Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
Slip and fall incidents account for roughly $34 billion in medical costs every year, and can cause some severe injuries as well. A person who slips and falls may suffer broken or fractured bones, and falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Slip and fall accidents are very common among elderly citizens. Every year, one out of every three people age 65 or older will fall. Older individuals are especially susceptible to falling injuries, as they are typically less resilient than younger people are.
Why Choose Our Slip & Fall Accident Attorney?
- We are the firm of choice for injured plaintiffs when they need aggressive lawyers to fight for their rights.
- We are unique in our sincere commitment to justice, serving the public and acquiring real results for clients.
- We can benefit your claim from trial experience in the area of personal injury law. We can take your case if we need to for better compensation.
- We take slip-and-fall accident cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will only pay attorney’s fees if your claim succeeds.
Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices Today
Our attorneys will protect your rights if you were involved in a slip and fall accident. We offer free consultations with no obligations, meaning we will meet with you and discuss your options to determine the type of case you have. We will be honest with you, and try to find different avenues to get the best compensation possible for you. You will only pay attorney fees if we win your case. You lose nothing by contact our firm and checking out your options. Call our Slip and Fall accident lawyers today for a free consult, or fill out a simple contact form and tell us about your case.
- How can you prove negligence in a slip and fall case?
- How much is my slip-and-fall claim worth?
- What factors affect your settlement?
- Speak to an attorney
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries
Most slip and fall injury cases result from negligence in some capacity. Often, a property owner failed to address safety issues on their premises and someone is hurt as a result. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall injuries include:
- Liquid spills or wet floors that were not properly or adequately marked,
- Poor lighting in stairwells,
- Obstructions along foot travel paths and cluttered walkways,
- Rugs, carpets, or other tripping hazards,
- Improper or untimely snow and ice removal,
- Medical conditions such as impaired vision, vitamin D deficiency, and muscular weakness,
- Improperly fitted medical devices, such as walkers or crutches, and
- Poorly maintained structures – weak stairs, loose handrails, and broken or uneven steps.
This is not an exhaustive list, but you can see how the negligent actions of other people may contribute to or directly cause a slip and fall accident. Anyone who has suffered any injury as the result of such an incident needs to be aware of their rights and should turn to experienced legal representation to fight for them.
Proving Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall cases typically revolve around the basics of personal injury law and premises liability. The victim, or plaintiff, will need to prove that the defendant caused the injuries through negligence. Proving negligence revolves around being able to establish three facts:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty to act with reasonable care. This means they take action and reasonable precautions so their actions and property do not pose a safety hazard to the public. An example would be to ensure that stairwells on their premises are properly maintained, well lit, and free of clutter.
- They breached this duty of care through some action, or in some cases, inaction. Following the previous example, if someone asks the property owner repeatedly to fix the lights in a stairwell to reduce the risk of falling and the owner did not take reasonable actions to address these concerns, the court may deem the owner negligent.
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the victim’s injuries. The victim must be able to prove that the injuries would not have happened if the defendant had not been negligent, and that the injuries were the direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty to act with reasonable care. If the property owner leaves stairwell lights in disrepair and the victim falls as a result, the property owner would be liable for their injuries.
Property owners are required to furnish lawful visitors or occupants of their property with a hazard-free environment and address any safety issues in a timely manner. If they fail to do so, their carelessness can result in injuries, and an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney will be able to ensure that the victims receive just compensation for their ordeals, and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions (or in some cases, inaction).
Compensation for Slip & Fall Accident Injuries
A frequently asked question we receive at Ciccarelli Law Offices is, “How much is my slip-and-fall claim worth?” The answer varies from client to client since many factors could change the potential value of a claim. We have helped clients settle their claims and fight for verdicts resulting in six- and seven-figure outcomes after fall accidents in Pennsylvania. More severe personal injuries tend to result in higher payouts, but each case is unique. The types of compensation awards available, however, remain the same in the state of Pennsylvania.
- Economic damages. The two classes of compensation under the umbrella of compensatory damages are economic and noneconomic. Economic damages refer to out-of-pocket costs such as property repairs, medical bills, lost wages, funeral/burial costs and legal fees. Each year in the United States, the medical costs for falls exceeds $50 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You could be eligible for significant compensation in medical bills alone for catastrophic injuries.
- Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages in a slip-and-fall accident refer to the intangible and general losses a victim suffered. These can include physical pain, chronic suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, the loss of a loved one’s company and conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. A noneconomic damage award could also account for the life-altering effects of a permanent disability, such as traumatic brain damage or paralysis, on both the victim and his or her family members.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not as common as compensatory damages as an award type in Pennsylvania, but they can arise in cases involving gross negligence, intentional torts or egregious wrongdoing on the defendant’s part. A judge may issue punitive damages to provide better compensation to a seriously hurt victim and/or to punish a defendant for serious misconduct. Punitive damages also set a precedent in Philadelphia for how the courts will deal with negligent property owners. Pennsylvania does not cap punitive damage awards except in medical malpractice cases.
