Pennsylvania Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Supermarket slip-and-falls are commonly covered by the media as more the victim’s fault than anyone’s, and in many cases, this is unfair. Slip and fall accidents can be very serious, leaving long-lasting injuries and in some cases, lifelong disabilities. If you have been harmed in this type of accident, know that it can be difficult to recover, but decidedly not impossible.
Which Type Are You?
In Pennsylvania, there are three types of visitors that an owner may expect, and an owner must observe a particular duty of care in dealing with them. Business invitees are those who come onto the property at the request of the business owner or landowner – examples would be, a customer in a shop or a patron in a theater. They are owed the highest duty of care from an owner – under state law, an owner must inspect for and warn of hazards that may not be obvious, and try to correct those which are.
Licensees, by comparison, are those allowed on the property for reasons of their own, such as a neighbor kid looking for a baseball. They are owed a lesser degree of care, though open and obvious hazards must be warned about. Trespassers, on the other hand, are only owed a duty in that the owner must refrain from intentional injury to them. If you are a customer at a store, as many slip-and-fall victims are, then you are an invitee, and you are owed the highest degree of care.
Mere Accident Does Not Equal Liability
The mere fact that you experienced a slip-and-fall accident on someone’s premises does not automatically mean that the landowner or business owner is liable for your injuries. There is a standard of proof that must be met before the owner can be held liable – namely, you have to be able to show that there was negligence on the part of the property owner. Negligence is roughly defined as a failure to exercise the level of care that a reasonable person would in any given situation.
If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. Some people may be hesitant to do so, because they are concerned about their ability to prove negligence, but even if you are found to have been partially negligent, you are still permitted to recover under Pennsylvania law as long as your percentage of fault is less than the defendant or defendants’.
Contact A Scranton Slip-and-Fall Attorney
Despite the mocking reputation that slip-and-fall accidents often acquire, they can be very serious, and if you have been injured in this type of accident, enlisting a knowledgeable attorney can help you decide whether or not your injuries are actionable. The Scranton slip-and-fall accident attorneys at the Needle Law Firm are happy to try and help you determine how to proceed. Call our offices today for a free consultation. We serve Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Stroudsburg, and most of northeastern Pennsylvania.