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What To Do After A Slip And Fall Incident

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Nobody expects to become the victim of a slip and fall accident, especially one causing serious injury. These incidents can and do happen, and may have serious health consequences. Over 8 million Americans are hospitalized due to injuries from falls each year, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. Fractures are usually the most severe consequence of a slip and fall, and can range from relatively minor wrist fractures to severe head injuries. The statistics rise among senior citizens, with 1 in 3 people over age 65 experiencing a fall each year.

Most fall injuries happen from ground level, and many of those occur due to someone else’s negligence. Some of slip and fall incidents leading to legal liability can include:

  • Wet or icy sidewalks
  • Uneven flooring
  • Unrepaired holes or divots in flooring
  • Spills in grocery stores and other businesses
  • Broken or uneven stairs
  • Loose carpeting
  • Unattended debris on the ground

If any of these causes were due to a dangerous or defective condition that the property owner knew or should have known about, they may be required to compensate the victim for their injuries.

What a Plaintiff Must Show in a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Negligence Case

  1. First, a Plaintiff must show that the Defendant had a duty to provide a safe walking surface free of danger. This means demonstrating the victim was an “invitee” of a business, or was using a walkway open to the public. Trespassing or accessing a closed area – or an area with warnings clearly posted – potentially negates this first element.
  1. Second, a Plaintiff must show that the Defendant breached this duty of care to visitors by neglecting an important safety feature. This typically means that the property owner knew about a dangerous condition and failed to correct it, or they should have known about the situation and took no preventative action.
  1. Third, the Plaintiff must show that the Defendant’s action or inaction caused the injury in question. This can get tricky in situations where there were no witnesses involved or camera footage of the incident. Defendants and their attorneys will fight hard to disprove any connection between the alleged negligence and the injury suffered by the Plaintiff. Even if they shared some responsibility, they may be legally entitled to shift blame to the Plaintiff. Pennsylvania follows the doctrine of “comparative negligence” in slip and fall cases, meaning that if the Plaintiff was more than 50% responsible for the incident, they may collect nothing in court. For these reasons, it is critical for slip and fall victims to start building their potential claim as soon as possible after an incident.

What to Document After a Slip and Fall Incident

Whether or not you think you might have a legal claim, it can be crucial to document the incident as well as possible, as soon as possible. Taking photos of the area, speaking to witnesses and getting their contact information when possible, and seeking immediate medical attention are important not just for your own care but for holding wrongdoers responsible later.

Additionally, a premises owner will usually act quickly to cover up any evidence of negligence quickly after somebody slips and falls. By the time you go back, the slick area, cracked pavement, or loose carpet might not be there.

When to Call our Attorneys at Green & Schafle

If you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury due to premises liability by some other person, you may be legally entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and your pain & suffering. The sooner you contact an experienced personal injury attorney, the better. Our Philadelphia slip and fall attorneys at Green & Schafle have represented many people in situations just like yours, fighting vigorously to help them get fair compensation.

Resource:

nfsi.org/nfsi-research/quick-facts/

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