What Qualifies as a Dangerous Condition of Property?

April 30, 2019

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 be excessive in order for it to be deemed unreasonable.  After all, property owners and possessors are not absolute guarantors of safety.

Determining whether a condition of property is “dangerous” is a fact-dependent analysis.  For example, a hole in the yard may not qualify as a dangerous condition of property if it is located far away from walking paths and is clearly visible from a distance.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC

Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our attorneys boast decades of experience serving plaintiffs in Pennsylvania who have suffered serious harm in a variety of personal injury scenarios, including slip and fall accidents.

We have successfully litigated numerous cases to verdict (and negotiated favorable settlements for clients before litigation), and as such, are comfortable handling disputes in situations where opposing counsel has taken an aggressive or hostile posture, or where opposing counsel is willing to compromise.

Unlike many competing firms, we are committed to client-focused service, and work closely with our clients at every stage of litigation so that we have the information we need to provide truly personalized legal representation.  When opportunities arise in litigation, we are therefore well-positioned to take decisive action.

Are you ready to have your claims evaluated and potentially move forward with the litigation process?  Call us at 610-433-3910 or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Allentown slip and fall lawyer at our firm.