One of the most common types of premise liability actions is the all too common slip and fall. Unfortunately, many times these accidents could have been prevented if only the landowner or homeowner had taken simple, reasonable corrective action. For example, if the sidewalk in front a house on a busy roadway is uneven or cracked, the risk that an individual would slip or trip on the defect and fall is significantly increased. Slip and fall accidents are not just limited to sidewalks, however. They can occur almost anywhere including:
- in retail stores
- on ramps
- in any highly trafficked area
- from a ladder
For more than 34 years, the experienced attorneys of Reiff & Bily have stood up for injured Pennsylvanians in Berks County and beyond by holding negligent parties responsible for the injuries they cause. Our attorneys explain each step of the legal process to you.
Senior Citizens Are Especially at Risk of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip, trip and fall accidents are extremely common accidents. The elderly are especially at risk of suffering a slip and fall. According to statistics compiled by the CDC, one-third of all seniors, age 65 or older, have a slip and fall accident each year. In 2010 approximately 2.3 million seniors were treated at the emergency room for falls with nearly 700,000 requiring admittance to the hospital. Falls are the chief reason for both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults. The CDC estimates that the medical treatment costs of all fall injuries for 2010 was $30 billion.
Slip and Falls Can Cause Catastrophic Injuries
The CDC has determined that falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States accounting for over 40% of all TBIs. Children and the elderly are the most likely to suffer a TBI due to a fall causing 55% of TBIs in children under age fourteen. For seniors, 81% of TBIs were due to slip, trip, or falling accidents. Because the brain quite literally makes up who we are, both the frequency of falls and the severity of the resultant injuries are extremely troubling. Unfortunately, injuries due to falls are not limited to TBIs. Other potentially serious bodily injuries include:
- severe bruising
- fractured bones
- broken bones
- torn tendons
- ruptured tendons
What Precautions Must Berks County Land Owners Take?
Pennsylvania law recognizes how common falling injuries are and also the severe injuries that can result. The duty of care that is owed to you depends upon what your relationship to the land or homeowner is. For invitees, or those invited onto the property for a specific reason for which the land is held open to the public, a landowner must conduct an inspection of the property and warn or protect invitees of the dangerous condition. Licensees, like a house guest, must be warned about or shielded from dangerous conditions that the property owner is aware of, but there is no affirmative duty for the property owner to seek out defect. Finally, for trespassers the lowest duty of care is owed. In fact, the landowner does not have a duty to warn the trespasser of dangerous conditions or protect the trespasser from them. However, the property holder must not intentionally or wantonly cause harm to the trespasser. There are exceptions to this rule including the attractive nuisance doctrine which extends protection to children attracted onto land by things like swimming pools or wells.
Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyers Provide Quality Representation
With more than 34 years of personal injury and premises liability experience, the attorneys of Reiff & Bily can assist you if you have been injured due to the negligence of another. For your free slip and fall consultation, call (215) 274-0072 or contact us online today.