a property owner neglects this responsibility and you are injured due to their behavior, they can be held liable. You may be able to collect compensation to cover your medical and other expenses if the owner is found to be negligent.

What Situations Can Lead to a Premises Liability Claim?

If a property owner knew about a hazard and did nothing to fix the issue, or neglected to do maintenance or safety checks, they can be responsible for an accident or injury that occurs on their property. Situations that may lead to a premises liability claim or lawsuit can consist of:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Broken stairs
  • Loose floorboards
  • Poor lighting
  • Loose carpeting or floor mats
  • Missing handrails
  • Uneven surfaces

What is Comparative Negligence?

Comparative negligence laws confirm the belief that more than one person can share blame in the event of an accident. It can be used as a legal defense for a defendant to reduce the amount of compensation they owe based on how much blame they hold.

After an accident and injury, a victim will likely pursue legal action. If a comparative negligence defense is raised then the situation will be evaluated to determine what percentage of the blame either party is responsible for. Even if the victim is found to be somewhat responsible for the accident, they can still recover compensation for their damages. However, the number will likely be reduced because they share a percentage of liability.

How Long is the Statute of Limitations for a Premises Liability Claim?

Under Pennsylvania state law, a premises liability claim or lawsuit must be filed within two years of the accident. The two year clock begins on the day that the accident took place. If you are a victim of a premises liability related accident and you do not file within the two year time constraint, you will lose out on your chance to legally pursue compensation for any injury or property damage.