Slip and Fall Attorney in Pennsylvania
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Slip and Fall Lawyers in Pennsylvania
Injuries deriving from slips, trips, and falls can be devastating. Even worse is the fact that it is expensive to treat these injuries and settle other related expenses. Unfortunately, some lead to permanent disabilities or even death.
Although slips and falls occur for different reasons, a larger percentage of these incidents are usually caused by negligence or carelessness of the property owner. When you legally visit someone else's property, they owe you a duty of care. In other words, they are responsible for ensuring that the property is safe. Therefore, if you get injured due to a slip and fall or any other incident, you may be able to hold the property owner or occupant accountable.
Morgan and Morgan can help if you need competent, compassionate, and experienced slip and fall lawyers in Pennsylvania to fight for you. Fill out our free case evaluation form to get started with your claim.
Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.
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Who Is Responsible for Slip and Fall Injuries?
Slip and fall cases are usually under the legal concept of premises liability. This concept holds one party responsible for another party's injuries on their property. These cases might seem pretty straightforward on paper, but in reality, they are not.
The issue of liability is always subject to debate. This is because several parties can be liable for the victim's injuries. For example, the property owner might be held responsible in a typical slip and fall case.
However, things could change if the property was under the care and management of a property management company. In that case, the property management company might be responsible. Things could change even further if the property management hired a negligent cleaning company, leading to a slip and fall accident. The cleaning company might bear a certain degree of responsibility.
The bottom line is that slip and fall cases are complex. These cases are even more complex when the issue of liability surfaces. For this reason, it is always advisable to consult an experienced slip and fall attorney for legal guidance.
What Are the Common Causes of Slips and Falls?
Slips and falls occur due to various reasons. Some common causes include:
- Holes on the ground
- Snow and ice
- Pools of liquid on the floor
- Uneven ground level
- Poor lighting
- Lack of railings
How Can I Prove My Slip and Fall Case?
To prove your slip and fall case in Pittsburgh, you must:
Establish that the property owner or occupant knew or should have known about the dangerous condition that caused your injury. For example, if you slipped and fell after stepping on a pool of cooking oil on the floor, you may have a valid case against the store owner.
But this will depend on whether they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Say, for instance, the cooking oil had been lying for five seconds before the incident. In that case, the other party could argue that five seconds was insufficient for the store owner or employees to know about the dangerous condition. And, even if they did, they could not clear it or warn shoppers within five seconds of the discovery.
The plaintiff must also prove that despite knowing about the dangerous condition, the defendant did not do anything about it. For example, regarding the scenario above, suppose the cooking oil had been lying there for hours. This could be a form of negligence because any reasonable person working at the grocery store, including the owner, should have noticed the dangerous condition and removed it.
Thirdly, you must prove the connection between your injuries and the dangerous condition. In other words, you must establish that you were injured by the dangerous condition, not something else. In the case of cooking oil lying on the floor, you can prove that you stepped on it unknowingly, leading to slip and fall injuries.
Lastly, you must demonstrate that you suffered damages due to the slip and fall accident. Damages are the losses or expenses deriving from the incident.
What Are Some Possible Damages in a Slip and Fall Case?
You may be able to claim economic and non-economic damages. This, however, will depend on the specifics of your case.
Examples of economic damages in a slip and fall incident include:
- Medical expenses
- Current and future lost income
- Cost of transport to and from your medical appointments
- Cost of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, Hoyer lifts, etc
- Cost of hiring a caregiver
- Cost of adjusting your living or working environment to accommodate your condition, e.g., upgrading your bathroom and building a wheelchair ramp
- Cost of physical therapy and other treatments
Common examples of non-economic damages in slip and fall cases include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement
The court might also award you punitive damages if they determine that the defendant was grossly negligent. For example, using the narrative of cooking oil on the floor at a grocery store, let's say the customers notified the store owner several times about the dangerous conditions, but they failed to do anything the whole day. In that case, this could amount to gross negligence.
Can I Sue a Property Owner if I Slipped and Fell Due to Snowy or Icy Conditions in Pennsylvania?
Pennsylvania laws prospect property owners from liability for injuries caused by bad weather conditions, specifically snow or ice. This is because the state usually has harsh winters, making it difficult for property owners to keep their properties completely safe from snow or ice every minute.
However, this also does not mean that property owners are entirely protected from lawsuits; you may be able to sue if you can prove negligence. For example, if you slipped and fell due to snow and ice that had not been cleared for a long time, you may have a valid case against the property owner.
