Why Do You Need A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Injury Firm ?
Some days, nothing seems to go right. Maybe you were walking through the parking lot at the grocery store and tripped on a poorly repaired or neglected piece of asphalt, fell and sprained your wrist and broke your cell phone. Or maybe you are at work and slipped on water that was left spilled on the floor by the cooler and your lower back has been hurting for weeks.
On a good day, falling down is just embarrassing. But what happens if you are seriously hurt? Before you sign anything or accept any offer made by someone who is responsible for your injury, call or text our offices at 215-735-4800. We all want to believe that other people will do the right thing when we are hurt and it is their fault, but that is rarely the case in matters of personal injury.
Slips, trips and falls are among the most common types of injuries experienced by Pennsylvanians, and these injuries can have serious consequences in terms of lost time at work, missed time with family and friends, serious medical conditions that can require surgery and even death. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are preventable and avoidable, but can be among the most difficult to prove in court. The top professional attorneys at Joel J. Kofsky can help determine whether legal action is appropriate in your case, and recommend that you contact the office immediately if you think your injuries could have been prevented.
Ensuring that you get the appropriate compensation is extremely important for your long-term health and well-being. Unreported accidents are one of the most under-reported injuries that occur frequently. You don’t have to deal with a lifetime of pain. We are ready to help get you back to normal and make sure you receive every benefit you deserve.
Slip and Fall Statistics
Your injuries should not be taken lightly. Among all types of injuries, premises liability accidents are second only to motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These injuries account for more in lost time at work than any other injury. Slips, trips and falls are a leading cause of injury-related accidental death in persons over the age of 65 and are the leading cause of death in persons over the age of 85. More than 8 million Americans visit emergency rooms each year due to injuries from slips, trips and falls.
The CDC and the National Safety Council (NSC) report that 34,673 Americans died at home and work from slips, trips and falls in 2016, continuing an increasing trend of Americans being severely injured and killed in preventable accidents.
Slip and Fall Accidents and Personal Injury Law
Slips, trips and falls that are not work-related fall within a category of personal injury law called premises liability.
Premises liability law works under the assumption that persons responsible for property have a duty to prevent hazards that can cause injury. This can include safe walkways, stairwells and other structural obstacles, landscaping, and even water or other potentially slippery substances being allowed to create dangerous conditions.
Premises liability complaints can involve more than one defendant if it can be shown that multiple parties held a duty to ensure safe conditions. Defendants can be individuals, businesses, organizations and municipalities depending on the nature of the injury and the location where the injury occurred.
Types of scenarios where property owners might be held negligent or grossly negligent for trip, slip and fall injuries
- Failure to remove water, ice and slippery substances from floors and walkways.
- Failure to remove water, ice and slippery substances from floors and walkways
- Failure to correct bunched, wrinkled carpeting and rugs.
- Failure to warn of hazards that might not be obvious, such as holes in the floor.
- Failure to correct broken sidewalks, parking surfaces and walkways.
- Failure to safely stack and store items that can fall and injure.
- Failure to remove obstacles from walkways, doorways and stairwells.
- Failure to provide proper lighting.
You may not have a claim under the following circumstances:
Pennsylvania law does not allow for recovery of damages when the danger should have been obvious to a reasonable person who is injured. The courts have determined that falls down stairs that are properly constructed, for example, are not subject to liability. Other situations that the courts have determined do not meet standards for liability include:
- Willful disregard for known danger.
- Certain activities that are inherently dangerous, such as off-road driving.
- Drifted or piled snow in which there has not been time to remove.
Pennsylvania also applies a “comparative negligence” standard to premises liability cases. Comparative negligence means that the courts will determine how much responsibility the defendant had for their safety, and how much “at fault,” as a percentage of total responsibility they are. If the court determines that the defendant is more than 50 percent responsible for the injury, no damages can be recovered.
Time Matters Some personal injury cases can be very complex and many of the laws in Pennsylvania are nuanced. It is best to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected. The statute of limitations for your slip, trip and fall lawyers to file your case in Pennsylvania is two years.
After the Accident You took all the proper precautions at the accident scene and collected all the right information.
But you are not done. After you leave the accident scene, you will need to continue to take steps, and precautions to avoid jeopardizing your claim. The first of these is to be careful in your dealings with the various insurance companies. It is common for an adjuster to contact you after an accident.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster, be gracious but only provide basic information like your name and contact information.
Do not give them details of your account of the accident and never allow them to record any statements regarding the wreck. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is they work for the insurance company, not you, and are looking for anyway to minimize a settlement, including whatever you might say to them. Also, you should never accept a payment or agree to a settlement without consulting the best accident lawyer available.
Insurance companies are a business and they operate to make money., As such, they will attempt to offer you as little as possible to settle the matter. Without exploring your options with a knowledgeable lawyer, you cannot consider all your available options and make an informed decision. You need to avoid such proposals from an insurance company that attempt to eliminate your attorney from the picture.
