As we settle into what appears to be our new normal, we are seeing families out and about, taking walks and riding bikes. With this increase in activity, there has also been an increase in injuries associated with walking and biking. Just this week in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a 21-year old bicyclist suffered severe head injuries after being struck by a car. In New York City, where people are opting out of mass transit, bike injuries have spiked by nearly 43% since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many of the injuries are due to motorists failing to yield to pedestrians; however, some are due to property owners not addressing hazards on their properties. In this case, and in any case where there is an injury due to an improperly maintained public space, the liability for the injury can be on the property owner. Let’s take a look at premises liability during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- What is Premises Liability?
- Examples of Property Owner Negligence
- Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
- The Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability during the COVID-19 Outbreak
What is Premises Liability?
When a property owner neglects to take care of their walkways, parking lots and other areas open to the public, certain hazards can pop up, posing a threat to anyone who steps foot on their property. When this happens, serious injuries can occur, and the victim can hold the property owner accountable if they can prove the property owner was negligent.
In a time when sidewalks are flooded with people who are trying to get out of their homes for exercise, homeowners and business owners alike should take extra care in making sure their sidewalks and other public grounds don’t present any hazards. Property owners have a duty of care to those who are on their premises.
Examples of Property Owner Negligence
The most common premises liability cases involve slip, trips and falls because of a defect or hazard on another person’s property. Some examples of premises liability cases and causes include:
- Slippery sidewalks
- Oil or grease on surfaces
- Tree roots
- Balcony or stairway collapse
- Poor lighting
- Water on floors
- Food or spilled milk on supermarket floors
- Blocked aisles
- Loose carpeting
- Cords, strings or wires on the ground
- Broken or cracked sidewalks
- Falls on escalators and elevators
- Unprovoked dog bites and attacks
- Failures to warn notifications of property’s hazardous conditions (Dangerous Dogs, Dangerous terrain, etc.)
Proving Negligence in a Premises Liability Case
When someone is injured on a business or someone else’s property, in order to hold a property owner liable for their injuries, they must be able to prove negligence. To do so, the injured must demonstrate that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard that existed on their property, and that the property owner did not do anything to rectify the situation.
The injured person should also collect evidence surrounding the injury. This evidence can include:
- Medical documentation of the injury (doctor’s visits, X-rays, medication, etc.)
- Photos or videos of the hazards on the property
- Witness statements
The Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Things are changing daily when it comes to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), making it more and more difficult for families and friends to get out to see one another and for people to conduct day-to-day business. Seeing doctors, dentists and other essential providers has not been easy. Similarly, many people are unsure if now is the right time to reach out to an attorney if they were injured. While it is not quite clear right now what may happen if someone who was injured waits a long time to sue, we do know the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim in Pennsylvania is two years.
What we also know is the more steps an injured individual takes to documents their case, the better chances they have to get maximum compensation. That means getting to a doctor for treatment and keeping a record of all symptoms, examinations and procedures is critical.
The best thing to do right now if you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else is to call an experienced personal injury attorney. At Georgelis injury Law Firm, we have handled countless cases involving premises liability, and we’ve helped our clients secure more than $50,000,000.00 in awards and settlements. We can help you, too.
Our Personal Injury Attorneys are Handling Cases Involving Premises Liability during the COVID-19 Outbreak
When you call Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., we evaluate your case for free, and we never collect money until we get money for you. If you’ve been injured and your case involves premises liability during the COVID-10 outbreak, call us right away at 1-800-HURT-NOW!
We are available 24/7 and we handle everything without face-to-face communication.