Banana peels are not the main cause of slip and fall accidents, despite what cartoons seem to indicate. In fact, wet, slippery floors are the primary cause of people slipping, falling, and sometimes becoming seriously hurt, with the majority of falls due to accident on level surfaces, not steps or curbs.
Chain stores, especially ones that do a good business, can be dangerous places to walk in. That’s because more customers equals more chances of a bottle, for example, being dropped or knocked over, which equals more spills on the floor.
Anytime you visit property that is owned by someone else, you should be aware of the area of law called premises liability. Premises liability governs property owners by making them legally responsible for establishing and maintaining safe conditions on their property
Slip and Fall Attorney in Philadelphia Helping Victims Recover Compensation
Getting hurt because someone else was negligent is no laughing matter. More importantly, it’s an issue that requires a top-rated accident lawyer in Philadelphia from the law firm of Joel Kofsky to step in and help. When someone is injured after slipping and falling, many people assume that the accident was caused solely by the accident victims clumsiness. However, individuals who have been hurt in a slip and fall accident know that in many cases, the accident was not their fault. Often, it takes a PA slip and fall attorney to show those who are at fault that they need to do the right thing.
If someone slips in a puddle of water in a grocery store or falls on an icy patch outside of a business or office building, the accident is not the result of the persons clumsiness or lack of coordination. Rather, the event follows from the negligence of the person or persons responsible for keeping those public walking surfaces clean, dry, and safe. When these unfortunate incidents occur, the best Philadelphia accident attorneys know how to handle the complex, confusing processes that make it difficult for victims to receive the compensation they deserve.
According to the National Floor Safety Institute over eight million people visit an emergency room each year from slip and fall injuries. Their injuries range from minor bruising to life-changing catastrophic injuries.
Anyone can trip and take a tumble, especially if they are not watching where they are walking. However, when someone else is to blame for a dangerous condition that caused your fall. You might be able to hold them legally responsible for your injuries. For help building your case, you should contact The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia slip and fall attorney, call our office today at 215-735-4800 or contact us online.
Common Hazardous Conditions that Cause Falls
Negligent landowners who do not keep their property in a reasonably safe condition are responsible for a large share of falls. Some dangerous conditions that cause our clients to slip and fall often include:
- Spilled liquids
- Collected water on the floor because of a leak
- Worn carpeting
- Freshly-mopped or waxes floors
- Fallen debris or objects
- Loose stairs
- Uneven floors
- Rugs that slip
- Electrical cords
Property owners who do not fix these conditions in a timely manner can be responsible for any injuries occured on the property. The fact that the property owner did not know about the dangerous condition is not necessarily a defense. In fact, the law imposes a duty on property owners to regularly investigate their property to uncover hazards and to fix them. This is particularly true when visitors regularly come onto the property. For example, a store owner should have an employee regularly check to the aisles for debris during the day to prevent slip and falls.
In some situations, a property owner cannot fix a hazard right away. A classic example is a store owner who freshly mops the floor during the store hours. It is not practicable for the store owner to close the store until the floor dries. Out of recognition of this fact, the owner can instead warn visitors of the hazard. In certain situations, a warning will suffice to put visitors on notice. However, if no notice is given, then the property owner might be responsible for any slip and falls.
Some people can get up quickly after a slip and fall, dust themselves off, and go on their way. Other visitors will suffer serious injuries that can require months of recovery. At the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky, we see many of the following injuries with our slip and fall clients:
- Bruises, strains, and sprains
- Broken bones
- Cuts or lacerations
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions
Even relatively minor injuries can cost thousands of dollars to treat. For example, a simple broken ankle could cost tens of thousands of dollars or more in medical care and lost wages.
After a fall, you should immediately seek medical attention. Visit your doctor or the emergency room and have all injuries checked. You should also realize that some symptoms take a few days to develop, especially back injuries or brain injuries. Always follow your doctor’s advice and get a second opinion if you do not think you are improving. Failing to seek medical attention for your slip and fall injuries could jeopardize your ability to recover compensation.
Why Choose Us ?