Remember, whenever in doubt, it costs you nothing to contact a Morgan and Morgan slip and fall attorney in Pittsburgh for a free case evaluation. The attorney will evaluate your case and let you know whether it is valid. This, of course, involves reviewing state regulations and how they apply to your particular matter.
Can I Sue the Government for Slip and Fall in Pennsylvania?
You may be able to take legal action against the government after a slip and fall incident at a government property. However, for this to work, you will need to follow some strict rules.
For example, you must notify the government agency about your intention to take legal action against them. This notice should be sent no later than six months after the incident. If you file the notice later than six months after the slip and fall incident, you will lose your right to file a claim against the government agency.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover After a Slip and Fall Case in Pennsylvania?
This will depend on the nature of your injuries, the post-accident procedure, and also your contribution to the accident. Keep in mind that Pennsylvania follows the modified comparative negligence legal concept.
This principle awards plaintiffs damages based on their percentage of fault. For instance, if the court determines that you were 30% at fault for the accident, you can only recover 70% of the total damages. It is also important to note that you cannot recover any damages if you are more than 51% at fault for the accident.
What Are Some Common Defenses in Slip and Fall Cases in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, defendants have the right to defend themselves just as you have the right to sue. For this reason, you should expect fierce defense from the other party when you file a claim or lawsuit against them after a slip and fall incident. And in cases where both parties were at fault for the injury, the defendant could claim that you were more liable than they were, hoping to reduce your settlement to the lowest possible amount.
That said, some of the most common defenses against slip and fall claims include:
- The plaintiff was not at the property legally or was in a location where visitors were not allowed to be.
- The property owner did not expect the visitor to be in that particular location where they got injured
- The dangerous condition was so obvious the plaintiff should have noticed and avoided it
- The plaintiff was not wearing appropriate footwear when they slipped and fell
- The plaintiff ignored clear warning signs about the dangerous condition
- The plaintiff was not paying attention to their surroundings moments before the slip and fall incident
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
You have up to two years from the date of the slip and fall incident to file a lawsuit against the liable party. You will lose your right to take legal action against the at-fault party if you do not take legal action against them within two years.
However, keep in mind that the statute of limitations will also depend on who you intend to sue. For example, suppose you plan on taking legal action against a government agency in Pittsburgh. In that case, you should notify them about your intentions within six months of the injury, or you will lose your right to take legal action against them.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Incident?
By now, you probably understand that although you might have a valid slip and fall case against the other party, your actions after the incident will determine the compensation you may be able to recover. Again, this is because of Pennsylvania's comparative negligence concept. For this reason, knowing what to do if you slip and fall on someone else's property is important.
Here are some quick tips to guide you:
Call 911 immediately if you have suffered serious injuries. Do not attempt to move if you are in extreme pain.
Gather evidence about the incident. Examples of crucial evidence in these cases include witness statements, pictures, and videos of your injuries and the dangerous condition.
Do not accept liability for the accident, even if you feel partly responsible. Remember that Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state. If you accept responsibility for the accident, the other party could use that against you to lower your settlement or even free themselves from liability.
If you did not need an ambulance after the accident, you should still visit a doctor for further checkups. This is because certain injuries take time to show; when they do, it usually happens when the situation is out of hand. For example, internal bleeding can cause blood clots and lead to a coma if left untreated.
Contact a Pittsburgh slip and fall lawyer for a case evaluation. If you contact Morgan and Morgan, we will not charge you anything to review your case.
Why Should I Contact Morgan and Morgan?
Slip and fall cases are serious and complex. The average slip and fall case can keep you out of work for 31 days. A severe case will keep you out of employment for the rest of your life.
This is more than enough to turn your life upside down. As a result, many victims of slip and fall accidents often have to deal with huge bills, lifestyle changes to accommodate their injuries, social changes, and so much more.
The worst tragedy is losing a loved one due to a slip and fall incident. Unfortunately, no amount of compensation will bring them back. But at least you will not have to pay funeral expenses, school fees, and other bills out of pocket, knowing that the injury or death could have been avoided.
That is where Morgan and Morgan, the largest personal injury law firm, comes in when you feel burdened with pain and suffering due to someone else's negligence. Our compassionate slip and fall lawyers in Pittsburgh can help you navigate complex processes and secure the compensation you deserve after such a traumatizing incident.
All you will need to do is spare a few minutes to fill out our free case evaluation form. This simple decision could mark the beginning of the end of your pain.
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