Property owners have a duty to make their premises safe for employees, customers, and visitors. This involves being conscious of and effectively notifying visitors of potentially hazardous dangers whenever you can to reduce slip and fall incidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to another person’s negligence, contact our personal injury law firm today. We offer free consultations and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident occurs when a pedestrian trips on something that causes them to lose their balance and fall. It may occur while walking on a sidewalk, flooring, driveway, stairway, escalator, elevator, or another area where people walk.
In some cases, the cause of the fall may not be known. In others, the cause may be obvious such as slipping on water or ice. However, there may also be other factors involved. For example, if a store owner fails to provide adequate lighting or warn customers about dangerous conditions, this could lead to a slip-and-fall accident.
Who Is Responsible for My Slip and Fall Accident Case?
The property owner is usually held liable when a slip and fall accident happens. The property owner must maintain the premises so that they are reasonably safe for guests and invitees. They must also warn them of any dangers that are likely to harm them.
Property owners are required to keep their properties clean and well-maintained. They should also ensure adequate lighting and signage to help pedestrians safely navigate their facilities.
Property owners are also legally obligated to inspect their property regularly. This means that they need to check for potential problems before they become serious enough to injure someone.
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What to Do After Slip and Fall
As a team of slip and fall injury lawyers, we always inform our clients that there are a few crucial actions to follow after a fall. They will not only help you recover from your injuries as quickly as possible, but they will also assist you in preparing to file a claim.
Report Your Accident to a Manager or Supervisor
If you can, you should report the accident to the property’s manager or supervisor before leaving. If you do not report an accident, a manager will not be aware that it occurred or that there’s a potentially hazardous spot on their property.
When you talk to management, they should also prepare an accident report. When filing a slip and fall claim, this is critical.
Take Photos of the Accident Scene
Capturing the location is important for your claim. Photographs of the accident scene demonstrate that your irresponsibility did not cause the slip and fall accident. Instead, it occurred due to something unsafe on the premises that the owner failed to repair. Things to keep in mind when you describe the circumstances include:
- What exactly triggered your fall?
- Was the environment light or dark?
- Outside or inside — where did the accident happen?
- What happened in the accident?
- Did you notice any hazard, warning, or danger signs to indicate the location?
- Was anyone else aware of the threat before the incident occurred?
Get Medical Help As Soon As Possible
Despite how you feel directly after the slip and fall incident, having a health professional assess your injuries or the specific body part you landed on is never a waste of time or money. You may have apparent wounds such as a broken arm or leg and significant discoloration and swelling.
You could be suffering from a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Alternatively, your damages may not manifest symptoms for several hours or days. For example, head trauma may take days to exhibit symptoms.
Take Down Witness Information
If someone else was at the scene of the accident and witnessed what transpired, they can be a vital piece of your evidence. Get witness names and contact information before departing (unless you require medical treatment).
If you have witnesses to your minor or severe injury, acquire their names and contact information. Also, document the actions you took when your accident occurred and what provoked the accident.
Watch What You Say
Do not give statements to the property’s insurance company or manager. Let the manager know what happened, but discuss any details with your attorney.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Philadelphia
You may be unsure of the appropriate measures to take following your accident; therefore, you must have the assistance of a Philadelphia, PA, slip and fall attorney to pursue proper recompense for your physical injuries, pain, and suffering.
How do I File a Claim With an Insurance Company After Slip and Fall Accidents?
As we stated, after a slip and fall accident, you need to file a claim with the business’s insurance carrier or the individual responsible for the accident. The insurance company will then investigate the case and determine whether or not it will pay for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
It is common for insurance companies to deny claims filed after a slip and fall accident unless the victim can prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident.
If the insurance company denies your claim, you have the right to appeal the decision. You can do this either through arbitration or litigation. Arbitration is a process that involves the parties submitting briefs and evidence to a third party (an arbitrator) who makes a final determination.
Litigation is a formal court proceeding that allows you to present your side of the story to a judge or jury.
Do the Majority of Cases Require a Court Trial?
Every personal injury case has the possibility of going to trial, but the vast majority get settled. Though slip and fall cases tend to be harder to prove, some property owners are initially hesitant to settle because they do not want to pay money to someone else.
