Slip & Fall

A slip and fall case arises when someone slips and falls on someone else’s property and is injured. Each year in the U.S., over one million emergency room visits are attributed to slip and fall accidents, according to the National Floor Safety Institute.

Common Causes and Injuries

People over the age of 65 are the most likely to be injured in a slip and fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year in the United States, one in three people over the age of 65 will experience a fall. However, a slip and fall accident can happen to anyone. Some common causes of slip and fall accidents are:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Changes in floor level
  • Worn or torn carpets
  • Cracks or holes in the floor
  • Exposed cables or otherwise obstructed walkways
  • Poor lighting
  • Low ceilings
  • Improperly maintained stairs
  • Snow or ice on the sidewalk

When someone slips and falls due to these temporary or permanent conditions, they may suffer serious injuries, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Knee and hip injuries
  • Shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries
  • Concussions and other head trauma
  • Fatal injuries

Slip and Fall Accidents and Premises Liability

Premises liability is the underlying legal concept for slip and fall cases. Under premises liability law, commercial and residential property owners have a duty to ensure that their property is not in a dangerous condition that presents an unreasonable risk to people on the property. If the property owner’s negligence led to the fall victim’s injuries, the property owner may be liable for the accident that took place on his or her premises. To prove negligence in a slip and fall case, the injured party must be able to prove at least one of the following is true:

  • The property owner created the dangerous condition
  • The property owner knew of the dangerous condition and did not remedy it
  • The condition existed for such a time that the property owner should have discovered and remedied the hazard because a reasonable person in his or her position would have done so

Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Rule

Comparative negligence is a rule of law that some states, including Pennsylvania, apply to accident cases. It is applied in order to attribute fault to all parties who were partially to blame for the accident, including the victim. Pennsylvania courts may decide whether the plaintiff was partly to blame for the accident and reduce compensation accordingly.

To be eligible for compensation, the plaintiff’s negligence must not have been greater than the negligence of the defendants. Plaintiffs who are determined to be less than 50 percent responsible may still be able to recover damages but their percentage of fault will be deducted from the total amount of compensation to be awarded. If a victim is determined by the court to be more than 50 percent at fault, their recovery for their injuries will be barred completely.

Pennysylvania property owners will attempt to attribute as much blame as possible to the victim in order to avoid or mitigate liability. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help plaintiffs determine the cause of their slip and fall accident and fight to obtain maximum compensation for their injuries.

Types of Compensation Available to Slip and Fall Victims

Pennsylvania slip and fall victims may be able to receive compensation to cover costs associated with their injuries. Compensation may be available for:

  • All injury-related medical expenses, including future expenses
  • Pain and suffering, depending on the severity of the injury
  • Lost wages, if you missed work due to the injury
  • Loss of earning capacity, if the injury is so severe that it renders you incapable of performing the type of work you performed before the accident
  • Incidental expenses incurred because of the injury, such as gas expenses to travel to and from doctor’s appointments