What Are the Most Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall or Trip-and-Fall Accidents?
In addition to snow and ice, slip-and-falls, or trip-and-falls, is often the result of a failure to properly maintain, repair, or restore a property, including cracked or broken pavement or defects in the sidewalk or the curtilage around the property. If you’re in a store, wet or slippery floors, fallen items, broken flooring or shelving, and failure to place signage or warnings around dangerous conditions often cause accidents, often cause slip-and-falls.
What Are Examples Where a Store or a Property Owner Would Likely Not Be Held Liable in a Slip-and-Fall Case Because a Reasonable Person Should Have Avoided the Accident?
One of the doctrines that defendants, defense attorneys, and insurance companies often fall back on is what’s called “Open and Obvious.” If there is a condition that is dangerous and that condition is readily apparent as dangerous, meaning a plaintiff should have recognized it as dangerous or did recognize it as dangerous, but decided to encounter that anyways, that condition is open and obvious. In short, if it looks like it’s dangerous or like it will cause you to fall and you decide to walk across it anyway, it’s your fault when you do fall. You should have appreciated that the danger you observed was going to cause you to fall. This is often asserted by Defendant’s as a way to try and avoid responsibility. The Defense attorney and the insurance carrier will almost always to try blaming you for your fall, and they will never be as hard on themselves as they will be on you
Does an Accident Report Need to Have Been Filled Out at the Time of a Fall in a Public Space or Store in Order to Have a Valid Claim?
There’s no requirement that an accident report be filled out, though having one can be very helpful should you file a claim or lawsuit. It will help substantiate that your accident happened at the time you say it happened, how you say it happened, and at the place you say it happened. If an accident report isn’t filled out, it would give a defendant the opportunity to say maybe the accident didn’t happen at all or in the way the plaintiff says it did. The report can also help identify some evidence of what might have caused the fall. If there’s video, that should be noted in the report; if there were any witnesses, that also should be noted in the report. For those reasons, you want to make sure to get an incident report filled out right away because that’ll help you moving forward.
What Are the Immediate Steps You Would Have Someone Take After Being Injured in a Slip-and-Fall or Trip-and-Fall Incident If They Believe They Have a Claim to File?
First, it’s important to attend to any medical issues. If you’re seriously, hurt or you’re with somebody who is seriously hurt, call 911 and wait for the ambulance to transport to the hospital. When you get to the hospital, make sure you communicate to the medical personal exactly how you fell, what caused you to fall and what parts of your body are bothering you. If you’re able, note where the fall occurred and take pictures. If there’s anybody around who saw you fall, make sure you talk to that person and get their name and contact information (keep those details somewhere where you can access them later). Send notice to the property owner or the person responsible for the property as soon as you can so they can put their insurance carrier on notice and be aware that something happened. Contact and retain a lawyer soon as possible, so he/she can work on gathering important information.
How long Do I Have to File a Claim After a Slip-and-Fall or Trip-and-Fall Incident in Pennsylvania?
The general statute of limitations for a negligence case involving premises liability will be two years.
For more information on Slip-and-Fall Cases in Pennsylvania, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 795-5940 today.