Work Related Injuries
Slips, trips and falls that result in injury while at work fall under Worker’s Compensation law in Pennsylvania. In 2015, 36 Pennsylvanians died due to slips, trips and falls at work according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This accounts for 21 percent of all worker fatalities in the state and is second only to transportation fatalities. Nationally, 229,240 employees missed time at work due to slips, trips and falls.
Worker’s compensation claims “arise out of employment and occurring during the course of employment” (AOE/COE).
Generally, if you are injured or made ill at work, you are eligible for benefits, but like personal injury cases, the law is complex and seeking a top worker’s compensation lawyer is advisable to ensure you get the appropriate benefit and care. A major difference to personal injury law is that the defendant is not required to show negligence on the part of the employer, making these cases easier to argue in court.
This does not mean that you should settle your worker’s compensation claim on your own. A highly trained and experienced slip and fall attorney, will know the intricacies of the law and be able to ensure you get a fair and just settlement that protects you, your family, and your long-term health care needs.
Worker’s Compensation law prevents an individual from suing their employer directly due to work-related injuries. Employers are required to maintain Worker’s Compensation insurance and claims arising from work-related injuries are handled by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains regulations employers are required to follow to keep employees safe. Many of these regulations are straight-forward and common sense, but due to a variety of reasons, safety can be overlooked and employees can be in danger.
Generally, injured workers who retain an attorney to handle their Worker’s Compensation claim receive higher award amounts and typically secure more substantial, long-term health care benefits. Attorney-represented plaintiff’s will normally see quicker completion of cases with less stress.
Wet Floor Slip and Falls
It’s a pretty typical slapstick comedy routine — someone slips on something, like a banana peel, and falls flat on their face. It’s been used for comedic relief in cartoons and movies, but when it happens in real life, it is not funny at all. In fact, slipping and falling on a wet floor can be extraordinarily painful and result in serious injuries that could cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Slipping and falling on wet floors is even more common than tripping down stairs or on curbs. The one place that this happens the most is in grocery stores, where the likelihood of spills or wet floors from cleaning can provide slipping hazards.
Mall owners also have to pay careful attention to slippery floors, especially in food courts where people frequently spill, where clean ups with liquid chemicals often occur, and where customers walk in from rainy or snowy weather and track water across the floor. Wet floors are also frequently found in retail stores, restaurants, your place of work, hospitals, and nursing homes.
You have the right to seek legal action against the owner of a store if their negligence caused you to slip and fall on their wet floor. The law of premises liability dictates that they are responsible for maintaining a safe environment, which means cleaning up spills, drying the floor after cleaning, and/or warning customers of any wet places on the floor. In fact, by pursuing legal action, you could be preventing that owner from causing anyone else to get hurt.
The costs to cover your medical procedures after you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident can be very expensive, and they can add up and continue long after you initially go to the hospital. Aside from immediately surgery or medical care, you may have to keep taking medicine or attend physical therapy for weeks or even months. In some cases, you could be permanently disabled from your fall.
Many injuries from slip and fall accidents also mean that you cannot return to work. If you’ve broken a bone or suffered head trauma, you could be out of work for weeks and unable to earn a wage. If you are permanently disabled, you may not be able to return to work for a very long time. This makes the burden of medical bills even worse.
The best way to go about proving that the negligence of the store owner caused your slip and fall accident is to work with an experienced attorney who has handled these kinds of cases before. Our lawyers will work with you on your unique case. They will look at safety records of the store, cleaning schedules, maintenance reports, video surveillance, and even witness testimony to determine if the owner knew about the spill or the wet floor and did nothing about it.
Another angle your lawyer will investigate is what the flooring itself is made of, because property owners can even be held responsible for slip and fall accidents if their flooring is not safe, is untreated, or is more prone to be slippery. Many owners will treat their flooring with a non slip treatment, but if they do not, they could be responsible for falls if the flooring is too slippery or has no support rails.
If you slipped and fell in any public place, call a slip and fall attorney right away to determine if you have grounds to pursue legal action against the store or property owner.
By receiving financial compensation, you will be able to cover your medical bills, your lost wages, and any pain and suffering you experienced. It likely was not your clumsiness that caused the accident, so give one of our attorneys a call so that they can begin looking at your case today.
Stairs, Elevators And elevator accidents
Any building that has more than one floor is going to have a staircase, elevator, or escalator in the building to help people get from one floor to another. We all have to use these quite frequently, in some cases every day if you live or work on a higher floor.
We usually use them without thinking that they could be dangerous, but all three are locations where slip and fall or trip and fall accidents occur with some regularity. Furthermore, people that do fall down stairs or escalators or in an elevator assume that the fall was their fault because they were being clumsy.
This is not always the case — the fall could just have easily been the result of the property owner failing to keep them safe and in good repair. With the assistance of an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer, you might even have a case against the property owner in regards to your accident.
Because of premises liability laws, property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment on their property, which includes staircases, elevators, and escalators. Staircases need to be evenly built and free of clutter, and elevators and escalators require regular maintenance and inspection so that they are safe to use.
