Slip and fall cases are quite common and costly. Roughly $50 billion is spent on non-fatal fall injuries, and $754 million is spent on fatal falls. Typically, slip and fall claims are classified under the umbrella of premises liability. This simply means that a property owner has an obligation to keep their premises safe for the people who walk through it.
If you were injured on someone’s property due to their negligence, call our Meadville slip and fall accident & injury lawyers at Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400. With Laurence B. Green’s 40 plus years of knowledge gained from his career as a personal injury lawyer, we can help you understand your legal rights. Call us today for a free case review.
Common Locations of Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common locations of a slip and fall accident that results in a personal injury lawsuit include restaurants, theatres, arenas, workplaces, retirement homes, stadiums, private homes, stores, and hotels/motels. Legal action may be taken against any business, property owner, or even homeowner if your slip and fall accident was due to their negligence.
Common Reasons for Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common negligent reasons slip and fall accidents occur include wet/slippery floors, cluttered walkways, ice/snow, uneven walking surfaces, inadequate lighting, cluttered walkways, damaged floors/stairs, ditches, and potholes. From the liquid in a grocery store aisle that was never cleaned up, to a leaky roof, to a dangerous parking lot, there are numerous slip and fall accident scenarios due to a property owner’s negligence.
Common Injuries Suffered in Slip and Fall Accidents
Most slip and fall accidents result in bone breaks and fractures, knee injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, neck/shoulder/back injuries, and even death.
Depending on the circumstances, the age, and the health of the victim, slip and fall accident injuries can be very severe and involve extensive medical treatments or physical rehabilitation. The slip and fall injury may cause a loss of finances due to the inability to return to work, emotional damage, as well as significant medical bills.
Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Laws
If you were injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, and if you acted in a reasonable and expected manner at the time of the slip and fall accident, then you will likely not have any responsibility for your accident. It is important to note that Pennsylvania has a comparative negligence law, (PA § 7102). If it is determined that you were partially responsible for the accident, your damages will be reduced by the percentage you were responsible for your injuries.
For example, if you were looking at your cell phone while walking on someone else’s property and slipped and fell, you could be considered partially responsible for your injuries. If the court determines that you are more than 50% liable for your injuries, you may not be able to receive compensation for your slip and fall accident.
However, never let the possibility that you may have a percentage of responsibility deter you from pursuing a legal claim for your rights. We can help you understand how comparative negligence laws affect your case. Contact the Meadville slip and fall accident & injury lawyers at Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 to help you understand your rights and build your case.
Elements of a Slip and Fall Accident Case
While there are several legal steps you will need to pursue to make the ultimate determination, there are certain questions that may help you determine if you have a valid slip and fall accident case.
- Did you have a legal right to be on the property?
- Did the owner know that you (or other people) would be on the property?
- Was the dangerous area noticeable or avoidable?
- Did the property owner place any warnings or signs regarding a potential hazard?
- Were you on your cell phone, or distracted at the time of the accident?
- Would a reasonable person acting and behaving in a reasonable way also have been injured?
While these questions do not completely cover every possibility, if you can say that it was due to someone else’s negligence that you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Establishing a Slip and Fall Accident Case
Additionally, there are four criteria you must meet in order to prove that someone else is liable for your damages. You must prove the following:
- Duty of care: the property owner had a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition, free from hazards and dangers.
- Breach of duty: the property owner neglected to keep the premises in a safe condition.
- Causation: the property owner’s negligence to keep the premises in a safe condition directly caused your injuries.
- Damages: actual injuries or damages occurred due to the property owner’s negligence.
While these questions do not completely cover every possibility, if you are able to say that it was due to someone else’s negligence that you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries.
Amount of Time to File a Slip and Fall Claim in Pennsylvania
The statute of limitations imposed by PA § 5524 is a legal deadline to file your claim in a Pennsylvania court regarding your slip and fall accident. By law, you have approximately two years to file your claim for any damages you suffered due to your slip and fall accident.
Contact the Meadville Slip and Fall Accident & Injury Lawyers
Slip and fall accidents may seem simple: a person falls, is injured, and the property owner pays for the damages and injuries. However, in most cases, slip and fall accidents can be quite complex, involving challenging legal issues and negotiating with insurance companies. A slip and fall accident & injury lawyer can help you investigate and build your case. Contact the Meadville, PA slip and fall accident & injury lawyers at Berger and Green at (412) 661-1400 for a free consultation today.