How Long Do Premises Liability Cases Take in Pennsylvania?
Pinpointing the amount of time, a premises liability case would take involves various factors. One would have to consider the experience of the lawyer, the extent of the injuries, and the amount of resistance a defendant or an insurance company will put up, among many other things. You do not have all the time in the world to bring a premises liability case, so it is important to consult a lawyer as soon as it is feasible. The Philadelphia premises liability lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm are experienced in all areas of premises liability law and are offering free consultations to help you construct your premises liability case today.
What Factors Decide the Length of Premises Liability Cases?
Premises liability law describes laws which hold landowners and tenants responsible for dangerous conditions on their property which harm an individual who entered their property. For the most part, premises liability claims are generally litigated as negligence cases, stating that the landowner had a duty to correct the dangerous condition on their property.
These are the kind of injuries that are most common in a premises liability case:
- Slip and fall accidents resulting in bone fractures
- Electric shocks
- Spinal cord injuries
- Swimming pool drownings and other incidents
- Dog bites or other vicious animal attacks
- Stairway railing collapsing leading to neck and back injuries
A deciding factor in knowing how long a premises liability case will take is the severity of the injury. For instance, a traumatic brain injury victim may not have completely foreseeable side effects immediately. It is hard to sue for your injuries until you know the true extent of the damages, but certainly not impossible. If you sustained injuries that require major surgery, you and your doctor may know the extent of the injury for months, you cannot know how much that injury will cost you from a monetary and emotional standpoint. As a result, many premises liability cases are resolved only after the injured party has recovered or has a solid idea about the true extent of his or her injuries.
Another variable in understanding how long a premises liability case will take is knowing which category of plaintiff you fall into. They are three categories of injured plaintiffs:
- Trespassers – Plaintiffs who entered a landowner’s property without permission
- Licensees – Plaintiffs who entered a landowner’s property for their own purposes (e.g. a social guest of the defendant)
- Invitees – Plaintiffs who entered a landowner’s property for the purpose of bestowing some benefit upon the landowner
Each level carries with it a different burden of proof.
A landowner has no legal duty to keep a trespasser safe unless the landowner knew of the existence of a trespasser but did not warn them of a dangerous condition on the property. For a licensee, a landowner need only tell them of a dangerous condition on the property they are unlikely to discover themselves; there is no need to warn of obvious dangers. To accomplish the duty they owe an invitee, a landowner must inspect his or her property to ensure it is safe for invitees.
Dealing with insurance companies is another aspect to consider when trying to move a premises liability case along. If a plaintiff has a serious injury and solid evidence against the landowner, it is likely that an insurance company representing a defendant will agree to a favorable settlement. But if a plaintiff has less serious injuries and circumstantial evidence, an insurance company may seek to draw out the case and become less willing to negotiate a settlement.
There are so many variables to consider when trying to figure out how long your premises liability cases will take. Getting an attorney assist you through this process may speed-up the timeframe of your case.
Average Amount of Time that Premises Liability Cases Last
The intricacies of your case will usually determine how long a case will last. If you are severely injured, as mentioned earlier, it is recommended to wait until the extent of your injuries and how much they will heal is completely known. With that in mind, you should still contact an attorney as early as you can. Your premises liability case may take several months to a year depending on your injuries and the cooperation of an insurance company, or it may take a few months. You can pin down a better-estimated timeframe by consulting an experienced lawyer who can become familiar with the particulars of your case and deliver a more concrete answer.
As an injured plaintiff, keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations on your premises liability case. This means you have a certain amount of time to file your case or have it become permanently barred from being filed. Premises liability cases are a type of personal injury cases and therefore have a time limit of two years to file.
Philadelphia Premises Liability Lawyers with Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligence of a landowner in Philadelphia or any area of Pennsylvania, be sure to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Because your premises liability case may take a significant amount of time, and because you may be faced with increasing medical bills, it is imperative to contact a Pennsylvania premises liability lawyer who will speed up the process and get you your deserved compensation. To receive a free consultation, contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at The Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 246-9000.