However, an experienced attorney knows how to handle a slip and fall case, especially one involving a dangerous building, sidewalk, or parking lot. This usually gets the owner to settle out-of-court.
If I Can’t Work Due to a Slip and Fall, Will They Pay My Wages?
Pennsylvania law states that if someone negligently causes another person’s injury, they must pay for all lost wages and related injury costs. In addition, once the victim proves that the property owner caused or knew of the dangerous hazard, the negligent party is responsible for all damages including past, present and future wages lost.
This includes medical bills incurred due to the injury.
In cases without proof of negligence, the property owner isn’t liable for any injuries sustained. However, if you prove negligence, the court will determine how much money you are entitled to receive based on your circumstances.
Can I Sue Someone Who Caused an Accident Without Hiring a Lawyer First?
Yes, but only if you have no legal representation. You should not sue an insurance company without having hired a lawyer first. If you try to represent yourself, you risk losing your case because you lack the knowledge necessary to win.
You also run the risk of being sanctioned by the courts for missing deadlines or violating various rules of procedure. The best way to avoid these consequences is to hire a slip-and-fall attorney with experience representing clients in similar situations.
If you decide to go ahead and sue the person who caused your slip and fall accident, you will most likely face a motion to dismiss. This is a procedural device used in civil lawsuits to challenge the validity of a complaint.
Defendants often bring up a motion to dismiss to eliminate frivolous lawsuits. If the court agrees with the defendant, the lawsuit will be dismissed.
Common Hazardous Conditions That Lead to Slip and Fall Injuries
There are a wide variety of different types of hazardous conditions that property owners are liable for, including:
- Poorly maintained signs: Signs warn pedestrians about potential dangers. They should also include clear instructions on how to navigate around them safely. When signs aren’t properly maintained, they become ineffective at preventing injuries.
- Wet floors: When there is water on the floor, this creates a dangerous condition. People should not walk through puddles or pools of water without wearing appropriate footwear.
- Loose carpet: When carpeting becomes worn or frayed, it can become very slick. This makes it difficult for pedestrians to maintain their footing.
- Slippery stairs: There are many reasons why stairs can be slippery. They could be wood, metal, tile, or other smooth materials. Some steps may be too steep or narrow, causing them to be unsafe.
- Poor building maintenance: Buildings must be regularly inspected to ensure they are structurally sound. If a building isn’t up-to-date, it could pose a danger to its occupants.
- Unsafe equipment: Equipment such as elevators, escalators, and moving walkways must be kept in good working order. Any device problems could cause serious injuries if someone trips and falls on them.
- Uneven sidewalks: Uneven sidewalks can cause problems for pedestrians. For example, if there is a dip in the sidewalk, it could cause a person to trip and fall.
- Unsafe buildings: Many buildings contain hazardous conditions which can lead to injuries. These include poorly lit areas, broken windows, or missing handrails.
- Inadequate lighting: When there is inadequate lighting, it makes it difficult for pedestrians to see what is around them. This increases the risk of falling and getting hurt.
Contact our office today if you have been injured due to a slip and fall. We will review your case and determine whether you have a valid claim against the party responsible for your injury.
What Are My Legal Rights?
The first thing you need to do after suffering an injury from a slip and fall is to seek medical attention. Once you receive treatment for your injuries, you should immediately notify the property owner about the incident. The property owner must provide you with prompt notice so that they can take steps to correct any dangerous conditions that led to your injury.
The property owner must also warn you of potential dangers before entering the property. If the property owner fails to properly warn you of a hazard, they could be liable for your injuries.
In addition, the property owner must keep their property reasonably safe. A property owner who fails to maintain their property in a reasonable condition could be held liable for your injuries. It is not enough for the property owner to simply warn you of a hazardous condition; they must repair the problem.
In some cases, the property owner might even be responsible for your injuries if they knew about the hazardous condition but failed to fix it.
Does It Matter Where the Accident Occurred?
Determining what type of liability applies to the situation is critical if you are involved in a slip and fall incident, whether on a sidewalk, parking lot, store floor, or restaurant kitchen. In some cases, the location of the injury may determine the applicable standard of care.
For example, under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, there may be different rules regarding the duty owed to a person who slips and falls on a public sidewalk versus someone who slips and falls inside a retail establishment.
