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Older Adults at Higher Risk of Slip and Fall Injuries in Pennsylvania

When someone is negligent and causes harm to another person, they may be held liable.  In most personal injury cases, the injured victim alleges negligence. Success for a plaintiff in a slip and fall case, for example, would require the injured victim to show that the property owner or manager had been negligent.  It is not enough to simply slip and injure yourself on someone’s property – to recover monetary damages, an individual or entity must be legally at fault.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injury and death for older Americans.  The CDC states that there are steps adults can take to prevent a fall, including talking to their health care provider about fall prevention.  Making their home safer, getting rid of hazards, and having their eyes checked can also help.

Often, the injuries suffered in a slip and fall are moderately severe.  Some more serious falls can lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or severe bruising.  In older adults especially, bone fractures can take place.

While older adults may feel embarrassed by their slip and fall accident, these feelings should not overpower their right to recover compensation from the responsible party.  The law of premises liability provides that if you have fallen and hurt yourself, the property owner may be legally responsible if they owed you a duty of care, failed in meeting this duty due to negligence, caused the accident, and led to your injuries.

Proving that the property owner or manager was negligent required showing one of three scenarios:  (1) the owner created the danger; (2) they knew of the danger or did not properly handle it; or (3) they should have known of the danger.  Some common reasons for falls include uneven sidewalks, poor lighting, snow and ice, garbage left on sidewalks, and building code violations. According to Pennsylvania law, property owners must ensure their common areas, including sidewalks, are in a reasonably safe condition.  By neglecting sidewalks so that they are unreasonably dangerous, property owners place others at risk of serious harm and expose themselves to potential liability.

It also must be determined whether you were partly responsible for your fall.  All individuals are required to exercise caution when walking and to behave reasonably.  Since Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state, an individual who has partly caused their own injuries may be able to recover compensation in an injury claim, but their recovery will be reduced by an amount equal to their percentage of fault.

Following a slip and fall accident, the Pennsylvania premises liability attorneys at Needle Law can help.  Scheduling a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and potential recovery of damages from the at-fault party.  To contact our office, call us at 570-344-1266 or use our online form.

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