Slip and Fall Accident?
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A “slip and fall” or a “trip and fall” is a personal injury claim. These premises liability claims are made when someone is injured on property or premises and the injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence.
While we pump gas, grab a bite to eat, or scan store aisles, business owners and managers have a responsibility to keep their stores safe. Property owners may be liable for injuries on their property if they caused, knew about, or should have known about a dangerous condition that caused an injury.
These scary situations can land you with a serious injury and can also leave you in a vulnerable financial spot. In these cases, property owners aren’t always quick to accept the blame for their mistakes and you can get stuck with massive hospital bills all while missing a lot of time at work. Here are some recent slip & fall cases & verdicts in Pennsylvania.
The Pearce Law Firm has helped numerous clients trapped in these situations. We have helped victims recover from their injuries and earned them full compensation so they didn’t have to worry over the costs of an accident that wasn’t their fault. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania or New Jersey on vacation out of state, contact us today at (215) 600-2437 for a free, private consultation.
Table of Contents
Conditions Which Cause Slip and Fall Injuries:
Dangerous conditions which cause injuries may include dangerous sidewalks, stairs, poor lighting, missing handrails, faulty railings, snow or ice, uneven surfaces, broken flooring, poorly marked steps, or poorly kept carpet, rugs or mats. Other causes of slips, trips or falls include food, water or other substances on floors in restaurants or supermarkets, objects left where they shouldn’t be, and a wide variety of other causes.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries:
Damages that a slip and fall accident victim and the victim’s family are entitled to recover may include hospital and medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, past and future permanent physical disability, such as a limp, scars, loss of a limb, emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety, grief and emotional suffering caused by the death of a loved one, loss of love and companionship caused by the death or serious injury of a loved one, damage or destruction of property, physical pain and suffering and/or loss of enjoyment of life.
Steps to Take After an Accident:
If you are injured in a slip, trip or fall accident, it is important to preserve the evidence as soon as possible. Your goal is to record and preserve the scene of the slip and fall accident and all the surrounding conditions as best as you can and make sure the incident is reported in order to make your case is as strong as possible.
If possible, take these steps after being injured:
Report the incident. Not necessarily to a slip and fall attorney.
Immediately report the slip and fall accident to the owner or the nearest person of authority, and complete an accident report if one is available.
Take a picture of where the slip and fall accident happened because the dangerous conditions that caused the accident can easily be cleared up or changed. You may also call our Philadelphia law office and we will have pictures taken immediately. Pictures of the area, your clothing and shoes, and the dangerous condition are helpful.
Seek medical attention.
Get checked out by a medical professional right away. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit an emergency room. If injuries are severe, you may be transported by ambulance to a trauma center.
-> Not sure if your injury is sufficient to go down this path? Give us a call anyway, we’ll let you know with a free consultation if we think this is worth pursuing and how much compensation we think you might be entitled to. Many injured victims have been awarded millions for injuries they have sustained due to accidents.
Hiring a Slip and Fall Attorney:
Having worked for almost 10 years for an insurance company and for a defense firm, Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer Edith Pearce uses her expert knowledge from inside the industry to help you recover maximum compensation. Edith Pearce, the founder of The Pearce Law Firm, P.C., is a lifetime member of the multi-million dollar advocates forum and has been awarded the prestigious Super Lawyers® designation.
We will fight to recover your expenses, replace income and make sure that your losses, your suffering, and your injuries are adequately compensated. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case the firm handles from start to finish. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.
To protect your legal rights following a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, or anywhere in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, it is wise to consult a personal injury law firm with experience in these matters as soon as possible. Read more on 10 Ways to Prevent Accidents at Home.
Philadelphia Snow and Ice Slip and Fall Accidents
Philadelphia can suffer through some brutal winters and the weather can not only chill you to the bone it can threaten to break bones when you have to travel on icy sidewalks, slick steps, and across snow-covered parking lots. Snow and ice can cause serious injuries when someone falls. In Philadelphia, the average low is near or below freezing from November through March. This means a lot of slick surfaces, and with those come falls and injuries.
These surfaces get slick in a few different ways. Snow falls and ice forms on parking lot surfaces, sidewalks and other walkways making these areas a hazard for the public. The hazard doesn’t end outside the stores and other buildings as people carry the snow and ice inside the store making the inside floor a hazard as well.
You can land flat on your back and be temporarily unable to move from such a powerful impact with the ground. These falls can take your breath away at times.