Owners also need to be careful about how they clean these surfaces, because wet or waxy floors could lead to slipping and falling. If the owner knew about a hazard and did not have it fixed property or did not warn people of the hazard quickly, they could be held responsible for any accidents that occur.
Staircases are prime places for people to trip or slip if they are not maintained properly. Things that owners and pedestrians need to watch out for include loose or uneven carpeting in stairwells, worn out wood in old staircases that could be slippery, or polished tiles that are left untreated. Weather can also be a huge liability when it comes to staircases: if people track in snow or ice, or even rain water, the surfaces of each stair could be slippery and could cause people to fall. This is made worse if the owner has failed to install a handrail for the staircase or the handrail is loose or uneven. These are required by building codes and could get the property owner in trouble if they are not installed or maintained properly.
Steps also must be even, meaning that they must be level across each step and each step must be the same height. Building codes in the area outline the maximum width and height allowed for each individual stair, and if the stairs exceed those measurements, the property owner could be held responsible for accidents that occur, even if the measurements are off by only a quarter of an inch.
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
Slip and fall accidents in elevators most often occur because of the surface used for the floor of the elevator. If the floors were cleaned or waxed and left slippery, people could easily slip and fall while getting on or off the elevator or simply while riding it. Loose or lumpy carpeting can also cause people to trip.
But elevator accidents can include more than just a fall. An unmaintained elevator can go too fast or not stop in line with the floor its on, meaning that people trip when leaving the elevator. In fact, over 17,000 people are injured each year riding an elevator, and around 30 people die every year riding an elevator. These serious cases happen when the elevator stops far from the floor itself, causing serious falls.
The building owner could be responsible for the elevator malfunction if they did not ensure that inspections and regular maintenance occurred, but it could also be the fault of the elevator manufacturer for building it incorrectly. The company that performed the maintenance could also be at fault if they did not do their jobs properly. If there was an issue with an elevator that caused your accident, someone is liable for it, and your lawyer will help determine who owes you compensation for your accident.
Anyone who has ridden an escalator knows that they can be tricky to get on and off of, even if you've done it a hundred times. You have to be careful to watch the escalator and where you step, or you could miss your step and fall. Some escalators are even known to be jerky, which can cause problems even after you've boarded the escalator. Also, clothing such as shoelaces or even sleeves can get caught in the escalator steps or handrails, which can lead to injuries as well.
Across the United States, people take around 60 billion trips up and down escalators every year. Of these trips, around 11,000 accidents occur on escalators. Around 3,000 elderly people are hurt in these accidents.
Because accidents on an escalator can be extremely dangerous, given the fact that the steps have sharp edges and that victims can fall a long way before stopping, courts are beginning to hold property owners to a higher standard when it comes to maintaining the safety of their escalators. This means that they could be considered legally responsible for your injuries and could owe you compensation for your injuries. If you have fallen on an escalator, be sure to contact our offices as soon as possible to begin pursuing a claim.
Car Park Trip and Falls
Parking lots can be some of the most dangerous places to drive anywhere. Cars are fighting for spots, and some back out to leave without looking to see if any vehicles are approaching. Tight turns and tight spots just magnify the danger.
The hazards don’t end once you park your car, either. Once you get out of your vehicle to enter the mall, your workplace, the dentist’s office or any number of destinations, you are trusting that the owner of the lot, either outdoors or in a garage, has adhered to basic safety rules. There is absolutely no guarantee, though.
Suits are filed all of the time by people who exit their vehicles and try to get to a given building, only to slip and fall on the pavement or coating that covers that pavement. If you have slipped and fallen in any sort of parking lot, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury lawyer for help to get the compensation that you deserve.
No car parking lot is a neutral space—it is always owned by someone or something, and the owners are required by law to keep that lot in a safe condition. Premises liability is a frequently cited area of law by a car park slip and fall lawyer who make sure that justice is done for their clients.
Here are some examples of the types of hazards that can exist in car parks:
• Oil, gas and other liquids sometimes cover already-slick surfaces in car parking garages. Many pedestrians have slipped on these slick surfaces.
• Inclement weather adds another dimension to car parks, both inside and out. Parking garages are usually open air, so rain, snow and ice can appear unexpectedly on their surfaces, especially on the outer edges of such garages. Outdoors, obviously, any car parking area needs to be cleared of snow and ice continually to ensure pedestrian safety. In many cases, contractors are hired to keep such lots clear of snow and ice, but during major storms, they might have a difficult time keeping up with all of the lots that they are responsible to clear. Rain, snow and ice have caused many a pedestrian to slip and fall in parking lots.
Paved parking lots can have all kinds of issues, even in beautiful weather. Pavement can buckle in the heat or crack, leaving dangerous gaps in the surface that are easy to trip over. The sun’s UV rays, oxidations, fuel, oil and petroleum products all wage war on pavement. Extensive gaps in the pavement, as well as plants growing in those gaps, can provide many obstacles to a carefree walk from vehicle to office.
These slip and falls might appear humorous at first, and perhaps you have slipped and been so embarrassed that you have not told anyone about it. There is nothing funny about the types of injuries that you can suffer while slipping in a car parking area.
