Did You Get Injured On A Cracked Sidewalk ? You Might Have A Case.
Homeowners, business owners, and municipalities can be held responsible if someone slips and injures themselves on a cracked sidewalk, depending on where and how this happens. Thousands of people a year are injured in slip and fall accidents, and it’s essential to know how to handle such a situation if it occurs due to negligence. Many incidents are merely just an accidental fall, and not due to a careless property owner. Property owners are responsible if they or an employee caused, knew about, or should have known about the crack and did not repair it. You must be able to prove one of these three criteria, and the third can be challenging in court. Here’s what you need to know if you are injured to prevent one from happening on your property.
Who Is Responsible if I Slip on Private Property?
Homeowners are required to maintain their sidewalk’s safety by repairing any dangerous conditions such as cracks or uneven areas or provide an obvious warning about them. Under Philadelphia slip and fall laws, pedestrians walking on neighborhood sidewalks are legally allowed to be there, and the homeowner is legally obliged to make it safe. If you slip on a crack on a sidewalk on somebody’s property and you did not see any warning, you may be able to file a case with your Philadelphia slip and fall attorney.
Who Is Responsible if I Slip on Public Property?
As with homeowners, the space in front of commercial stores is public space and must also be kept free of any hazards. Businesses are required to keep the sidewalks in front of their store in good shape. They must fix any obstructions promptly. If you are injured from slipping due to an obstruction, the liability falls on either the business owner or the landlord of the property. These cases can be complicated, as neither may immediately take responsibility, claiming not to know about the crack.
Who Is Responsible if I Slip on Government Property?
Similarly, government-owned sidewalks must be kept free of any slipping hazards. However, things get complicated with these cases, as local entities are subject to the Tort Claims Act, while state properties fall under the Sovereign Immunity Act. The Tort Claims Act specifically requires you to prove that the local government knew about the crack in the sidewalk, and had ample time before the accident to fix it. The Sovereign Immunity Act requires written notice and sufficient time to have addressed it but is stricter on what damages may be recoverable. If you had a slip and fall accident on government property, contact a Philadelphia accident lawyer to get assistance filing a case.
How Do I Prove Negligence?
To prove negligence, you need to show that the property owner knew about the crack and had time to fix it. You also need proof of address from the local property tax department, photos of the crack or hindrance, possible witness statements, and a breakdown of total incurred damages, medical wages, lost wages and more. Philadelphia slip and fall attorneys can help you organize this information and file a case.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim ?
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of a personal injury accident to file a claim. For accidents on state property, you must file an intent to claim within six months, or your case will be dismissed. You must also have suffered serious or permanent damage as a result of the accident and definitive negligence, which can sometimes be challenging to prove without an experienced attorney on your case.Final Thoughts Slip and fall accidents happen quite frequently, mainly due to unkempt sidewalks with noticeable obstructions that are not addressed. While all property owners can be held liable for injuries that occur on their sidewalks, cases can differ based on whether it’s a private home, commercial business, or government property. In order for a property owner to be liable for such injuries, you must prove negligence. If you have been injured due to a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, contact the Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky at (215) 735-4800 today for a complimentary consultation.