If you were hurt by a fall on ice or snow on someone’s property outside a home, a business, store, or restaurant, you may be able to get help with the cost of your recovery. If those property owners could have done something to prevent your accident, they may have to take responsibility for every medical cost and every day you have to spend away from work. Please contact us with your questions and discuss your case free of charge with Philadelphia’s slip-and-fall attorneys at The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers P.C.
Philadelphia Icy Sidewalk Accident Liability
No one could keep up with all the ice and snow mother nature dumps on Pennsylvania each year. Property owners may not be expected to keep parking lots and sidewalks completely dry and clear of treacherous ice and snow, but they are required to do a reasonable job of reducing the risk factor for any traveler on foot.
A claim of negligence is most often applied when an owner lets snow and ice build-up to unreasonable levels. Doing nothing to a covered surface after several days of snow may make owners and proprietors liable for an accident. When the snow begins to pile up or ice reaches several inches in depth, victims can sometimes prove that not enough was done to hold the hazard in check and prevent a dangerous fall.
Another instance in which property owners can be held liable for slip-and-fall accidents is in the case of icy spots. A sidewalk or parking lot may appear clear, but icy patches can develop and people on foot can be unable to spot or anticipate a frozen threat to their footing. An icy puddle may even be a known problem from a water leak or a spot where water tends to drain. These spots provide a unique threat and store owners can be held liable for them.
If you can prove that property owners knew about the potential for the excessive build-up or should have known, you may have a solid case that’s worth filing a civil lawsuit over.
Compensation for Victims of Slip-and-Falls on Ice In Philadelphia
A claim for damages can be filed by victims who face expensive hospital bills and may also be missing work over an injury. You may have been as careful as possible, but the conditions that an owner or proprietor ignored left you on the ground facing the high cost of medical care.
The damage to your body may have been devastating and taken the form of brain trauma that can rob you of recent memories and muscle control. You may face a debilitating broken hip or fractured knee. You may have also injured your arms as you tried to catch your fall.
A claim for damages can make sure the at-fault party’s insurance can’t just offer you the bare minimum in compensation and then turn their backs on your physical and emotional suffering.
Your civil lawsuit would seek to earn a settlement from the insurance firm. If no settlement can be agreed upon you and your attorney would take them to court.
If your case is successful, you can expect to get compensation for these factors and more:
- Medical bills: Reimbursement for the bills you’ve already gotten and money for any expected treatment necessary in the future.
- Loss of income: The paychecks you’ve missed out on while you’ve been recovering.
- Permanent disability or disfigurement: A surplus of money may be needed for physical therapy and medical equipment. Compensation for career training if you are left with mobility issues that keep you from returning to your previous career.
- Mental anguish: Depression and anxiety can understandably plague victims who are faced with a difficult road to recovery. Losing your mobility and quality of life can prove the biggest challenge.
- Travel costs: The expense of doctor visits, even visits with out-of-state specialists can factor into compensation.
Public Areas in Philadelphia Affected by Snow and Ice
The most obvious places of concern are retail stores and other businesses people need to access on a daily basis. Others include:
- Post Office
- Gas Stations
- Subway Stations
- Train Stations
- Tourist Areas
- Government Buildings/Offices
These are just a few of the many places affected by cold weather conditions. When someone does fall in one of these places, who’s to blame?
Common Types of Injuries in a Snow and Ice Slip and Fall:
There are many ways a person can get hurt on a snow and ice. Most happened by simply slipping on a slick surface, but an injury could also come from tripping over a large chunk of shoveled snow that wasn’t removed from the walkway, for example.
These falls can be dangerous and cause serious injuries. Some of the most common in a snow and ice slip and fall are:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Facial Bone Crush
- Bone Fractures
- Fractured wrists
- Broken Arms
- Shoulder/Hip Injury
- Ankle Fracture/Sprain
Who’s Responsible for Snow and Ice?
On one hand it would seem unfair to pin the blame on the owner of the property, however, Pennsylvania law gives any owner of property that is open to the public a duty to keep walkways, sidewalks and store entryways safe.
This duty is balanced with the normal risk a person takes going out in the snow and cold to begin with. The law will require a store owner to take reasonable steps to clear their entranceway from the effects of the show and ice. For example, they can put rock salt down after shoveling away the snow before they open up and then put mats on the entranceway to collect the snow and ice as it melts and falls to the floor.
Defense to Slip and Fall Claim
Pennsylvania law will also allow a property owner to take reasonable steps to protect people from the hazard of winter weather, and if they did what was reasonable—which is judged by what other reasonable shop owners would do under similar circumstances—the owner likely isn’t liable.