Here is a brief list of the types of injuries sustained in just one city in recent months.
- Torn ligaments in the elbow after a slip on ice, resulting in surgery and extensive physical therapy, with huge costs involved.
- Soft tissue injuries in the wrist, fingers, back and legs, such as if a pedestrian tried to catch herself and sprained several body parts in the process. These can heal with time in most cases, but fractures and breaks can also occur, necessitating casts and even surgeries to make sure that bones heal correctly.
- Sprained ankles and knees are a common result of slip and falls in car parking areas. The most severe cases can force a person to miss months of valuable work time and wages.
- Broken bones in the face, concussions and skull fractures can result when a person hits head first after slipping and falling. Expensive surgeries are needed in some cases, and concussions might require months of missed work to regain one’s balance and end the headaches that commonly occur. Neck and shoulder sprains and fractures also occur regularly when pedestrians slip and fall.
Some of these injuries might not seem serious, but many lawsuits have netted victims up to a half-million dollars to compensate them for their past and future medical costs, their lost wages at work, and even pain and suffering.
If you have slipped and fallen in a car park of any type, don’t hesitate to contact a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer to see if you have grounds for legal action. A strong personal injury lawyer can take on the biggest corporations that own car parks and make sure that an insurance company does not give you a sub-par settlement.
Don’t agree to any settlement or other type of deal with the owner of the car park that you frequent before contacting a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyer. Your slip in the parking lot was not your fault, in most cases, and you can help to make that public space a safer area by holding its owner accountable under the law.
Should I file a Lawsuit for my injuries ?
Many people slip and fall every day, so do not think that you are alone. Also, do not be afraid of how you are going to handle the medical bills you have incurred from treating your injuries. In many cases, you can take legal action and even receive compensation if you enlist the help of an experienced slip and fall attorney. Many people find that they do have a case even if they initially did not think they did, so do not be afraid to get in touch with a lawyer and find out what your options are.
Although there are certainly some slip and fall cases that occur in peoples homes, there are hundreds of thousands of slip and fall cases that take place in a public location, like a store, mall, sidewalk, parking lot, or staircase or escalator. Almost three quarters of slip and fall cases occur on flat surfaces that have not been properly taken care of. Many of the incidents that occur in public places could have been prevented if the property owner had been more diligent.
Any time you are walking in a public place, you have the right to expect that you can walk safely without the risk of injury. The owner of the property or the party responsible for the public place is often subject to premises liability, meaning they must maintain a safe environment. This also includes walking around your place of work.
Because of this, you can often obtain compensation for your injuries if you were hurt walking in a public place because someone did not take care of the surface properly. In serious cases where there is a death, family members can also obtain compensation for their loss.
There are a number of places that are more prone to slip and fall cases than others, so be especially careful when walking around these areas. These can include:
Nursing home Slip and Falls.
Not every fall in a nursing home is the fault of the elderly patient. If the floors and stairs are not taken care of in a way that makes it safe for the patients to walk, the home could be held responsible for the slip and fall.
Grocery store Slip and Falls.
Because of the greater possibility of spills and the fact that many stores do not clean up spills promptly, grocery stores present a great risk for slip and fall accidents.
Restaurant Slip and Fall.
As another location prone to spills and busy staff members who do not clean them up quickly, restaurants can also result in slip and fall accidents fairly regularly.
Construction Area Accidents.
The clutter that construction workers often leave behind can result in accidents. Blocked or cluttered staircases also pose a similar threat.
Retail Store and Shop Accidents.
Uneven carpeting or flooring, often the result of wear and tear, can result in people tripping and falling. Some retail stores also have step ups between departments, which can cause trips if they are not marked properly.
Parking Lot Injuries.
Not only are parking lots notorious for being unevenly paved, they can also be dangerous in bad weather if they are not treated correctly to protect against snow and ice.
The cost of slip and fall injuries can be massive. In fact, an average slip and fall case results in around $23,000 in medical bills. This is a huge financial burden to bear if the accident was not your fault, and having a skilled Philadelphia slip and fall attorney on your side is the best way to begin taking legal action against the responsible party and receiving the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
How Business Owners Should Deal with Hazards
There are several ways to prove that the property owner or the business owner was at fault for your slip and fall accident. By demonstrating that the owner either knew about the dangerous spot on the property and did not fix it, or that they did not properly warn people of that danger, they could be held responsible for any accidents that occurred as a result of that unsafe environment. This often occurs if the business or property owner does not perform regular inspections. Your attorney will be able to access the records and documents necessary, as well as any additional evidence, to prove that the owner was at fault.
A temporary condition, such as bad weather or a spill, must be legally addressed within a certain time frame that is considered reasonable or the owner will be considered liable. Your lawyer will be able to determine how long a reasonable time frame is. A permanent condition, like uneven flooring, needs to be taken care of by the owner. If months go by without it being fixed, the owner is responsible for any resulting accidents. Proving negligence on the part of the owner could mean compensation for you for your injuries.
