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Slip and Fall Lawyer in Pittsburgh
It is considered one of the most common types of personal injury incidents, perhaps the most common. Some cases do not get reported or require medical care to treat injuries. The milder versions of the personal injury incident cause nothing more than a bruised ego. We are talking about slip and fall incidents, which can happen anywhere from a grocery store to the sidewalk in front of a neighbor’s home.
Slip and fall cases fall under two categories of personal injury law. The first type of personal injury incident is called a slip and fall, which occurs at a venue with public access, such as a restaurant, movie theater, and convenience store. If a slip and fall incident unfolds on private property, premises liability law regulates how a case turns out in the judicial system.
Although a slip and fall incident can be considered minor, the fact remains that a majority of incidents required medical care to treat one or more injuries. If you slipped and fell at a public venue, you should contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh to review your case. An attorney conducts a comprehensive investigation that includes collecting evidence, as well as receiving accounts of what transpired from witnesses. Your personal injury lawyer in Pittsburgh also ensures you file the proper legal documents before the deadline passes to initiate a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
For more than three decades, the personal injury attorneys at Morgan and Morgan have represented clients for every type of personal injury case. We have recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages, with a significant percentage of the compensation recovered coming from slip and fall lawsuits. With a nationwide presence, Morgan and Morgan has the resources to hire not only the most accomplished personal injury attorneys, but also the most experienced investigators to get to the bottom of a personal injury case.
Learn more about filing a slip and fall insurance claim and a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages by scheduling a free case evaluation today with a slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh from Morgan and Morgan.
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Where Are the Most Common Places to Slip and Fall?
You can slip and fall just about anywhere, but some public venues experience many more slip and fall incidents than other locations. One of the first items on the agenda of a free case evaluation is for your attorney to learn where you sustained injuries as a result of a slip and fall.
If you shop often enough for groceries, you have heard the request of “clean up in aisle nine.” The alert tells a store employee to wipe away a spill. Nearly every aisle at a grocery store contains at least one product that if it falls from a shelf, crashes to the floor to create an unsafe environment. Grocery store employees receive training that includes emphasizing the importance of responding to wet floors as quickly as possible. However, because of poor training or a lack of staff, some spills do not get cleaned up until after a customer slips and falls.
Security camera footage represents the most compelling type of physical evidence to present for a slip and fall case that occurs at a grocery store.
You do not have to worry about slipping and falling on a sidewalk that just got doused with heavy rain. What you do have to be concerned about is frozen precipitation like ice, snow, and sleet. Businesses have a duty of care to remove potentially dangerous frozen precipitation from sidewalks. Residential property owners in many cities must clear sidewalks of frozen precipitation within a certain period. For example, Des Moines, Iowa gives residents 48 hours after a winter storm to remove frozen precipitation, while West Des Moines requires the removal of ice, snow, and/or sleet within 24 hours after a winter storm.
Restaurants are unique public venues because they pose just as much of a slip and fall threat for employees as they pose for customers. Kitchens are notorious locations for slip and fall incidents, from grease dripping from a fryer to a puddle of water that develops next to an ice machine. Customers face possible slip and fall factors such as wet floors in bathrooms and leaky beverage machines located near high-traffic areas.
Witness accounts typically represent the most persuasive form of evidence since most restaurant security camera systems do not provide full coverage throughout the business.
What Steps Should I Take After a Slip and Fall?
How you handle the aftermath of a slip and fall goes a long way toward determining whether an insurance company approves your claim and whether you receive monetary damages after filing a civil lawsuit.
Get Prompt Medical Attention
The key to gaining approval of an insurance claim and winning a favorable legal judgment rests on the strength of the physical evidence you file with both requests for compensation. This means that you should seek immediate medical care if you sustained one or more serious injuries or visit a physician after taking care of other business if you sustained relatively minor injuries that still require treatment.
Let Management Know
Slipping and falling at a busy business such as a bar or shopping mall has one advantage: You should not have trouble informing management about the personal injury incident. Before you get off the floor to examine your body for injuries, a customer or an employee is already headed toward the customer service counter to report the injury. A manager on duty is responsible for completing an incident report which describes in detail what transpired before, during, and after the slip and fall incident. If you are an employee who slipped and fell, telling management initiates the workers’ compensation claim process.
Gather Physical Evidence
If you are healthy enough to remain at the scene of the slip and fall incident, you should take photos of the accident scene for submission to your slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh. For example, shooting a photo of a leaky beverage fountain dispenser might demonstrate the business responsible for maintaining the dispenser failed to follow the correct maintenance procedures. You also should ask the manager on duty to make a copy of the security camera footage shot at the time of the accident for your attorney to review. Get the names and contact information of every witness to hand over to your lawyer during a free case evaluation.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Pittsburgh
Although it might seem like you do not need a slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh to file an insurance claim, hiring an experienced attorney improves your chances of getting an insurance claim approved. Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of policyholders that file claims without the legal support of a personal injury attorney. Working with an experienced slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh from Morgan and Morgan helps you file a convincing civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Pennsylvania?
One of the most important legal services provided by a slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh involves filing a civil lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations. Most states have set a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit between two and four years. However, a few states go as long as six years and as short as two years for giving plaintiffs time to take legal action. Pennsylvania requires plaintiffs to file a civil lawsuit within two years of a personal injury incident. The clock typically starts ticking on a civil lawsuit on the date when an accident took place. However, some injuries do not develop symptoms right away, which means the clock might start ticking on the day when a victim received a diagnosis for an injury caused by a slip and fall.
Two years provides your attorney plenty of time to collect evidence, interview witnesses, and obtain the documents required to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Nonetheless, the attorney representing you from Morgan and Morgan encourages filing a civil lawsuit as quickly as possible after a slip and fall accident. Because you have to pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket, you should try to recover your financial losses as soon as possible to avoid falling into a deep financial hole. Your attorney also needs to interview witnesses as close to the date of the slip and fall incident as possible. Witness accounts are more accurate the closer they are given to the date of a personal injury incident.
If you do not file a civil lawsuit before the expiration of the Pennsylvania statute of limitations, the court clerk processing your lawsuit will dismiss the case.
What Types of Compensation Can I Receive?
Judges grant three types of monetary damages for most personal injury lawsuits: Economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages cover tangible expenses, such as the costs associated with medical bills. You have the right to ask for compensation to cover the costs of diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. If you sustained one or more injuries as a result of a slip and fall, you might need to pay for prescription medications and the use of an assistive device such as a pair of crutches. Economic damages also cover the costs associated with repairing property damage. Maybe a slip and fall destroyed your Smartphone due to the strong impact. If your injuries caused you to miss work, you should request compensation that covers lost wages.
Severe pain is not just about physical issues. Dealing with chronic pain also can trigger emotional distress issues such as anxiety and depression. This is especially true if you rely on pain medications for too long of a period. Your slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh from Morgan and Morgan requests non-economic damages to cover pain and suffering. Calculating a fair value for non-economic damages involves using a formula that factors in the value of economic damages.
Punitive damages do not cover the costs associated with economic and non-economic damages. Instead, a judge awards punitive damages to penalize the defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence. Punitive damages also deter defendants from committing the same acts of negligence again.
Learn more about how to file a personal injury lawsuit by scheduling a free case evaluation with a slip and fall lawyer in Pittsburgh from Morgan and Morgan.