To prove liability in Pennsylvania slip & fall claims, the state requires you to define the at-fault property owner’s responsibility to provide you with a reasonable duty of care. You will also have to prove their breach of such duty. That can mean showing they had a responsibility to maintain a debris-free walkway or staircase. It can also mean showing they failed to shovel snow, remove ice, or clean up spills.
You must also prove their negligence was responsible for your fall and subsequent injuries. Finally, you must prove they were responsible for your resulting financial consequences, including medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Proving these legally required elements of negligence—duty, breach, cause, and damages—could entitle you to financial compensation. A personal injury lawyer near you can help you collect the evidence that supports your claim.
What Evidence Proves the Property Owner’s Liability?
Photos of the location of the fall are a good form of evidence. If possible, take pictures immediately. If your injuries will not allow you to do so, ask a witness, passerby, or another attendant to do so for you. Pictures taken in the immediate aftermath of the fall can demonstrate:
- Uncleared clutter and debris
- Snowy or icy steps and walkways
- Slick or slippery floors
- Torn carpets and rugs
- Unruly cords and cables
- Damaged steps or ladders
- Slip and Fall Accident in a Parking Lot
- Stairway Falls
Photos and videos can help prove the hazardous condition that led to your fall.
Witnesses Can Support Your Version of Events
It is possible that the cause of your fall was a condition seen and known by others. Witnesses who saw you fall might be able to help prove your right to recovery if:
- They reported a potential danger before you fell, and it was not removed in a timely fashion
- Use their smartphone to take pictures of you and/or the area where you fell
- They spoke to the police or the property owner at the scene
- They saw the hazard even if you did not see it before it caused your fall
If you filed an accident or incident report, it might contain the names of any available witnesses. If not, a personal injury lawyer can help you locate witnesses and conduct interviews on your behalf.
Accident and Incident Reports
If you fell in a retail or commercial location, they probably completed an internal incident report that captured many of the details of your accident. In some cases, you may have made a police report that did the same.
The lawyer who represents you will obtain copies of any report made in your case. These reports can provide valuable information to help your lawyer identify and contact the at-fault party. This information can lead to the at-fault party’s insurance provider with whom your lawyer will communicate and negotiate.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
How Long does It Take to Collect Evidence?
Your slip and fall case will depend on the evidence you collect and present. Some evidence will be available sooner rather than later. This evidence can include police and internal reports typically available within days of their filing. It can also include witness statements that can take time to acquire.
Other evidence, like medical records documenting the cause and severity of your injuries, can take significantly longer. In addition, the medical reports can come from a variety of medical professionals and facilities, making them even more time-consuming to compile. Your lawyer can help ensure your evidence file is accurate, complete, and current. Your lawyer can also take care of evidence collection and submission, giving you the time to focus on your physical recovery.
How Long Do I Have to Assign Liability to the At-Fault Property Owner?
Pennsylvania’s personal injury statute of limitations is generally two years from the date you fell, according to Pa. C.S.A. § 5524.
A slip and fall accident or a fall from a height that results in head or neck injuries can be catastrophic, possibly even resulting in death. If these injuries resulted in the demise of a loved one, your family could file a wrongful death case for financial compensation. In general, a wrongful death case also has a two-year time limit.
Your lawyer will make sure your case is filed in time to meet Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations so you may legally pursue recoverable damages.
Review Your Case at No Cost or Obligation
If you or someone you love was injured when you fell on a negligent owner’s property, you could have the basis of a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. Our law firm can show you how to prove liability in a Pennsylvania slip & fall claim. We can also show the value of your injuries and the expenses that stem from them. Contact one of our Berger and Green team members by calling (412) 661-1400 today.