The injuries that result from slip and fall accidents can be very painful and in some cases very serious as well. These injuries can include broken bones, fractures or sprains, cuts and bruises, concussions, or head or spinal injuries. Some of these injuries can turn into worse problems as well as remain painful for a long time. These injuries can also often cost a lot of money to be fixed, which makes the compensation you could receive from the owner even more important.
Do not assume the accident was your fault. An experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer can help determine that the owner was at fault and help you receive compensation to cover the medical costs from your injuries. Furthermore, by ensuring that the property owner is punished, you could be saving other people from also falling and hurting themselves on the same spot. Do not hesitate to call our offices and begin working with an experienced attorney on your case.
Our Accident Attorneys Can Establish Your Losses in a Work Related Slip and Fall Accident
Our attorneys can help determine if your employer is liable for work-related injuries. In most cases, injuries that occur at work are covered under Worker’s Compensation law, but some injuries are not covered. For example, if you are injured on your lunch break, off the clock, but on company property such as a cafeteria or lunchroom, your employer might be liable. However, if you are injured off-site, your injury is most likely not work related. Other situations in which Worker’s Compensation might not cover an injured worker include:
- Drug and alcohol use at work.
- Intentionally breaking company rules.
- Committing a crime at work.
- Driving to, or going home from work.
Falls at work account for the most severe injuries and fatalities nationwide behind transportation accidents. The CDC considers slips, trips and falls at work to be 100 percent preventable through proper adherence to safety procedures and awareness of dangerous situations. Still, these injuries account for an average of 12 days of missed work per injury, the highest of any type of work-related injury.
The National Floor Safety Institute claims that slip and fall injuries are the most common worker’s compensation claim filed and are the primary cause of work-related injuries to employees over the age of 55.
The CDC notes that five percent of workers over the age of 55 who experience a fall at work suffer a fracture which can lead to long-term permanent health challenges and even death.
Time Limits on Filing a Work Related Slip and Fall claim
Pennsylvania law allow three years from the date of injury to file a worker’s compensation claim. Injured workers who choose to wait to file are likely to lose benefits and ultimately, may lose the case. Contacting one of our attorneys immediately ensures that you are represented by top attorneys from day one. Many worker’s compensation claims are rejected when initially filed. This tactic is often used to dissuade workers from filing claims by requiring additional effort to pursue the claim. If your claim has been rejected, it is highly important you contact us immediately to preserve the benefits you are legally entitled to receive.
When you are injured, taking care of your health and getting back to normal should be the only things on your mind. Worker’s compensation suits can be stressful and time consuming to handle on your own, and much of the legal language is confusing. Letting us handle your claim will take away the stress, letting you get back to being healthy as soon as possible, and will ensure that the benefits you receive are adequate for your injury.
Wet Floor Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents on company or personal property could lead to a civil claims case against the property owner or other responsible parties. The person that sustained the injury may receive financial compensation for their injury. However, the types of falls vary and so does the compensation.
This is a guide to understanding the definition of a wet floor slip and fall accident and what information will be productive or counter-productive to your case. Not all accident injury claims result in a payout, but your personal injury lawyer should be able to help you navigate the complicated retrieval of reports and records required to get you the compensation you deserve.
First, however, you need to figure out if you deserve it.
Types of Negligence
Injuries related to slipping and falling on a wet floor will not be compensated if the property owner or cleaning staff cannot be held responsible. Before you begin the lengthy and costly task of pursuing an accident claim, you should know how to classify your injury and how a lawyer and a civil claims court will view the incident.
To prove that your injury was the result of negligence on the part of the property owner, your accident attorney has to be able to prove that this owner had a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue before you became injured. This concept of reasonability will become important in your case since it is the main factor on the side of your opposition (in this case, the owner of the property at which you sustained your injury).
Reasonable notice means that the property owner had enough time for a reasonable person to respond to the wet floor before you were injured. For example, if someone spilled a drink, the manager saw it, they ordered a janitor to clean it up, and you slipped in it immediately as all this was going on, the manager may not be liable for your injury.
This is simply because they were following procedures promptly and could not reasonably prevent your injury in the time they were given.
On the other hand, if a spill is left alone for even a short time without any attempt to clean it up, set up hazard signs, or call a cleaning staff member, then it may be reasonably proven that the manager should have been able to prevent your accident and might be negligent in this case.
Additionally, if a floor manager orders a janitor to clean up a mess and the janitor forgets or takes too long, they could be the ones who are deemed negligent in your case and their insurance will be the one that has to pay out if you win.
Causes of Wet Floors
This seems semantic, but different causes can affect how the wet floor is treated in the context of your personal injury case. For example, a wet floor could be caused by a spilled drink, in which case a manager would have to see the spill to respond; this somewhat extends the time they have to do so before they are considered negligent.
On the other hand, a wet floor caused by rainwater presents a different case. In the event of rain, many property managers are required to make certain concessions, such as a doormat or a cleaning crew on standby to clean up puddles in the doorway.
