Slip and Fall Lawsuits in Pennsylvania
Slip and fall injury claims are some of the most common lawsuits in the civil court system. Slips and falls can happen anywhere. Your local supermarket, a friend’s house, a shopping mall, the workplace – at any moment, you could suffer a personal injury from a slip, trip, and fall. After this type of accident, it’s reasonable to explore your legal options with a knowledgeable Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer. You may have grounds to file a claim and recover for your injuries in Pennsylvania.
TYPES OF SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS
Slips and falls can lead to a variety of serious personal injuries, from broken bones to concussions. If your head strikes the ground or another object hard enough, it can cause a severe brain injury. Other types of falls can lead to hip and back injuries and temporary or permanent disability. A fall from a great height or into a piece of heavy machinery can even result in death. Common slip and fall accidents include:
- Elevator/escalator accidents
- Faulty staircases
- Uneven curbs
- Ice/snow accidents
- Slippery floors
- Loose carpeting
- Obstacles in the way
- Cluttered floors
- Damaged flooring
- Falls from ladders or scaffolds
- Ditches or potholes
- Poor lighting
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls are the most common cause of death in the construction industry. Many slips and falls are preventable and stem from someone else’s negligence. Preventing falls in the workplace could save hundreds of lives every year.
If you sustained your slip and fall injury at work, consider a civil claim instead of a workers’ compensation claim. The former could result in greater compensation than the latter. A Philadelphia work injury attorney can help you make this decision. Whether your slip and fall happened in the workplace, while shopping, or elsewhere, contact an attorney.
GROUNDS FOR SLIP AND FALL LAWSUITS IN PENNSYLVANIA
Slip and fall lawsuits typically come under the category of premises liability laws. These laws allow accident victims to file claims against property owners and other parties for failing to maintain reasonably safe environments. Property owners owe certain duties of care to property visitors based on the visitors’ status. An invitee, or someone expressly invited to the property, demands the highest standard of care. Property owners must eradicate known hazards and search for unknown ones. They must also post warning signs regarding hazards the invitee may not notice, such as slippery floors or a faulty sidewalk in the parking lot.
Property owners owe licensees, or people who visit a property for their own purposes, lesser standards of care. Trespassers do not demand any standards of care other than safety from intentional harm unless the trespassers are minors. Understanding what duties a property owner owed you at the time of your slip and fall can help you decide whether you have grounds for a personal injury claim. A slip and fall claim may also center on the legal theory of negligence. For example, if an employee negligently failed to clean a spill after another patron warned him or her about it.
Prepare for the property owner or other defendant to try to place some of the blame on you. This is a common defense in slip and fall lawsuits. The defendant may allege that if the plaintiff had been paying more attention, he/she could have avoided the hazard and prevented injury. In Pennsylvania, taking some of the legal blame can lead to lower compensation amounts or no compensation at all. If the courts find you more than 50% at fault for your fall, you will not receive compensation. Our state’s comparative negligence laws make it important to retain a good personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia for a slip and fall claim.