Slip and Fall Compensation
If a property owner is responsible for your injuries, then you can likely obtain compensation for a variety of losses, including the following:
- Medical bills for doctor visits, hospital stays, surgery, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and assistive devices like crutches
- Lost wages, if you could not go back to work as you recover
- Property damage, for any damage to your property, such as a broken cell phone or watch
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Reduced quality of life
Your Philadelphia slip and fall attorney can help you review the circumstances surrounding your fall to estimate the amount of compensation available. Generally, our clients can receive 100% of their economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages.
With less tangible injuries like pain and suffering, we rely on our experience to estimate the amount you might receive. Often, it is hard to convince another person that you are in physical or emotional pain. To help document your suffering, keep a pain journal in which you note each day how you are feeling. Also note whether your injuries have prevented you from pursuing your favorite hobbies, such as spending time with your family or going for hikes.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
The choices you make soon after falling will dramatically impact your ability to receive compensation. As Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers, we recommend that you do the following immediately after slipping:
- Take a picture of the hazard. Some hazards, like spilled liquids, will evaporate or be cleaned up quickly. Ideally, you will obtain photographic evidence before the property owner corrects the hazard. Use your smartphone or ask a bystander to take a picture for you.
- Identify any witnesses. Get their names and contact information. A neutral third party can make an excellent witness.
- Notify the property owner. You need to get information from them, such as the name of their insurance company. They also should fix the hazard before any more visitors are injured.
- Take pictures of your injuries. If your broken ankle swells up and shows bruising, you will want a picture. Months will pass before you negotiate a settlement, and you want evidence of the severity of your injuries.
- Call a slip and fall lawyer in Philadelphia as soon as you can.
Many of our clients are too badly hurt to retrieve any of this information, which is understandable. Try to collect as much as you can and let your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer know what evidence you could not obtain.
How Your Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney Can Help You Recover
After a bad fall, our clients need to focus on getting well. However, the process of obtaining compensation is not straightforward, and many clients are overwhelmed by the paperwork. Many property owners, in particular, large corporations, also make it very difficult for injured victims to receive adequate compensation for their injuries.
In many situations, we start your case by filing a claim with the property owner’s insurance company. If you are injured while visiting a private residence, we might file with the person’s homeowner’s insurer. If you were injured in a store, we might file the claim with the company’s general liability insurer. Making a written claim is a complicated task in which we must provide enough information for the insurer to identify the seriousness of your injuries.
Many insurance companies play hardball and do everything possible to limit the amount of compensation. For example, insurance adjusters have developed a reputation for employing various tricks of the trade:
- They ask that you give a recorded statement. Often, they want the statement while you are still in pain and perhaps not thinking clearly. Under Pennsylvania law, you have no obligation to give a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters are simply looking for anything they can use to reduce the amount of the settlement. Such as statements in which you suggest you might have contributed to the accident by not watching where you were walking.
- They make a lowball initial offer. An insurer’s first offer is rarely for full compensation for your injuries, and you should reject it. Even when insurance adjusters often claim that this is all they are authorized to offer you.
- They tell you to meet with a doctor they have handpicked. Often called “independent” medical exams, these exams are anything but independent. Instead, you meet with a doctor hand-picked by the insurance company who tries to minimize your injuries.
- They tell you that you don’t need a lawyer. A lawyer understands the negotiation process just as well as the insurance adjusters and can help clients accurately value their injuries. It is no mystery that insurance companies do not want you to hire a lawyer for your case.
One benefit of hiring a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer is that we can act as a go-between with insurance adjusters and you. Our personal injury lawyers have represented clients in settlement talks with most of the state’s largest insurers. We’ve learned to maximize the amount of compensation you receive.
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Speak with a Skilled Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Property owners who do not fix hazardous conditions must be held responsible when their negligence causes injury. At The Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky, we have been representing slip and fall victims for decades. We can use our experience to obtain the compensation you need to land back on your feet.
For more information, please call 215-735-4800 or contact us online. We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation.
1500 John F Kennedy Blvd #550, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: (215) 735-4800
Phone: (215) 897-9200
Fax: (866) 261-7018
5425 Oxford Ave #201, Philadelphia, PA 19124, USA
Fax: (866) 261-7018
5700 N Broad St #300, Philadelphia, PA 19141, USA
Fax: (866) 261-7018
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