This is where the concept of reasonability matters. Since it’s raining and the manager must know it, it can be reasonably assumed that they have time to prepare precautions against slipping and falling, such as those mentioned. Many areas have ordinances that mandate how a property manager is required to deal with such a situation.
The Definition of Liability
We already went over reasonability as the first step to liability. A property manager must be proved to be aware of the wet floor for a reasonable amount of time before you can be compensated for your injury. Knowing that it’s raining and reasonably preparing to keep customers safe from failing is another assumption. Due to this knowledge, negligence can be proven based on the reasonability of the response to the cause of your injury as well as the severity of your injury.
Remember that liability works both ways. While you may be eligible for compensation as a customer at a business such as a restaurant or a mall under normal circumstances, if you are not in an area that a manager can reasonably prepare for your safety, then the manager may no longer be liable for your injury.
For example, if you are in an employees-only area, it would not be reasonable for a property owner or store manager to prepare that area for customer safety. A slip and fall on a wet floor in such an area is not valid in an injury claim.
This also applies to trespassing. If you are not on the property legally, you cannot claim compensation for an injury you sustained there, even if the slip and fall injury was not technically your fault.
How to Start My Case
Slip and fall injuries due to wet floors are not always open and shut cases. Liability and reasonability have to be determined in order to assign blame. Only by proving that the property owner or manager was negligent in maintenance, construction, or general upkeep can you successfully build a case in your defence
Your accident attorney will gather the evidence you need to build this case, including maintenance reports and records of legal ordinances where required. The important thing for you to do is to recover and be with family while your attorney deals with the time-sensitive information required to build your case.
Regardless, knowing what constitutes liability in a wet floor slip and fall injury case will help you know whether you have one to begin with. If you can tell that a manager will not be liable (if you were trespassing, for instance), then there’s no reason to initiate the long process of legal preliminary work.
Slip and Fall Case Difficulties : Not always as clear as they seem
Two of the most popular and common cases of personal injury are cases of slip & fall and cases and car accidents. Although both are considered as personal injuries but they are different from the legal perspective.
Car accident cases involving car mishaps are not as complicated as it involves only the issuance of a ticket to a driver at fault while the other driver is injured because of the impact. The fact of liability is already established and the main job of a lawyer is to ascertain make sure that the client receives a maximum compensation from the concerned insurance company.
When legal issues are proven, the only one element to be focused on; that is payment for damages. But in cases involving liability of premises in a trip & fall and slip case, a lot of things need to be proven with nothing in offering.
For instance, take the case of Mary where she went to buy some food stuff from a store located on 7th Avenue.
- She was at the store only to buy a few items for dinner and walked towards the fruit department to buy some grapes.
- Mary was not aware that some bananas were lying on the floor that fell from the container. She stepped on it, slipped, fell and injured her back.
- When the incident happened, there were no customers around and nobody noticed the fall.
- Mary felt awfully embarrassed and left the store in a hurry. But within a few hours, Mary’s whole body was aching and she felt terrible. Mary returned to the store and filled a report about the incident with manager.
- Mary realized the need of medical treatment in case there were serious injuries an sought the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
It would be difficult to believe that Mary was there in the store as nobody watched her fall. The evidence captured through the surveillance cameras could be erased.
The fact was that Mary was wearing high heels and not giving much of attention to what was lying on the floor could also be used by defense on grounds of comparative negligence.
Aside from these was the fact that Mary did not report the incident immediately to the store.
Many stores schedule a specific time interval between sweeping floors and Mary might have slipped during this interval.
So in case this happens to you, it is extremely important to document everything immediately so that it can be presented as viable case. If you were injured in a car accident, contact experienced injury lawyer who will protect the rights of you and your loved ones. You may be entitled to financial compensation for economic damages as well as pain and suffering.
Who is to Blame in a Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accident
Slip and fall injuries, as well as trip and fall injuries, can be very painful. When you inadvertently lose your balance and fall down, especially on hard or rough surfaces, you can seriously hurt yourself.
But such incidents are not your fault. If you slip or trip and fall, do not feel that you are at fault because of clumsiness or carelessness - often, it is actually the result of someone elses carelessness or lack of attention and maintenance that caused your fall.
One such circumstance is when someone trips and falls on an uneven sidewalk, which can easily happen on a stroll through Philadelphia.
Although it can seem like you should blame yourself, an uneven sidewalk can be the result of poor maintenance of the sidewalk on the part of the local municipality, officials, or workers responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the area.
Falling on an uneven sidewalk because of poor maintenance on someone elses part can result in injuries that can range from minor to severe and long lasting, though all can be painful.
Injuries Arising from Slipping or Tripping on Uneven Sidewalks
Tripping and falling can cause twisted or sprained ankles, fractured or broken bones, cuts or scrapes, and bruises or other soft tissue injuries. But injuries from falling on uneven sidewalks can be much worse. Falling the wrong way and being unable to catch yourself can cause you to hit your head, which can result in head trauma, a concussion, or even brain injuries. It can also potentially hurt your spine and can even cause paralysis in extreme cases.
