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Category: Slip and Fall
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.
Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accidents
Pennsylvania residents know all too well how walkways such as sidewalks become exponentially more dangerous during the winter months, with snow, freezing, gusty winds, ice, sleet, and other winter weather conditions becoming commonplace.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “[f]ibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals.” The clinic goes on to state that “[s]ymptoms often begin after an event, such as physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress.” This includes, of course, slip and fall accidents or other types of accidents, such as animal attacks, motor vehicle accidents, and work accidents.
Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania, like all states, is typically referred to as a worker’s sole or exclusive remedy for workplace injuries, including slip and falls. However, workers’ comp claims do not allow for the recovery of many types of damages available in a slip and fall lawsuit.
Airport Slip and Falls
Let an Allentown Slip and Fall Lawyer Fight For Your Rights In a typical Pennsylvania slip and fall accident at a public place such as an airport, the injured victim; i.e., the plaintiff, needs to prove the following: The airport had a duty to protect the injured victim from unreasonably dangerous conditions; The airport breached that duty; That breach of duty caused the slip and fall accident to occur; and The slip and fall accident caused the victim to sustain injuries and damages. The most difficult element to prove will be #2: How did the airport breach its duty to protect the injured victim from unreasonably dangerous conditions?
Inadequate Lighting and Slip and Fall Lawsuits
Hire an Experienced Allentown Slip and Fall Lawyer If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident due to inadequate lighting issues — perhaps at a retail store, or at an office — then Pennsylvania law may entitle you to sue and recover significant damages. Let’s take a closer look at some of the issues typical of a slip and fall dispute, and more specifically when the dangerous condition involves inadequate lighting. Basics of a Slip and Fall Case Slip and fall cases fall under the umbrella of “premises liability” disputes. In the premises liability and slip and fall context, an individual is entitled to sue and recover damages if they injure themselves on another’s property due to the existence of a dangerous condition. Dangerous conditions can include liquid spills and other hazards, such as poor and inadequate lighting. For example, if you are walking on a tile surface, and there’s an obvious spill, but you don’t notice it due to dim lighting conditions, then you would be entitled to bring an action against the defendant if you suffer a slip and fall injury as a result. Evaluating the Surrounding Circumstances Establishing the liability of the property owner isn’t always straightforward, especially in a case where you are attempting to show that inadequate lighting was a dangerous condition. You’ll not only have to show that the lighting was sufficiently poor to pose an unreasonable risk of injury, but you’ll also have to show that the defendant knew or should […]
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 […]
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 the 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 […]
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 the property (in other words, a “hazard”), then Pennsylvania law may entitle you to compensation for your injuries. Though your perspective 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 the 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 of 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 […]