Types of defects.

  • Open holes or pits
  • Uneven floors or pavement
  • Slip and falls
  • Falling objects
  • Hazardous products or materials on the property
  • Health and building code violations
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Dangerous animals
  • Slippery substances on the ground
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Failure to warn of unsafe condition(s)
  • Inadequate security
  • Actions of negligent employees

Premises Liability

Pittsburgh Premises Liability Lawyer

Failure of a structure is the responsibility of the property owner.

In Pennsylvania, the law imposes a duty on property owners and lessees to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition to ensure the safety of visitors and guests.

Property and business owners are held responsible for injuries and illnesses that occur on their premises as a result of their negligence. As premises liability claims occur on property that is under the control of the owner, it is critical that you retain counsel immediately following your injury. To preserve evidence of the hazardous condition that caused your injury it is imperative that counsel be retained as soon as possible. For a free evaluation of you premises liability case, please do not hesitate to contact Romanow Law Group.

Licensees, Invitees and Trespassers:

Your rights to recover in a premise liability action are impacted by the reason you visited property where you were hurt.  The duty of care that a landowner owes depends upon whether the person entering the land is a invitee, licensee or trespasser.  These classifications are slight archaic, but still have importance today.

  • Invitee: A visitor whose presence relates to a commercial benefit or in a place that is generally open to the public.  For example, a patron shopping at a department store.
  • Licensee: Most other permitted entrants and visitors, including social guests.  For example, a person visiting his friend at home.
  • Trespasser: Anyone without express or implied permission to enter upon the land

These distinctions have begun to fade away in modern American law. Some states have merged licensees and invitees into “lawful entrants,” and many states have responded by adopting statutes that offer landowners immunity in some premise liability cases. Nearly all states now have statutes limiting the liability of landowners who permit individuals to enter their lands for recreational purposes.  To find out exactly how your status impacts your claim call RLG.


What proof is required?

Liability depends not just on the status of the injured party, but on multiple factors.  The Court will examine the purpose of the invitation to the property, the obviousness of the danger, the likelihood that the victim will realize the danger and will takes steps to protect himself, the nature of the land and the purpose for which it is sued.


A majority of premises liability lawsuits involve invitees at places of business or commerce. In these cases, a plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to remove a hazard that the defendant either knew or should have known about.


Most jurisdictions hold that all visitors are owed a duty to be warned of hidden dangers. Invitees are almost always entitled to an expectation of reasonably safe premises and warning of both open and hidden dangers.


If you were injured, while lawfully on the property of another, your attorney must prove several things about the landowner and condition of the property to establish liability.

  • There was actual or constructive knowledge (should have known) of some condition(s) on the premises
  • The condition posed an unreasonable risk of harm
  • The landowner failed to exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risk
  • The landowner’s negligence caused plaintiff’s injuries

The laws for trespassers vary from those applied to lawful guests or invitees.  This does not mean that you will be unable to pursue a claim.  However, if you are deemed to be a trespasser the obstacles to recovery are substantial.  Trespassers may have rights to compensation for injuries sustained on another person’s property, especially if the trespasser is a minor child. Even trespassers have the legal right to protection from willful or wanton injury by negligent landowners.

In most cases, a landowner’s claim of ignorance of a dangerous condition doesn’t matter.

A landowner can’t just stick his head in the sand and feign ignorance about the existence of a dangerous condition on his or her property.  Courts have outlined three types of knowledge about the existence of dangerous property conditions: Actual knowledge, constructive notice, and mode of operation.


  • Actual notice of the danger is a defendant’s awareness that a danger exists at the time of an accident.
  • Constructive notice is the proof that conditions were present for a significant period of time, allowing an inference that a dangerous situation would lead to injury.
  • Mode of operation is a defendant’s operation of an enterprise in a negligent way that makes it likely the dangerous condition will occur.


Probably the most challenging aspect of any premise liability case is proving the element of knowledge.  At Romanow Law Group, we have experience handling premise liability claims and know exactly how to get you the best possible recovery.  If you have been injured by a dangerous condition existing on another’s property, call the Romanow Law Group today.


Romanow Law Group

4930 McKnight Road Pittsburgh, PA 15237

© 2018 Romanow Law Group


Phone: 412-642-9100

Fax: 412-642-9239

Email: info@romanowlawgroup.com

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