Aside from the pain that a trip and fall injury can cause you, it can also be emotionally and financially stressful to have tripped and fallen on an uneven sidewalk because of someone elses negligence in repairing it. Medical bills can be extremely expensive, especially when treating injuries. Staying in the hospital for even one day can cost hundreds of dollars, as can a single trip to the emergency room. Furthermore, any surgical costs, medical procedures, medicines, physical therapy, or long-term nursing care in the aftermath of your fall can only add to your overall expenses.
This can cause a lot of stress for you and your family, especially if you cannot work because of your injury and are having difficulty paying your bills. Dont let a negligent municipality official or worker ruin your life. If you have tripped and fallen on an uneven sidewalk, you might have a case and the right to receive compensation for your injuries. If so, you might need a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer.
What Can a Lawyer do For Me ?
Your personal injury lawyer will help determine liability to see if the local municipality was responsible for the uneven sidewalk. This is why it is important for you, a relative, or a witness to photograph the place where you fell and to record your injuries. If possible, try to determine how long the sidewalk had been in disrepair, because if had been uneven for a long time and the municipality knew about it, your case will be much stronger.
It is also very important to contact a trip and fall lawyer quickly, because the time frame for pursuing a case against a municipality is much shorter than with a private company. Once the time frame is over, the municipality will not pay out any compensation and you will have to shoulder the financial burden of your medical bills on your own.
Once your liability is established, your lawyer will then negotiate a settlement to get you or your injured loved one the compensation you deserve. They will fight for your rights and not the rights of the municipality or the sidewalk owner. Call us at 215 735 4800 and start your case today.
Sidewalks are intended to be safe places for pedestrians to walk so that they can avoid walking in the road and run the risk of being hit by cars. So when a pedestrian gets hurt walking on the sidewalk, it can be harmful and upsetting. Falling on a sidewalk can cause some painful injuries. But while many accident victims assume that falling was their fault, that is not always the case. Sometimes, the accident could have been prevented if the sidewalk had just been maintained and cared for appropriately.
Many neighborhoods and streets in the Philadelphia area have sidewalks for pedestrians, but they are not always maintained properly. If you trip and fall on a sidewalk, it could be the fault of the municipality responsible for the sidewalk, because they require maintenance in order to remain safe. In some cases, you can pursue legal action against the municipality if their negligence in maintaining the sidewalk ultimately caused your fall.
Falling on a hard surface like a sidewalk can often lead to injuries. Some are more serious than others, but most are very painful, and many of these injuries last a long time because they do not heal quickly or require extensive medical attention. Some common injuries include sprained or broken wrists or arms, especially if you try to catch yourself on the way down. You could also end up with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises or soft tissue damage to head or spinal injuries. In serious cases, these injuries can lead to permanent disabilities, paralysis, or in some cases, even death.
Of course, your physical injuries are also accompanied by emotional stress and financial concerns as well. Everyone knows that medical costs are extremely expensive these days, especially if your injury requires surgery or another medical procedure, or if you have to take medicines or go to physical therapy after you leave the hospital. Your medical bills can clearly pile up quickly, putting a huge strain on your finances. That strain only gets worse if you are injured to the point where you cant work for a while to earn the money you need to pay those bills.
This is why it is so important to contact a skilled slip and fall lawyer to help you with your case. By holding a negligent municipality responsible for your injuries from the accident, you could be entitled to legal compensation that would help you cover those huge medical bills as well as the wages you lost by not being able to work. You could even be compensated for your emotional stress, known in the legal field as compensation for pain and suffering.
Your attorney will find the evidence necessary to prove that the municipality was negligent in maintaining or repairing an uneven sidewalk, such as going through the municipalitys records. They will need to be able to prove that the sidewalk was uneven when you tripped and fell, so try to take a photograph of the sidewalk where you tripped or have a witness photograph it.
If the sidewalk had been in disrepair a long time and the municipality knew about it but didnt fix it, you have a solid case against them. However, you need to be prompt about calling our offices, because there is often only a very small time frame in which you can file claims against municipalities. Your lawyer will help you go through the claims process quickly and effectively so that you will be able to access the compensation you deserve.
As soon as the municipality has been proven to be responsible, your attorney can begin the negotiation process to ensure that the settlement is for the amount that you deserve, no less. Do not let the negligence of a municipality or property owner ruin your life and your finances. Call our offices today to get started on your case.
Icy or Wet Weather : Philadelphia Winter Accidents
We have probably all lost our balance at one point or another when the weather was bad outside. Whether the sidewalks had just gotten wet and were slippery or whether the snow or ice made the walkways slick, it is easy to lose your footing and slip when walking outside after a bout of bad weather.
However, there are many cases where the fall might not have been your fault or even entirely the weathers fault. If you suffered from a slip and fall accident in bad weather, give one of our Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers a call.
If the fall occurred on someones property, such as a store or parking lot, the owner could be responsible for your injuries if they did not clean up the snow or put up signs warning of a rain soaked floor. The compensation you would receive would help you cover your medical bills, any wages you lost by not being able to work, and your pain and suffering from the accident.
