Slip and Fall Cases Under Pennsylvania Law and What Happens if You are Partly to Blame for the Fall
A slip and fall accident can pose complicated liability issues. Under Pennsylvania law, the fact that you were injured on someone else’s property does not automatically mean they are responsible for your injuries. Slip and fall accidents can be severe, and they may leave lasting injuries in the form of broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Filing a personal injury case against the responsible party can help victims recover compensation for their injuries.
What to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case
A victim of a slip and fall accident must show that their injuries were caused by a dangerous condition of the property, or on the property. Pennsylvania law requires that the owner or manager of a property either: (1) created the danger; (2) knew of the danger and did not properly address or fix the danger; or (3) should have known about the danger.
Pennsylvania is a Comparative Negligence State
Often, people assume that if there was a warning sign posted, or if they partially contributed to their accident, they will not be able to recover damages in a slip and fall case. We are all expected to watch where we are going. But even if you are partially responsible for the fall, you may still be able to recover damages from the property owner, or another responsible party.
Under Pennsylvania law, the state will apply what is called a “modified comparative negligence rule.” This rule allows you to recover compensation, but it reduces damages by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. If you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will not recover anything from the property owner or anyone else.
In a slip and fall case, it is common for a property owner to try to argue that the dangerous condition that led to your fall should have been obvious to you. If the property owner had laid out cones or signage indicating the dangerous condition, this would show they took reasonable steps to protect visitors. We have all seen the yellow and orange signs indicating a grocery store floor is wet. If the accident was preventable, even if the victim may have seen signage indicating the dangerous condition, the victim may have a claim for relief.
If you have suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident, two important steps to take immediately are to: (1) notify a manager or complete a slip and fall accident report; and (2) document the fall with a photograph as well as witness information. These steps help ensure that a victim of a slip and fall accident proves the accident actually took place.
If you believe you may have a slip and fall case, contact the premises liability attorneys at Needle Law. It is a good idea to come to a free consultation with important documents from your fall, such as medical bills and records. This will help our attorneys better understand the economic damages you may be able to recover. Our office can be reached by calling 570-344-1266 or using our online form.