Summer is here, and that means lots of families are heading out on vacation. While some families do more planning than others, almost no one prepares for the possibility of their child suffering an injury while traveling away from home.
Category: Premises Liability
Who Is Most At Risk for a Slip and Fall?
Slips and falls are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBI), bone fractures, soft tissue damage and other physical injuries. While anyone can slip and fall, some individuals are at greater risk than others. Unfortunately, while knowing your (or a family member’s) level of risk can help you mitigate this risk in some cases, there are still many factors that will be beyond your control.
IS YOUR POOL SAFE? 5 Tips for Homeowners
The month of May is both National Water Safety Month and the typical start of pool season. In 2020, installing a swimming pool was a popular home addition, as many families opted for “stay-cations” during these COVID quarantine times. Unfortunately, drowning remains the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1 -4. Additionally, according to government statistics, there were on average an estimated 6,700 pool or spa-related ER visits for non-fatal injuries from 2015- 2017 for children younger than 15. Listed below are five tips to keep your pool safe.
Common Defenses in Slip and Fall Lawsuits
In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, slip and fall injury claims come under the umbrella of premises liability, which gives those who sustain injuries on another’s property the opportunity to sue and recover damages if their injury was caused by the defendant’s failure to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Suppose, for example, that you are walking through the defendant’s store, and a defective tile suddenly breaks loose, causing you to slip and fall, injuring yourself. Given these circumstances, you would very likely be entitled to bring an action against the defendant for damages. Though you may feel that you have a strong claim, it’s important not to underestimate the defendant in a slip and fall lawsuit. Pennsylvania law affords slip and fall defendants a number of strategic defenses that can be used to avoid or minimize their liability. In order to successfully recover damages, you’ll therefore have to understand how to circumvent or otherwise undermine these defenses. For clarity, let’s explore three of the most commonly encountered defenses in Pennsylvania slip and fall injury lawsuits. Open and Obvious Condition All premises liability claims — including slip and fall injury claims — require that the dangerous condition at issue is non-obvious. In other words, if the dangerous slip and fall condition would be hidden and unobservable by the average person (in similar circumstances to the plaintiff), then liability may attach. If the defendant can show that you were aware of the dangerous condition, or that it was sufficiently obvious that […]
Slip and Fall Lawyer in Allentown, PA If you have sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident, then you may be entitled to compensation under Pennsylvania law (through litigation against the at-fault property owner or possessor). Though slip and fall accidents come under the larger umbrella of personal injury litigation, they involve unique elements and challenges that are worth consideration, particularly as you begin the claims evaluation process. Let’s take a closer look. Slip and Fall Basics In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, slip and fall liability is imposed when a property owner or possessor creates a dangerous condition (i.e., a hazard), or negligently fails to correct a known dangerous condition, and thereby exposes the premises entrant to an unreasonable risk of harm. It’s worth noting that the defendant is not always liable for damages caused by a dangerous condition — if the owner did not know about the existence of the dangerous condition, and could not reasonably have known about it, then they cannot be held liable for damages. Further, if the premises entrant (the injured plaintiff) knew about the dangerous condition, or if the condition was obvious, then they are not entitled to compensation for their injuries. Critically, success in a slip and fall lawsuit often turns on whether the condition at issue was actually “dangerous.” Understanding “Dangerous” Conditions A dangerous condition of the property — in other words, a hazard — is that which exposes others to an unreasonable risk of harm given the circumstances. The risk must […]
If you have been injured in a trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall accident in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to damages pursuant to a premises liability claim. Premises liability claims are not as straightforward as they might initially appear, however. Even in cases where the court may agree that there was a hazard on the property, and that the defendant had a duty to correct the hazard, there may be issues involving “timeliness” that could influence liability (and thus, your recovery). Let’s begin with some of the basics. Basic Elements of Premises Liability In Pennsylvania, and throughout the country, those who possess property have a duty to ensure that the property is maintained in a reasonably safe condition. This requires that: The defendant (possessor of property) know about hazards on the property; and The defendant failed to repair the hazard, or warn visitors about its existence (i.e., through signs or other warnings). In many premises liability cases, the issue of what constitutes a “hazard” lies at the heart of litigation. Generally speaking, anything which exposes visitors to an unreasonable risk of harm will be considered a hazard. It’s also worth noting that not all hazards will be known to the defendant. Lack of knowledge does not shield the defendant from liability, however. If the defendant “should have known” about the existence of the hazard at-issue, then they could still be found liable for failing to correct the hazard (or warn others about it). Timeliness Timeliness is a challenging concept in premises liability, […]
