Whenever a person is at a restaurant, retail store, or any other public place that is occupied by property owners, those owners have a responsibility to protect the individuals on their premises. When owners fail to ensure a reasonably safe and secure space, the likelihood of visitors to suffer accidents like slipping and falling is increased. If an individual is harmed or injured due to these failures on the part of the owners, he/she could be eligible for compensation, while owners along with any other responsible parties should be held accountable for the breach of their duties.
Slip and Fall Injury Claims in Pennsylvania
If you or a loved one has been injured in the event of a slip and fall accident, you should consult an attorney immediately. Each state has legislation regarding the amount of time a victim has to file a claim for a civil suit; this is called the statute of limitations. A slip and fall accident would fall under the umbrella of a personal injury claim. In Pennsylvania, the window for a cause of action is relatively short, only permitting victims to file a claim within two years of the date the injury occurred. If a claim is filed any moment later than the time specified in the statute of limitations, it will not be viewed or considered for litigation except for very few exceptions.
In order for a slip and fall claim to be considered viable in a court of law, one of the following elements must be successfully proven:
- A property owner should have acknowledged the dangerous setting or condition and repaired and tended to the potential hazard before a victim was injured
- A property owner is responsible for causing the slip and fall incident, and it was foreseeable that a person was capable of being injured due to the condition
In every case, it must be determined if the condition was in any manner created by the claimant. For example, let's say you were walking in a department store when you drop your water ice on the ground. You tell an employee about the hazardous condition and they clean the mess, but not adequately. While passing over the exact same spot, you slip and fall and become injured. Since you created the hazardous condition and knew about it even though inadequate measures were taken to remedy the situation, the court may assign you a percentage of the blame for your own accident. This would, of course, be dependent upon the unique factual circumstances surrounding the fall.
Pennsylvania adheres to the modified comparative fault rule. This means that if a plaintiff is 50% or less at fault for their injuries they may receive compensation reduced by their percentage of fault or liability. So, even if a plaintiff may in part have contributed to their injuries in Pennsylvania, it doesn't mean they won't receive an award for damages.
With the assistance of skilled legal counsel, you must prove that the condition would be dangerous to a person who otherwise acted reasonably under the circumstances. Also, it must be proven that the defendant had enough time to correct the issue but failed to.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are a surprising number of conditions that are deemed dangerous and have caused a variety of slip and fall injuries. Some of the most common conditions include (but not are not limited to):
- Cluttered walkways
- Poor lighting
- Exposed cords
- Lack of warning signs, or none at all
- Wet floors/ recently waxed floors
- Loose floorboards
- Parking lot potholes
- Defective sidewalks
- Torn and damaged carpets
- Missing or broken handrail on stairs
- Faulty escalators and elevators
Slip and Fall Injuries
Many people often perceive a slip and fall as a minor incident that won't cause any serious issues. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. There are many people who have slipped and fallen on premises and have suffered debilitating injuries. In fact, some orthopedic physicians have observed that since the average person takes less steps per day than they have in the past, serious injuries have become more prevalent. Also, previous slip and fall claims have proven that symptoms of injuries may not manifest or emerge until days, weeks, months or years after an accident. This could interfere with a victim's eligibility to file within the statute of limitations - a time limit the state allots victims to file a claim - and result in an extensive burden of medical and health care expenses that stem from an injury onto a victim. Two injuries often seen in Pennsylvania slip and fall cases are a herniated disk and cervical dislocation.
A Herniated Disk
A human spine is comprised of cushions called discs that lay between the vertebrae. When the nucleus pulposis - a spongy substance that dwells inside the hard exterior of a disk - is forced outwards through that tough exterior, a herniated disk occurs. As a result, nerves located nearby are aggravated, sending intense pain through the arms or legs of an individual. While some people who do not experience symptoms and may not need a surgery to correct the issue, some sufferers opt to do so as a last resort to relieve severe pain and nerve root irritation.
This type of injury occurs when a bone is bumped out of its natural position in the neck, causing the entire spine to become unstable. The severity of this injury depends solely on the displacement of the bone. If a victim falls hard enough on a hard surface, the bone has the capability of “jumping,” or moving and locking in a forward position. In this instance, ligaments in the spine become ruptured and serious damage is inflicted to the spinal cord. Surgery is needed to correct a jumping bone. If a bone barely shifts, then the damage is less severe. Either way, victims of this injury are obligated to wear a collar for quite some time to aid in moving the bone back to its natural position.
A few more common injuries that derive from slip and falls include (but are not limited to):
- Broken bones
- Quadriplegia (full body paralysis)
- Paraplegia (paralysis of the lower limbs)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Muscle strains
- Neck fractures
- Whiplash associated disorders (WAD)
- Crick in the neck
- Hip fractures
Experienced Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorneys
Slip and fall cases can be incredibly complex. Hire a skilled attorney to help you through every step of the way. If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall injury as a result of the negligence of a property owner, you may be eligible for compensation.
The Brod Law Firm Serves The Following Areas In Philadelphia
19101, 19102, 19103, 19104, 19105, 19106, 19107, 19108, 19109, 19110, 19111, 19112, 19114, 19115, 19116, 19118, 19119, 19120, 19121, 19122, 19123, 19124, 19125, 19126, Manayunk 19127, Roxborough 19128, 19129, 19130, 19131, 19132, 19133, 19134, 19135, 19136, 19137, 19138, 19139, 19140, 19141, 19142, 19143, 19144, 19145, 19146, 19147, 19148, 19149, 19150, Overbrook 19151, 19152, 19153, 19154, 19155, 19160, 19161, 19162, 19170, 19171, 19172, 19173, 19175, 19177, 19178, 19179, 19181, 19182, 19183, 19184, 19185, 19187, 19188, 19190 19191, 19192, 19193, 19196, 19197, 19019, 19092, 19093, 19099, 19244, 19255
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If you would like information from an experienced Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyer, please Contact our law office online or call toll free for an immediate free case consultation. We serve all areas in the state of Pennsylvania.
Contact the Brod Law Firm today to speak to one of our expert Philadelphia slip and fall accident attorneys. At The Brod Law Firm our personal injury attorneys have fought for victim's rights for over 30 years. Call Gary Brod anytime at 888-435-7946 (888-HELPWIN) for a free no obligation consultation and explanation of your legal rights. We also have the option of easy phone sign-up process and we can begin work today. Even if you are not sure if you have a case please call us for straightforward no-nonsense answers to your legal questions. We do not charge you for legal advice.