Resources

Category: Slip and Fall

Aug 9, 2019 - Slip and Fall

Assumption of Risk in Pennsylvania

Assumption of risk is a common defense utilized by defendants in the slip and fall injury context, and in many other personal injury disputes.  Essentially, the defendant is arguing that the plaintiff cannot hold them liable due to having knowingly and willfully accepted the risk of harm associated with an activity. Let’s take a closer look. Understanding the General Principles In Pennsylvania, a case can be dismissed entirely if the court finds that the plaintiff assumed the risk of injury.  Whether the plaintiff assumed the risk is ultimately a question of whether the plaintiff knew about the risk (and chose to accept that risk). Without evidence of actual knowledge, the court may evaluate the obviousness of the dangerous condition or activity involved.  In doing so, the court will compare your actions to that of a reasonable person who is similarly situated to you.  For example, if you choose to jump off a cliff into murky water below, then that is a fundamentally dangerous situation (you don’t know if your trajectory will put you far enough away from the cliff, and there may be rocks hidden in the water) — it’s fair to say that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would not jump off the cliff.  Thus, the court would find that the dangerous condition was obvious and that you willfully assumed the risk of injury by jumping. Assumption of Risk as it Pertains to Slip and Fall Cases Slip and fall cases frequently involve a specific expression of […]

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Feb 28, 2019 - Slip and Fall

Slip and Falls: Understanding the Non-Obviousness Requirement

Bethlehem Slip and Fall Lawyers If you’ve slipped, tripped, or otherwise lost your balance on another’s property due to the existence of a dangerous condition of property (in other words, a “hazard”), then Pennsylvania law may entitle you to compensation for your injuries. Though your prospective lawsuit may seem rather simple in the initial stages, there are a number of ways in which the defendant may attempt to avoid or minimize liability.  Quite commonly, defendants in slip and fall cases argue that the injured plaintiff is precluded from recovery because the dangerous condition of property — the hazard — was known or obvious to the plaintiff. This defense can pose a real challenge when it comes to securing compensation, so let’s examine it in brief to understand how it works.  By learning about the basics, you’ll get a sense for how an attorney can overcome the defense. Existence of a Known or Obvious Hazard is a Complete Defense to Liability Slip and fall liability is a subcategory of premises liability — stated simply, the defendant property owner (or possessor) can be held liable for failing to exercise due care, and thereby exposing others to an unreasonable risk of harm.  For example, if you’re eating at a restaurant, and you slip and fall on the way to the bathroom due to a large spill on the floor, then you could potentially sue and recover damages.  The defendant’s failure to inspect the floors and clean the spill would likely constitute negligence. It’s […]

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Dec 14, 2018 - Slip and Fall

Frequency of Floor Inspections and Slip and Fall Lawsuits

Contact an Easton Slip and Fall Attorney Today For Assistance Though slip-and-fall accidents are commonplace — in Pennsylvania and elsewhere — many injured plaintiffs are unaware of how such lawsuits work, or the particular challenges that they are likely to face as they move forward with litigation. In the slip-and-fall context, the frequency with which the defendant conducted floor inspections may have a significant impact on whether you can successfully prove that they are liable for your injuries. Let’s take a closer look. Slip and Fall Basics Slip-and-fall accidents come under the umbrella of premises liability claims.  In the state of Pennsylvania, liability will attach to those who exercise control or possession over a given property if the plaintiff is injured due to a dangerous condition of property (i.e., a slip-and-fall hazard).  For example, if the plaintiff slips on a water spill at a retail store, then that would qualify as a hazard that could expose the defendant (the store owner) to potential civil liability and damages. Now, as a plaintiff, your slip-and-fall claim may be met with various defenses.  Depending on the circumstances, the defendant is likely to argue that they did not know about the dangerous condition of property (i.e., the slip-and-fall hazard) that caused you to be injured.  Knowledge is a critical consideration in the slip-and-fall context.  If the defendant did not have knowledge of the hazard, then they can avoid liability. Importantly, however, the defendant’s ignorance is not a complete defense.  If you can show that […]

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Aug 31, 2018 - Personal Injury

You May Be Entitled to Damages for Slipping on Ice

In Pennsylvania, snow and ice accumulation is a fact of life and the time to pull out the snow boots and shovels is quickly approaching.  Nearly every season, residents and visitors are likely to encounter the dangers of such conditions, and some may slip-and-fall and injure themselves — perhaps even severely — and depending on the circumstances, the slip-and-fall injury could give rise to a significant, actionable claim for damages under Pennsylvania law. Let’s take a brief look at the basic rule (the “Hills and Ridges” rule) that applies to such disputes. Application of the Hills and Ridges Rule Unlike the courts in warmer weather states, Pennsylvania courts have had to modify the rules of premises liability somewhat to account for the universal injury threat posed by snow and ice conditions during winter months.  Simply put, it would not be reasonable for property owners to be held liable for injuries caused by natural snow and ice conditions in most cases, as the imposition of liability would force property owners to invest enormous amounts of money and effort into spotlessly maintaining their properties throughout the season. The Hills and Ridges rule implemented by Pennsylvania courts attempts to carve out a reasonable “slice” of liability that allows injured claimants to obtain compensation in cases where the defendant has clearly violated a duty to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors. Essentially, the Hills and Ridges rule allows injured plaintiffs to impose liability on the defendant property owner only if: […]

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