A successful slip-and-fall accident claim could result in compensation for your current and future health care costs, the value of lost future earnings, lost wages, lost inheritance, lost enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, wrongful death damages and several other losses. If you are curious about the potential value of your particular case, contact a Philadelphia injury attorney from Ciccarelli Law Offices. We can evaluate your claim and give you an honest estimate based on your tangible and intangible damages during a free consultation at our law office. We also provide home or hospital visits for your convenience.
Factors That Determine a Slip-and-Fall Settlement
An insurance company will evaluate a slip-and-fall accident case from many angles before accepting or denying the claim. If the insurance company decides to offer a settlement, the insurance claims adjuster will decide on a suitable amount based on the specific facts of the case. These may include who was liable for the accident, the severity of injuries and whether the victim was comparatively at fault. Many factors could determine the outcome and amount of a slip-and-fall settlement in Philadelphia.
Liability for a slip-and-fall accident is typically with the owner of the property where the accident happened. Property defects that cause fall accidents are the legal responsibility of the landowner to resolve. If the victim was working at the time of the accident, however, liability could go to the employer. An employer must exercise a reasonable duty of care over the safety of its employees. To prove someone liable for a slip-and-fall, the victim will have to show the defendant breached a duty of care and caused the accident in question.
Comparative negligence is a common defense strategy a defendant may use during a slip-and-fall case. In Pennsylvania, modified comparative negligence laws state a victim’s partial fault for causing the accident will not automatically bar him or her from financial recovery. It may still be possible to achieve at least partial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. As long as the victim can prove he or she is less than 50% at fault, the victim could still be eligible for payment.
As the plaintiff in a slip-and-fall accident claim, proving another party’s majority fault may be necessary to receive any type of settlement during a slip-and-fall lawsuit. Minimizing your degree of fault and proving the seriousness of your injuries could maximize the payout you receive from an insurance company or judgment award. Hiring one of our attorneys to negotiate your claim for you could enable you to seek damage compensation through the best possible outlets. We can help you obtain top results through smart navigation of the factors surrounding your individual case.
Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit Breakdown
Most slip-and-fall accident claims in Pennsylvania reach successful settlements during insurance claim negotiations without needing full court trials to determine negligence or assign fair compensation. Retaining an attorney often increases the odds of securing a successful insurance settlement from a property owner or other defendant without a trial, thanks to a lawyer’s negotiation skills. If your slip-and-fall case does require a lawsuit to resolve, however, prepare yourself for the general claims process in Pennsylvania.
- Bring your claim to the Philadelphia Municipal Small Claims Court if it is worth less than $12,000 in damages. You must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your slip-and-fall injury to qualify for compensation. It is not mandatory to use an attorney for a small claim, but it could help you obtain a fair recovery amount.
- Hire a personal injury attorney from Ciccarelli law offices to help you navigate a lawsuit if it is worth more than $12,000. High-value cases can benefit from legal services by optimizing your payout from the at-fault party. Our firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay unless we win.
- Go through the investigation process. Our law firm can investigate your case using help from experts such as accident reconstructionists and physicians. Our firm fronts the costs of an investigation and evidence gathering so you do not take on any financial risk. If we win your case, we deduct these fees directly from the amount won.
- Argue your side of the case before a judge and/or jury. At your personal injury hearing, your lawyer will present your side of the case using all gathered evidence and a tailored legal strategy. Your lawyer will illustrate the impact the accident has had on your life and why he or she believes you have a valid claim.
- Obtain an award or file an appeal. If the courts rule in your favor, you could receive a judgment award to cover your economic and noneconomic damages. Otherwise, your lawyer could file an appeal requesting a reconsideration of the judge’s decision.
It can be difficult to satisfy the requirements of filing a lawsuit without an attorney’s help. You may miss an important statute of limitations and accidentally forfeit your right to file. After you file, you will still need a lawyer’s assistance to gather evidence and create a strong case against the party at fault for your slip-and-fall accident. Working with an attorney from Ciccarelli Law Offices could make it much easier to deal with the lawsuit process while you recover from serious injuries.
Contact a Philadelphia Slip & Fall Attorney Now
At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Philadelphia slip and fall injury attorneys have the experience to handle any type of slip and fall personal injury case. Victims should not need to pay for their medical expenses or pain and suffering on their own if another person or entity caused their injury through negligence. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, reach out to our team if you have any questions or want to review the damages you may be able to collect.