Contact a Philadelphia Slip and Fall On Ice Injury Lawyer Today
Making a successful snow and ice slip and fall can be difficult. Many people wonder if they need an attorney to make a claim. The truth is, you are going up against an insurance company both of whom have experience in handling these cases. They know the how hard it is to make the claim, and they know the weaknesses in a case and the defenses the law allows.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, you need to talk to someone who has experience in making successful claims. You need a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney. Someone who is going to be on your side and can make the system work for you. The insurance companies and store owners go through these claims all the time, and they are experienced at finding ways to pay you little or nothing.
At The Pearce Law Firm Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers P.C., we’ve handled many slip and fall cases. Insurance companies routinely deal with these cases, but it’s possible that this is your first—and hopefully only—one. They know how to pay you as little as possible or none at all and will often try to blame you for your injuries.
Contact us today for a free consultation and case evaluation after any type of accident which resulted in a serious injury.
Here are examples of Walmart slip and fall settlements in PA.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do you have to file a slip and fall claim?
Under Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations—which is the deadline for filing a lawsuit—is two years as of January 2020. The law can be found in 42 Pa. C.S. § 5524(2). If you are injured in a slip (or trip) and fall on someone’s property, you have two years from the date you were injured.
Do most slip and fall cases require a court trial?
Every personal injury case has the potential to either settle or go to trial, but the vast majority of cases get settled. However, slip and fall cases are tougher to prove, so many property owners are at first reluctant to settle. An experienced attorney knows how to make a solid slip and fall case, and this will usually get the owner to settle out of court. Click here to read about slip and fall lawsuit settlements in Pennsylvania.
If I’m out of work because of a fall at a grocery store, will they pay my wages?
Whether it was a grocery store slip and fall or occurred somewhere else, Pennsylvania law requires anyone who negligently causes another person’s injury to pay for all costs related to the injury and lost wages is one of them. Once the victim proves that the owner caused or knew of a dangerous hazard and didn’t fix it, then they are responsible for all damages included past and future wages lost.
Check out what Kurt had to say about us on Google:
“I was involved in a serious slip and fall accident. Edith recommended we take it to mediation, which was much quicker than going to trial. She is a super tough negotiator and smart. I was very satisfied with my settlement.”
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Common Slip And Fall Dangers Around Philadelphia
Cases involving hazards left around businesses and other public places all deal with the legal concept of premises liability. Proprietors owe anyone they invite onto their retail or public property a visit reasonably free from dangers including slip and fall and trip and fall hazards.
These obstacles can be present almost anywhere across Philadelphia including our gas stations, auto repair shops, pharmacies, apartment complexes, theme parks, and bowling alleys. Any place a business owner whats customers or clients to enter.
The dangers don’t have to be inside either. The hazards extend out to the parking lots as well. Here are just a few of the many problem areas that could result in a painful injury for a customer:
- Spills — A common issue that causes accidents every day. Drinks, broken jars, ice cream, and cleaning solutions can all create wet floors and send someone to the ground. Bathrooms can be especially slippery places.
- Floor Hazards – Merchandise on the floor can send someone tripping. A folded-up floor mat, uneven surfaces, broken tiles, frayed carpet can all remain out of sight until someone’s foot gets caught.
- Stairways can be tricky to navigate and may not have proper handrails.
- Weather Hazards – When it rains or snows store operators are required to clear a safe path to their businesses and keep it free of ice.
- Parking Lot Hazards — Cracked pavement, unsafe steps, cars that leak motor oil can all create opportunities for a slip or a trip.
- Landscaping Hazards – Equipment can be left out for someone to fall over. Natural barriers, low bushes, landscaping timbers, and mulch can provide a dangerous trip and fall obstacle.
- Grocery Stores – Slips and fall accidents at grocery stores are common in Philadephia at places like Walmart, Giant Foods, Sam’s Club, Costco, and ShopRite
- Gas Stations – Slip and falls also occur often in and around gas stations like Shell, Sunoco, BP, and Gulf
More Slip & Fall FAQs
Is my claim covered by insurance?
If the property owner has a homeowners or commercial liability policy, generally your slip and fall accident will be covered by insurance. Also, if your injury was determined to occur within the course and scope of your employment (while you were doing something for your employer), workers’ compensation insurance may apply. Insurance claims lawyers can provide numerous benefits for individuals who have been injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others.
Does it matter where the accident occurred?
