Slip & Fall Injury Attorney in West Chester
West Chester PA Slip and Fall Lawyers
Slip and fall injuries can be very serious. In fact, in 1996, falling was the second leading cause of accidental death. The first was automobile accidents. In that year, 14,100 people dies as a result of a fall. Accidental slips and falls can occur in numerous ways and in a variety of places, such as:
- Falls in parking lots and outside of businesses and private homes due to defects in pavement; snow and ice accumulation; or inadequate lighting
- Falls in supermarkets and restaurants due to food or drink on the floor
- Falls on stairs due to slippery conditions; torn, raised, or worn carpeting; inappropriate stair height, tread widths, and/or step size.
- Falls inside businesses and private homes due to slippery conditions; torn, raised, or worn carpeting; inadequate lighting; or obstructions.
There are more common public areas where slip and fall accidents tend to take place. A few more examples of West Chester PA Slip and fall injuries include:
- Moving sidewalks;
- Public restrooms;
- Grocery stores;
- Restaurants, and
- Slippery areas around swimming pools.
The scenarios are limitless, and the injuries can be devastating. Falls are responsible for more open wounds, brain injuries, and fractures than any other cause of injury. The most common fall-related injuries are fractures of the hip, spine, and forearm. Whether a property owner will be legally responsible for a slip and fall injury depends on whether the owner of a person in charge knew or should have known about the potentially dangerous condition of the property. The law requires property owners to fix dangerous conditions that exist on their property. However, the law gives property owners a “reasonable” amount of time to fix these dangerous conditions.
Regardless of where your slip and fall injury occurred, if your accident was the result of negligence, the owner of the property could be liable. Any time a person walks in a public place, they have a right to be advised of any present hazards. A shopping cart in a grocery store could block the view of a spill or other hazard, making it much more necessary for owners to be vigilant.
The Liability of Public and Private Owners in Chester County and beyond
Under the tort or slip and fall laws in Pennsylvania, any person, business or store holding itself open to the public, must inspect the premises for obvious or not-so-obvious defects. Any dangerous conditions must be corrected, or warning signs placed. Conducting reasonable inspections at regular intervals is necessary; store owners cannot rely on their employees to report dangerous conditions. Because of this, the majority of public businesses carry liability insurance, and an insurance claim will almost certainly be a part of your lawsuit.
In the case of a slip and fall on private property, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to keep his or her property safe. The person’s homeowner liability will be responsible for your injuries. Liability can be more complex between yourself and your landlord if you fall at your apartment, condo or rented home. Under certain circumstances, renters or tenants may be held responsible for the condition and safety of the property they are renting. In fact, some leases may require those who rent the property to ensure walkways are clear of existing hazards.
Pennsylvania Slip and Fall
If you’ve ever suffered a slip and fall, either in public or on someone’s personal property, you likely experienced embarrassment, pain, and perhaps an injury which could be significant. Each year in the United States, more than eight million people visit emergency rooms in response to some type of fall—slip and fall accidents account for more than 12 percent of those accidents. In particularly, those who are older, are more prone to a slip and fall accident. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention studied those who suffer slip and fall accidents, concluding that among those over the age of 65, one in three will suffer a slip and fall.
Any time a person walks in a public place, there could be existing hazards present which could lead to serious injury. Floors can be wet or slippery, poor lighting may exist, or there may be items in the walk area which can cause a serious accident. There may have been a lack of warning signs, especially in areas with slippery entrances due to rain, snow or ice. Narrow, poorly-lit staircases can result in a slip and fall accident as well as differences in floor heights with no warning sign. When a person who falls, strikes a hard surface with a “fleshy” part of their body, less severe injuries are likely, however when bones or the skull connect with a hard surface, the resulting injuries can be grim. In the more severe instances of a slip and fall, the victim may face skyrocketing medical expenses and could even be unable to return to their normal job.
How You Can Help Yourself Following a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall
If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania slip and fall, it is important to determine precisely what was responsible for your fall. Perhaps there was something on the floor, the floor was slippery, there was an obstruction in the walkway, a torn piece of carpeting caused your fall, or the entrance was icy or wet. The manager or other person in charge (in a public slip and fall) should be notified immediately. On privately owned property, the owner should be notified immediately. If there were witnesses to the fall, make note of names and addresses, as well as comments made by others. If your injury allows it, take photos of the hazard which caused your slip and fall. This will generally need to be done quickly, as a store manager will have the spill or obstruction cleaned up quickly in the hopes of decreasing liability.
See your doctor, even if you don’t think you are seriously injured. In many cases, the adrenaline rush you experienced following your fall can mask symptoms of an injury. Hours or days later, you may begin to feel the effects of the accident. Even if the store manager or property owner tells you not to worry, he or she will “take care of everything,” don’t rely on this. At some point, an insurance company will be making decisions about your claim, and if a thorough investigation and proper documentation are not available, your claim may well be denied. Slip and fall injuries can lead to extensive medical expenses; therefore, you need a solid legal advocate in your corner from start to finish.
Contact Our Experienced Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers in West Chester
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important that you contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer immediately. Ciccarelli Law Offices are based in West Chester PA and serve clients in Chester County, suburban Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania including, Downingtown, Coatesville, Kennett Square, Honey Brook, Paoli, Media, Norristown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, Reading and Allentown. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.