It is an unfortunate fact of life: that accidents can and will occur. However, not every accident has to happen or is inevitable. Some accidents can be avoided by engaging in reasonable everyday precautions. For instance, following a snow storm, most people would agree that it is reasonable for a shopkeeper to clear away an icy puddle created by the drip from a leaky gutter. Furthermore, most people and the law of the state of Pennsylvania held that, in these circumstances, the store owner would be liable for the injuries and additional impacts suffered by the injury victim.
If you have fallen due to ice, debris, wet leaves, a lack of a handrailing, or other dangers then you may have a legal case against the owner or maintainer of the property. At Reiff & Bily we have protected the rights of those injured due to another’s negligence for more than 36 years. Regardless of how your slip and fall occurred, our experienced attorneys can guide you through the legal process each step of the way.
What Damages Can You Recover After a Slip and Fall in Pennsylvania?
The exact damages available in your matter can only be determined after a careful consideration of the facts, circumstances, and impacts of your injury. However, there are certain types of damages that are frequently available following these types of injuries. For one, the medical bills and medical costs incurred due to the injury are often compensable. This can include continuing treatment you may need to rehabilitate from your severe injuries. In addition, your injuries may force you to stop working. You may also be able to recover damages for lost wages or lost earning power. Finally, depending on your injury, you may also be able to recover for the pain and suffering you experienced.
What Precautions Are Required Under Pennsylvania Law?
Fortunately, Pennsylvania law recognizes just how dangerous a trip, slip, fall, or spill can be and requires property owners to take reasonable precautions or issue a warning regarding dangerous conditions. Therefore, property owners should be sure to make routine, thorough inspections of their property’s doorways, sidewalks, stairs, ramps, ladders, and other highly trafficked areas. The one exception to this general requirement, however, is for trespassers. In general, landowners do not owe a duty to warn or protect a trespasser from injury on their land but the landowner must not undertake intentionally or want to acts to injure the trespasser.
But, not all trespassers are created equally. Tolerated trespassers, trespassers the landowner is aware of, may trigger a duty of reasonable care as if the trespasser was invited. Likewise, when the trespasser is a child, Pennsylvania law requires the landowner to take certain steps. When trespass by a child unable to protect himself or herself is foreseeable and the landowner knows, or has reason to know, of a danger, the landowner must take corrective action if the burden of eliminating the harm is small when compared to the potential risk.
For instance, if a landowner were to have a pool in their yard an inherent danger of a swimming pool is drowning. Pools often attract children and teenagers who are generally unable to protect themselves from the hazard of drowning. Compared to the harm of catastrophic injury or death, the corrective steps of erecting a fence with a gate that locks is relatively slight.
Should I Take Whatever the Insurance Company Offers to Settle?
It can be tempting for accident victims to take the first settlement offered by the property owner or the property owner’s insurance company. However, insurers are not in the business of writing large checks. They are well aware that most people do not frequently engage in this process and have trouble estimating the true cost of their injury. They will frequently test the waters to see if the injury victim is amenable to a token settlement.
The problem with agreeing to an initial settlement offer is that the sum does not represent the true extent of damages you suffered. Due to this fact, the money is likely to be exhausted long before your recovery is complete and you are able to get back to work.
Attorneys Serving The Victims Of Slip And Fall Accidents In Pennsylvania
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common accident types. Statistics compiled by the National Safety Council report that over 9 million people visited the hospital as a result of a slip and falls. Unfortunately, even with as common as they are, slip and falls can result in catastrophic injuries and even death.
If you have suffered a serious slip and fall injury due to the carelessness or negligence of another person, the personal injury lawyers of Reiff & Bily may be able to fight for you. For more than 36 years, the personal injury attorneys at Reiff & Bily have handled slip and fall accidents. For your free and confidential personal injury consultation, please call (215) 274-0072 or contact us online.