Question: My wife and I were visiting family in Philadelphia. We went to a restaurant, and my wife was injured after a slip and fall accident. She slipped on a puddle of water. Apparently, before her fall, a waiter dropped his tray that had several drinks on it. The mess was never cleaned up. She may require ankle surgery. What are her legal rights? We live in Camden, New Jersey. Do we sue in New Jersey or Pennsylvania? If so, what can she recover?
Answer: Your wife may be able to sue the restaurant. PA slip and fall accident law provides that business owners have the duty to make sure their premises are in a reasonably safe condition for their patrons. If the owners breach that duty, they may be responsible for a patron’s injuries as a result of a dangerous condition. However, the property owner must have known about the condition or should have known about the condition.
Related Fall Accident Result – $2.75 million recovery for a client who suffered serious injuries after a slip and fall accident.
Filing a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident in Federal Court
In terms of where to file the complaint depends on the facts. Your wife may be able to file in New Jersey Federal Court if there is complete diversity and she is seeking damages in excess of $75,000. Complete diversity means that the parties have to be citizens of different states. A business such as a restaurant may be citizens of 2 states, i.e. having restaurants in 2 states.
Let’s assume that your wife’s damages exceed $75,000, and the restaurant only conducts business in PA. In such a case, there is complete diversity and she may file in NJ Federal Court.
Filing a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Accident in State Court
However, if there is no diversity, i.e., the restaurant also has a restaurant in New Jersey, your wife may file her complaint in New Jersey State Court.
If your wife’s damages do not exceed $75,000, and the restaurant does not conduct business in New Jersey, then your wife would have to file a complaint in the state where the accident happened, i.e., PA State Court. However, if the restaurant also conducts business in NJ, then she may file in New Jersey State Court.
It is best that you consult with a Philadelphia slip and fall injury lawyer to discuss your wife’s case. An experienced lawyer will be able to advise on where to file.
Financial Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident
Your wife may recover out of pocket medical expenses, lost wages, if any, and pain and suffering damages. In addition, you may have a claim as well. This is known as a loss of consortium claim. An uninjured spouse can recover losses that arise from the deprivation of the injured spouse’s society and services, such as support, affection, intimacy. This holds true in PA, as well as NJ.
Our injury lawyers have extensive experience representing individuals who suffer slip and fall accidents in Philadelphia. Contact our lawyers to schedule a free consultation. 215.399.9255
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