Five Examples of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are often caused by dangerous or hazardous conditions you might encounter while on someone else’s property. Injuries may be minor, or they may be bad enough to cause permanent medical conditions and problems that may last a lifetime. Head, neck and back injuries and broken bones are all too common and may even lead to brain damage or paralysis.
Pennsylvania law requires property owners to maintain their properties, give notice or warning of any hazards, and repair any defects. This is typical in other jurisdictions, as well. When this is not done properly and a fall results causing an injury, the property owner can be held liable, and you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of life’s enjoyment, and pain and suffering.
However, your claim must be handled correctly or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. Due to the complexity of Pennsylvania law and the statute of limitations involved, if you have been injured in a fall, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure you get the best settlement possible.
Five Examples of Negligence
Pennsylvania law requires that any person, business or store open to the public must inspect the premises for obvious or hidden defects, then either correct or warn of the condition or be held liable.
When this is not done properly and accidents occur, the property owners may be guilty of negligence. Examples of negligence that lead to slips and falls include:
- Wet floors - If water, another liquid, food, or chemicals are left on a floor, either accidentally or through neglect, it creates a hazard to people using the premises. Restaurant workers have an obligation to remove spilled food and drinks from the floor. Business owners are responsible for both their employees and visitors who slip on liquids while on their property.
- Icy sidewalks or parking lots - Property owners are required to remove ice and snow from walk areas and parking lots to keep employees and the public safe. If this is not done properly, the owner may be found negligent.
- Broken stair railings – It is easy to trip when walking up and down on stairs, so staircases are required to have safe, secure railings for people to hold on to. If railings are loose, broken or missing, it may be negligence.
- Unmarked hazards – Signs must be clearly placed to warn the public and employees of potential safety hazards such as holes in or sloping of the ground, uneven levels of sidewalks and floors in walking areas, bumps in carpet, maintenance work, or wet floors that may still be slippery. Failure to mark the hazard may be evidence of negligence.
- Poor lighting – Property must be properly illuminated to prevent dangers. If you fall and are injured because you can't see an unmarked hazard due to poor lighting, you may have grounds for a legitimate slip and fall accident case.
Do I Have a Claim?
Just because you slipped and fell at work, a business or property, it does not mean your case will be successful. Your attorney will need to prove negligence by showing that the owner or manager of the property ...
- Created the danger
- Knew about the danger and didn’t handle it properly
- Should have known about the danger.
In addition, it must be shown that ...
- You were owed a responsibility not to be injured.
- The owner failed in this duty because of negligence.
- The negligence caused the accident.
- You were injured as a result.
Are You Partially Responsible?
People are expected to watch where they are going and avoid accidents. If you can be shown to have contributed to the accident by your negligence, such as by talking on the phone and not paying attention, it will affect your claim. In a trial, a jury would determine how much you were responsible for the accident and adjust any award accordingly.
If your own carelessness "contributed" to the accident, your settlement amount is reduced based on the percentage you are at fault. If your own fault is greater than 50%, you cannot win any damages, so the settlement value of your case could even be zero.
Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, so make sure you consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.