Homeowners and businesses owe their guests a duty of care to keep their premises safe from potential slips, trips, and falls. This of course does not mean that homeowners and businesses are liable for any slip, trip, or fall that occurs on their property, it just means that they are required to keep their properties well maintained and they need to remedy dangerous conditions that they know about or should know about.
Ice and snow accumulated in walkways and entryways are a common cause of slips and falls. Homeowners and businesses have a duty to remedy those conditions and they are also usually responsible for public sidewalks on their properties.
Unexpected obstructions in pathways and walkways such as cords, wiring, equipment, and items to be stocked sitting in aisles can cause trips and falls.
Poor lighting can lead to slips, trips, and falls when guests are not able to see a dangerous condition that they would otherwise be able to avoid with proper lighting.
Poorly maintained floors such as ripped carpeting, loose/broken wood floor planks, or chipped/broken tiles.
Poorly maintained and dangerous stairs, railings, and balconies can cause trips and falls.
Failure to notify guests of dangerous conditions such as recently mopped and slippery floors.
Spills on floors that the owner knew about or should have known about that cause a guest to slip and fall.
Broken sidewalks and pavement that have not been remedied and no notice of the dangerous condition given to guests causing trips and falls.
Common defenses to slip and fall cases include the following:
Comparative fault is a regular defense asserted by defendants who claim that the plaintiff was also at fault because he or she was negligent in not noticing and avoiding a danger or taking an unreasonable risk such as seeing a patch of ice and attempting to walk across it anyway. In comparative fault cases, fault will be apportioned between the plaintiff and defendant and the plaintiff will only be compensated if he or she is not more to blame than the defendant. The plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by his or her share of fault. For example, if the plaintiff sustained $100,000 in injuries and damages and was found to be 25% at fault, plaintiff’s recovery would be reduced by 25% to $75,000.
Choice of ways is argued when the defendant claims that there was an alternative route to reach the destination yet the plaintiff chose to take the dangerous path anyway.
A notice defense is raised when the defendant had put the plaintiff on notice of the dangerous condition that should have caused them to avoid the danger such as a sign alerting the plaintiff to a wet floor that he or she slipped and fell on.
A statute of limitations defense is raised if an accident occurred too long ago and the applicable law precludes the plaintiff from bringing the claim.
If you were injured in a slip and fall case on someone else’s property, contact Philadelphia slip and fall attorney, Daniel S. Doyle, to review your claim. If someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you deserve to be fully and fairly compensated and we will work to see that you achieve that result.
Slipping and falling on a hard surface can entail severe injuries, paralysis, disability, and even death. That is why so many victims of slip and fall accidents tend to deal with massive medical expenses in addition to medical bills and other financial damages.
In view of this, it makes sense to ask our Philadelphia slip and fall attorney from Dan Doyle Law Group, “Who pays for my medical bills and other expenses after a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania?”
More than half of slip and fall accidents in Pennsylvania occur due to a property owner’s or landlord’s failure to ensure a safe environment. However, not all victims of such accidents have what it takes to prove that the owner or landlord of the property where the accident took place knew or should have known about the hazard, which is a key element to prove to win a premises liability case.
With the help of a skilled slip and fall lawyer in Philadelphia by your side, you will determine if you have a valid premises liability claim and evaluate the cost of your damages and losses.
While premises liability law seems very straightforward when it applies to homeowners and other private entities and businesses, it becomes much more confusing when you slip and fall on a public street or sidewalk. Can you pursue a claim against the city of Philadelphia?
“Yes, you can,” says our Philadelphia slip and fall attorney at Dan Doyle Law Group. “You may have a case against the city of Philadelphia or other government agency in the city because government entities have a duty to ensure a safe environment for all lawful visitors.”
However, the requirements and deadlines for bringing forth a premises liability claim against public and government entities are different from those that apply in regular cases against homeowners and other owners of private or commercial property.
In other words, do property owners and landlords have a higher standard of care during winter months when ice and snow removal is reasonably expected to prevent slip and falls? Or, on the contrary, are visitors expected to be more cautious during winter months to avoid accidents caused by the accumulation of ice or snow?
It depends. Our Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer explains that although Pennsylvania law does not require property owners to remove ice or snow that build up on their premises as a result of snowing and cold weather, an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow on the property – which increases the risk of slip and fall accidents – is expected to be addressed by a reasonably prudent property owner.
Proving that a property owner knew about a dangerous condition that caused your accident is fairly easy, especially when a Philadelphia slip and fall attorney represent you, but proving that the owner “should have known” about the condition may be a daunting task.
Generally, your lawyer will have to demonstrate evidence proving that the hazard existed on the property for such an amount of time that a reasonably prudent person (property owner) would have noticed and discovered it sooner under similar circumstances.
Proving that a property owner or an employee of that owner was given notice of a condition that caused your injury is possible if you or your attorney speak to eyewitnesses and other visitors who were on that property shortly before the accident.
For example, if an employee of a grocery store was told by one of the customers about a spill an hour before another customer slipped and fell due to that particular spill, it will be easy to prove that the property owner knew of the hazard but failed to remedy or correct it within a reasonable amount of time.
Get a free phone consultation from our slip and fall lawyers at Dan Doyle Law Group today. Let’s discuss your case, determine fault, and evaluate your damages and losses together. Call us at 215-987-3730 right now.