Under Pennsylvania and New Jersey law, there may be a different standard of care required of a property owner, depending on how the injured victim is classified. If the injured victim was on the business premises to potentially buy something or receive services, the victim may be considered a “business visitor.” If you were “business visitors” the duty of the owner would be to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a safe condition. The standard of care required to a business visitor, may differ from that of a “social guest” or “trespasser.” Determining which category describes your status on the property, often depends upon specific facts unique to each case and also requires an experienced slip and fall lawyer like Edith Pearce to persuade the insurance company or jury of your status.
What to Do After a Slip And Fall Accident in Philadelphia
If you enter a Wawa gas station or an ACME Supermarket and get injured it’s important to keep in mind that these are big companies. They will have a team of lawyers and insurance agents all good at blaming you for your accident and denying compensation for your pain and suffering.
To have the best chance of building a strong case you’ll need to start collecting evidence right after an incident if you’re able.
Here are a few actions to take and details to gather at the slip and fall scene:
- Safety first – If you need medical attention call 911. Don’t try to get up if you feel you can’t.
- Don’t say you are alright – Saying things like, “I’m OK “ or “It’s my fault,” can weaken your case later. You might be in shock and not experience pain or notice injuries until days after a fall.
- Take photos – Use your cell phone to document the hazard that caused your fall. The spill or hazard may quickly disappear once store employees clean it up or repair it. Take a picture of any visible injuries.
- Alert the manager or owner – Make sure company representatives or employees knows what happened but don’t offer any other statements about fault or the seriousness of your injuries to anyone with the company.
- Talk to witnesses – Get the contact information for anyone around at the time of your fall including employees. They may not have witnessed the fall but they may have seen the obstacle that caused it.
- See your doctor – Make an appointment with your own physician. Get injuries documented and pay special attention to pain that arises in the days and weeks after a fall.
- Contact an Attorney – If you are seriously injured you’ll need to consider the cost of your medical care now and any care that may be necessary in the months and years to come. You should not be stuck with those bills. An experienced attorney like Edith Pearce with The Pearce Law Firm can help make sure insurance companies don’t try to pin the blame on you. You shouldn’t have to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Many injured victims have been awarded millions for injuries they have sustained due to accidents.
Compensation for Slip and Fall Injuries
Damages that a Philadelphia slip-and-fall accident victim and the victim’s family are entitled to recover may include hospital and medical expenses. Past and future lost earnings from hours missed at the victim’s job can be fully compensated. Emotional distress, such as depression and anxiety, caused by the effects of the injury can be also be considered in any award. Physical pain and suffering and/or loss of enjoyment of life can also be factors.
What if I feel I was partly at fault for my accident?
Even if you were partially at fault for your slip and fall accident, or feel you might have been, you can still file for a personal injury claim.
Property owners will usually try to blame victims for their own falls or claim slip and fall fraud. They will say victims weren’t paying attention at the time. This may be true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t file a claim for damages and collect compensation.
Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state meaning that you can share blame with the property owner. As long as you aren’t found to be more than 50% to blame for your fall, you can get reimbursed for your hardships. Your percentage of the blame would just be subtracted from a final award.
How long do you have to file a slip and fall claim?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations—which is the deadline for filing a lawsuit—is two years. The law can be found in 42 Pa. C.S. § 5524(2). Waiting for months or years to file a claim may not be the best way to handle your case. The sooner you file a case the easier time you and your attorney will have obtaining evidence. If you wait a long time to file witnesses can move and be hard to locate and store employees can move on to other jobs.
Do most slip and fall cases require a court trial?
Every personal injury case has the potential to either settle or go to trial, but the vast majority of cases get settled.
However, slip and fall cases are tougher to prove, so many property owners are at first reluctant to settle. An experienced attorney knows how to build a solid slip and fall case to convince the owner to settle out of court.
Contact a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident and require further information from a Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyer, please contact The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. online or call (215) 392-2648 for a free consultation and case evaluation. Having worked for almost 10 years for an insurance company and for a defense firm, Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer Edith Pearce uses her expert knowledge from inside the industry to help you recover maximum compensation. Edith Pearce is the founder of The Pearce Law Firm, Personal Injury and Accident Lawyers P.C. She is a lifetime member of the multi-million dollar advocates forum and has been awarded the prestigious Super Lawyers® designation.
We will fight to recover your expenses, replace income, and make sure that your losses, your suffering, and your injuries are adequately compensated. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case the firm handles from start to finish. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.
To protect your legal rights following a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia or anywhere in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, please contact a personal injury law firm with experience in these matters as soon as possible.