Understanding Slip and Fall Liability
In Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, those who possess or otherwise control a given property can be held liable for their failure to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the premises in a safe condition for those entering upon such premises. Premises liability governs a category of claims that include a range of accident scenarios, such as slip-and-fall, and attaches liability to those who are negligent in their maintenance of property, thus exposing entrants to a significant and unreasonable risk of injury. Unfortunately, many injured persons are not aware of their right to recover — under Pennsylvania law — with regard to slip-and-fall accidents. For the sake of clarity, let’s explore the basics of premises liability in Pennsylvania, first. Premises Liability Basics Pennsylvania law imposes substantially different duties on the possessor of land depending on the “type” of visitor that is injured on the premises at-issue. For example, a trespasser is owed the lowest standard of care under the law, where the possessor of land will only be held liable for injuries if he has engaged in willful or wanton misconduct. By contrast, a standard business invitee — a customer at a retail store, for example — is owed the highest standard of care under the law. Given the enormous range of premises liability law, there are unsurprisingly diverse consequences. Generally speaking, however, most injury claimants will fall under the category of licensee or invitee. Both licensees and invitees have the consent of the possessor of land to enter and remain upon the […]
Snow, Ice and Customer Safety
Slips and falls can lead to serious and sometimes permanent injuries and even death. Contact us online or call Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC at 888-777-7098 if you have been hurt in a slip and fall. We have the experience to help you get a medical evaluation you can trust and identify the party responsible for your injuries. We will work with you through the entire legal process. Slip and Fall Facts The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) has complied the following facts about slips and falls: Slip and falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits and slip and falls are the leading cause of visits (21.3% of all visits are attributed to slip and falls). Fractures are the most likely serious consequence of slip and falls (they occur in 5% of all people who experience a fall). Such falls are the primary cause of days not worked. Each year in the United States, one of every three persons over the age of 65 will experience a fall (1.8 million people over the age of 65 were treated annually in an emergency room because of a fall). The cost of all these falls is staggering. The NFSI reports that compensation and medical costs associated with slip and fall accidents is approximately $70 billion annually. These costs include medical expenses, lost wages and reduced productivity. If you have been injured in a slip and fall while visiting a business, contact us so we can help you get the […]
On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted inPremises Liability on Friday, May 13, 2016. If the sidewalk outside of someone’s home is cracked and in poor repair, it may be slightly annoying. However, it may not be something he or she is really interested in fixing. The repair job may be too expensive, the person may be planning on moving — and therefore hesitant to make long-term repairs — or he or she may just not feel like putting in the time and effort. The homeowner may believe that it’s up to the city to make the repairs. The thing that people need to remember, though, is that repairing the sidewalk may subject them to liability if someone is injured on it If maintenance is not done, those who are injured may be able to seek compensation through a premises liability case. There is significant precedent for this in Pennsylvania. Back in 1998, a woman was walking along a cracked sidewalk when she tripped and fell. She hurt her shoulder and her wrist, and four of her teeth were knocked out. Considering these substantial injuries and the monetary costs that went along with them, she decided to sue the people who owned the adjacent house. The case was finally decided in 2004, and she won. The court ruled that the three family members who owned the house were primarily liable. If you’ve been injured because someone else did not take proper care of their property […]
On behalf of Peter Hileman of Drake, Hileman & Davis, P.C. posted in Premises Liability on Thursday, March 17, 2016. When an accident happens, to determine whether or not there is a premises liability case for those who are injured, it’s important to break things down and look at the root causes of the accident. Only by doing this can fault be determined in specific situations. A popular example of this is the tragedy that happened at the Kansas City Hyatt-Regency Hotel back in the 1980s. There was a dance contest at the hotel, people grouped up to watch it from pedestrian walkways, and the walkway on the fourth floor collapsed. It then hit the one below it and they both fell all the way to the ground floor. Over 200 people were injured and 114 perished. When looking for the root cause, what was found was that a longitudinal weld did not have the strength needed to support the walkway. That weld gave out as people stood on the walkway in groups, giving it more weight than usual, when people just walked across it. When the weld failed, a support rod from the walkway then tore through the box beam. That’s what made the walkway collapse, and the second one was destroyed by the impact with the first. Root causes can go even further when establishing fault. There were clearly design issues with the walkways, and it was later discovered that project management errors made it so that these issues […]