Distinction Between Social Guests and Business Visitors
The distinction between a social guest and a business visitor is important because the standard of care required of the property owner may vary based on the classification of the injured party. A social guest is someone invited onto the property to enjoy its facilities for recreation, entertainment, education, or convenience.
On the other hand, a business visitor is someone who enters the property to conduct business, transact business, or obtain goods or services.
Generally, a business owner owes a greater duty of care to a business visitor than a social guest. This is because the business owner invites people into his place of business, knowing they might trip over a pothole or step on a wet spot.
Therefore, a business owner must maintain the premises reasonably safe for those who come to do business with him.
A business owner must also keep his premises free from dangerous conditions such as slippery floors. He cannot invite people onto his premises without exercising due care to ensure that the premises are safe for everyone who visits.
How do I Prove That the Owner of the Property Was Negligent?
To prove that the property owner was negligent, you must show that they had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition. Actual knowledge means that the property owner saw the hazard. Constructive knowledge means that the property owner should have known about the hazard based on the nature of the property.
For example, if you slip and fall on a sidewalk outside a store, then the store owner would likely know the hazard. However, if you slip and fall on a sidewalk inside the store, then the owner would probably not have actual knowledge of the hazard.
How to Establish Liability
To establish liability in your personal injury claim, you must also show that the property owner’s failure to correct the hazard was a legal cause of your injuries. This means that the property owner’s conduct was a substantial factor in your injuries.
If you believe you have a valid case against a property owner, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers can help you determine whether you have a strong case against the property owner. We will review your case’s facts and advise you on how to proceed.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them. You may be able to collect compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with your accident.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You File Your Claim
When you are hurt by another person’s negligence, you must hire a personal injury attorney. An experienced personal injury attorney knows what evidence is needed to win your case, and they can help you gather this information.
An experienced personal injury attorney can also help you prepare your claim. They can draft a complaint and answer interrogatories, which are questions asked during discovery. These documents are necessary to get your case moving forward.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Insurance companies often offer less than what they owe you because they do not want to pay more than they need to. By hiring an experienced personal injury attorney, you can obtain a fair settlement from the insurance company.
Please contact us today if you have any questions regarding personal injury law.
Our Firm Will Help You Recover Maximum Compensation
The slip and fall injury attorneys at Simon & Simon, PC, have the requisite experience and knowledge to recover maximum compensation for your injuries resulting from a slip or trip and fall.
If you require a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer after suffering an injury caused by a slip, trip, or fall, contact the slip and fall group of attorneys at Simon & Simon to review the factors involved in your case.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries
A slip and fall accident victim may be able to collect damages for physical injuries suffered during the incident, including:
- Head injuries: A head injury can occur when someone falls onto their head. Head injuries can include brain damage, skull fractures, bleeding around the brain, and loss of consciousness. If a person suffers a head injury while walking on a public sidewalk, then they may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
- Back injuries: Back injuries can occur when a person slips and falls on stairs, steps, or uneven surfaces. Back injuries include sprains, strains, broken bones, ruptured discs, and nerve damage. If a person has back injuries while walking on a public street, they could be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain medication, and future surgeries.
- Spinal cord injuries: Spinal cord injuries can occur when a person trips and falls on stairs or steps. They can cause paralysis, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the arms and legs. Suppose a person suffers spinal cord injuries while walking on a city sidewalk. In that case, they may be eligible for compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress: Emotional distress can occur when someone experiences severe emotional trauma due to a slip and fall accident. It can include loss of enjoyment, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health issues. If a person suffers emotional distress while walking on a public walkway, they might be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages or income, and other related costs.
- Other types of injuries: Other types of injuries that can occur due to a fall include broken bones or internal injuries.
A person injured in a slip and fall accident may be eligible to receive compensation for losses due to their inability to work because of the injury. Contact our law firm immediately if you believe that you or someone else has been hurt in a slip-and-fall situation.
Call Simon & Simon, PC, After a Slip and Fall Injury
Simon & Simon, PC has evolved into a full-service personal injury litigation business over the years. Our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys represent individuals who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others.
We have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for lost pay, pain and suffering, medical care expenses, and other costs resulting from serious slip and fall injuries.
To discuss your legal rights and options after a slip and fall accident, please call or contact us online. You can speak with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney in a free initial consultation.
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