These claims are not intended to be a money maker for the victim, but rather to keep the victim from having to bear the burden of the high medical costs for an accident that was not their fault.
There are a few things that pedestrians can do when out walking in bad weather to stay safe and try to prevent serious slip and fall accidents.
You should not try to rush. walking slowly and paying attention to the path is the best option. If you can visibly see ice patches, try to go around them. Other areas to avoid are piles of wet leaves and built up piles of snow.
Try to wear practical shoes for the weather because your safety is more important than your style when it comes to bad weather (and you can always change your shoes later!).
If handrails are available, use them to maintain your balance.
Be sure to clean off your shoes when you get inside so you dont track in any snow or water, and always check the entrances of buildings, because thats where a lot of snow and water will accumulate, posing a serious risk.
Slipping and falling on ice or on a wet surface do not usually end in gentle landings. Falling in spots like this often results in twisted ankles or spines, head injuries, broken bones, or sprained wrists, ankles, or backs. In serious cases, you could become disabled or paralyzed from your injuries when you slip and fall in bad weather. Some thousands of people even die every year as a result of their slip and fall accident.
In many cases, steps could have been taken by the property owner or the local municipality to prevent these kinds of accidents from happening after a bout of bad weather.
Under premises liability laws, owners of businesses are required to keep surfaces safe, and after bad weather, that means salting their parking lots, shoveling snow, and promptly wiping up tracked in water.
Local municipalities need to be prepared for bad weather by treating roadways and sidewalks and clearing out snow and other slip and fall hazards. In other words, your accident may not be solely the cause of you being clumsy or because of the bad weather.
If the owner or municipality does not follow reasonable procedures for maintaining safe places to walk after bad weather, they could be held responsible for the accident. The best way to determine if you do have a case against a property owner or a municipality is to call a Philadelphia slip and fall attorney.
Our lawyers extensive experience handling these cases means that we will be able to determine if the owner or municipality failed in their duties to maintain a safe environment. Then, we will go about gathering evidence against them to prove that they are responsible for the accident. We will fight to get you the compensation that you deserve as a slip and fall accident victim to help you cover your medical costs, any wages you lost while injured, and your pain and suffering. Call our offices today to begin the process.
How to win Slip and Fall Cases in Philadelphia
U. S. tort laws include cases of slip and fall which is a commonplace type of injury that is likely to happen unexpectedly.
When incident takes place within the home and premise of the victim then no other person is held liable for it. However, in many instances, slip cases do happen outside the victim’s home and if it is proven that the cause is due to the owner’s neglect or irresponsibility, some victims get compensation for the injury.
Questionable claims of slip-and-fall issues have come to the rise for some scammers think that they could make this type of injury a kind of ATM to extort piles of money. Today, claims for compensation are thoroughly investigated and closely studied to determine their authenticity. While many valid claims are paid, scammers end up in jail for false claims.
When a Slip and Fall Injury Case is really authentic, how can a victim win the case?
The first step is to hire the service of an expert personal injury lawyer as soon as possible right after the accident. The reason for this is that evidences are often lost fast after an accident.
For instance, the restaurant might claim that footage from the video cam has been over written if several weeks are allowed to pass before the claim. Then the lawyer has to interview eyewitnesses who might forget details after the passage of time.
Most establishments keep safety logs which the victim’s lawyer must inspect to find out if the accident was preventable. For instance, groceries will not be liable if the gooey stuff left on the aisle was left there 45 seconds before the victim was injured.
The property owner must be given reasonable time to discover and fix the problem. But when safety logs and videos show that the management does not check security of the store for long intervals; then he will be accused of negligence for any accident that may happen. So it is an important task of the personal injury lawyer to check safety log and video footage.
Another step to win a favorable settlement is for the victim to immediately seek medical attention for sustained injuries. Medical treatment could last years and each session must be well-recorded. The victim must continue regular treatment recommended by health provider so it can be included in full for the settlement.
So maximize treatment and include all details for eventual settlement. One important service that a personal injury lawyer can do is to help victim find a doctor who will accept payment through a lien after the settlement of the claim in the future. Although some physicians frowned on this procedure but some doctors are acceptable to this kind of arrangement.
What the personal lawyer does is to arrive at the highest amount of expenses that can be compensated which will be presented to the jury. In most cases, victims do not state the amount they want for compensation. They will leave it for the members of the jury to compute. So it is important to have all the papers ready. In some instances, the jury will even recommend an amount much more than the compensation expected.
Of course, they will also consider the arguments presented by the defendant. If the lawyer will do his part, then a sizeable amount will be agreed. Victims who do not have a personal injury lawyer often ends up getting a ridiculously low offer.
The presence of the jury is a threat to insurance companies who willingly agree to a fair settlement. So winning a slip-and-fall case, especially a fair compensation is on the hands of a personal injury lawyer. He will walk with his clients all the way until the awarding of the highest possible compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to negligence you may wish to consult with experienced Injury Lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please note strict deadline apply and it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately.