A slip and fall injury are sometimes also referred to as a “trip and fall accident.” Slip and fall accidents are a common cause of personal injuries in Philadelphia. According to several surveys, a significant number of injuries are attributed to slip and fall accidents.
Someone who experiences a trip and fall accident can suffer from fractured bones or traumatic brain injury. Fall accidents are also a common occurrence amongst elderly people who are highly susceptible to long term injury or even death.
If your loved one is suffering from injuries caused by a slip and fall, learn more about your legal options here. You will learn about the major causes and types of trip and fall accidents and how they are handled under Philadelphia laws. To begin, we will discuss when you should consider a civil suit for a slip and fall accident.
When to Seek a Legal Remedy for a Slip and Fall Accident
If you have been recently injured in a fall occurring on someone else’s property, you might have a legal cause of action to seek recovery of damages for any injuries resulting from the accident. If this is the case, you should consult a slip and fall accident attorney.
You may have a cause of action regardless of whether the fall occurred in an outdoor area like a parking garage or indoors like an apartment complex or grocery store. In any case, to recover compensation for your injuries, you must provide medical and other evidence showing that you were harmed. In addition, you need to show evidence that the accident was caused by the other party’s negligence or carelessness.
Property owners, including commercial businesses or private landlords, owe a duty to invited guests to ensure the property is free from dangerous conditions. You will have to show that the property hazard was not repaired timely or that the company or property owner failed to perform necessary maintenance services and that there was inadequate warning of the hazard’s existence.
Proving negligence can be challenging because most people are unfamiliar with Philadelphia laws, negotiating with insurance adjusters, or challenging opposing attorneys. Thus, it is imperative to be represented by a skilled personal injury attorney. Every accident should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine premises liability of the owner and to make informed decisions about how to proceed with the case.
It can be difficult for a layperson to know whether a particular situation rises to the level of a viable claim without an experienced attorney’s review of the totality of the circumstances surrounding the accident.
You may seek recovery of compensation when you are injured in any of the following circumstances. If the accident falls under any of these four categories, then it may be accurately categorized as a slip and fall accident.
- Slipped on the Icy Sidewalk or Tripped in the Icy Parking Lot
Winters in Philadelphia can be brutal. They are cold, messy, and most dangerous of all, slippery. Dozens of people are injured in preventable slip and fall accidents every winter. They fall on the slick sidewalks, unshoveled snowbanks, slushy driveways, and unsalted patches of ice.
Wintry conditions do not automatically create property owner liability, but part of a property owner’s duty includes occasional inspection of the property to remove hazards like snow and ice that increase the risk of falls and injuries to anticipated guests and customers. Failure to do so can give rise to negligence. You may be able to recover compensation for the accident if a property owner is found to be negligent.
- Spills, Slippery Surfaces, and Puddles at a Bar, Grocery Store, or Restaurant
Businesses that prepare and sell beverages or food are prone to leaks and spills, causing dangerous puddles and slick surfaces. If a spill caused an unsafe condition for diners or shoppers because the business failed to clean it within a reasonable time span, you may have a viable cause of action for the injury. Failure to clean dangerous surfaces where customers are likely to traverse gives rise to a claim of negligence on the part of the business owner.
- Lack of Warning Signs or Notice of a Hazardous Condition
If you fall on a surface that is known to the business to be dangerous because it was not adequately marked, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. When a surface becomes slippery (like a waxed floor at the mall or department store), the owner generally is responsible for placing appropriate signage that marks the location of the danger. “Failure to warn” may lead to the store owner’s liability.
- Injuries Caused by Structural Damage or Property Hazards
Slippery floors and icy surfaces are not the only causes of slip and fall accidents. Other property conditions, including broken and rotten flooring materials, inadequate lighting, poorly installed carpeting, and broken or unsecured support railings, often result in preventable accidents. If a property owner fails to adequately repair or maintain the premises such that the conditions of the property cause you injury, the owner may be liable for your damages.
File a Successful Slip and Fall Accident
A majority of claims concerning slip-and-fall accidents in Philadelphia reach successful settlements through insurance claim negotiations. Not all personal injury claims require full trials to determine negligence or assign fair compensation.
Retaining an experienced lawyer not only increases your odds of securing a successful settlement from the property owner or defendant without a trial, but expert negotiation skills can increase the amount of settlement that you receive. If the slip and fall case does require a full-on lawsuit for resolution, you will be best prepared by having an experienced lawyer by your side from the outset.
If you want to file a slip and fall accident case, understand that some factors affect the settlement. Seeking recovery of compensation for injuries and other damages caused by an accident will help to secure your financial future.
You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost current and future income, pain and emotional suffering, and more.
For accurate assessment of your case, contact an injury attorney. You can ask our attorneys to evaluate the facts of the case and provide an honest assessment through a free initial consultation.