Thousands of people are injured every year in slip and fall accidents. Some of these accidents can be attributed to everyday life and are simply something you must deal with and move on. Other slip and fall accidents might be the result of another party’s negligence. If you’ve suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident because of the negligence of another person or entity in Pennsylvania, you may have grounds for a premises liability case.
Determining Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident in Pennsylvania
Depending on the circumstances surrounding a slip and fall accident, it might be challenging to clearly determine what caused the incident. Consider the following legal requirements for assigning liability in a slip and fall case.
One or more of these facts must be true to build a viable premises liability case against another party.
- The other party caused a dangerous environment. If you can prove that the owner of the property where your accident occurred caused your slip and fall by spilling something or otherwise causing a worn, slippery or dangerous walking surface, you might have a premises liability case. If an employee of the company that owns the property committed any of the above acts, you could also have a viable case.
- There must have been knowledge of the situation prior to the accident. You may have to prove that either the owner or an employee was aware of the dangerous area and neglected to do anything to remedy it, or should have been aware of the situation.
- A reasonable person would have known about and corrected the situation. This may come into play if the owner or employee responsible for the accident claims that he or she was unaware of the danger. In this scenario proof may have to be shown that another person would have noticed the problem and corrected it in a timelier manner.
Determining Whether a Party Should Have Known of Dangerous Condition That Led to Slip and Fall
As stated earlier, it is possible that a slip and fall is not the fault of another party but is simply an unpredictable and unpreventable event. The defendant in a premises liability case may argue that he or she did not know about the slippery spot you fell on or the uneven tile that caused you to slip.
It is your responsibility (and that of your attorney) to demonstrate that common “reasonableness” indicates that the obstacle or defect should have been detected sooner and repaired or remedied prior to the time when you fell.
Some factors to consider include the following.
- Is it possible to show the age of the defect? Is the bulging area of carpet worn to show ongoing traffic over the damaged area? Can you show that the broken tile was broken long enough that a reasonable person would have seen the danger in it and fixed it?
- Can you prove that the property owner neglected to adhere to a set maintenance schedule that a reasonable person would follow?
- If you fell over a misplaced object, can you prove that there was no reasonable purpose for the object to be where it was? Can you document a safer and more logical place for the object to be located?
- Did the property warrant a barrier of some type that was missing to keep people from an obvious hazard?
- Was poor lighting a factor, and was existing lighting broken, causing dangerous conditions?
If you believe any of these scenarios applies to your slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, consult an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases and is familiar with premises liability law. Ask your attorney to review the facts with you and recommend legal actions you might take. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and lost wages.
If in a Slip and Fall Accident, Cordisco & Saile LLC Can Help
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania and need help with your bodily injury claim, the premises liability attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC can help. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.