Answer: Without knowing the specific facts and circumstances of the fall accident, such as what caused you to fall, the following answer provides basic info about fall accident law in Pennsylvania. To discuss your specific case with our injury lawyers, call (866) 641-0806.
Negligence – The Bedrock of All Injury Lawsuits in PA
In order for a store or business to be held liable for a customer’s fall injury, there must be evidence of negligence. Did the store do something it shouldn’t have, or fail to do something it should have? In order to be negligent, there has to be knowledge or imputed knowledge. Did the store have actual knowledge of the hazard before your accident happened? If not, are there facts to suggest that the store should have known about it?
In most fall accident cases, the basis of liability is neglect or omission, the failure to take appropriate action. In general, a store or business in Pennsylvania is responsible for making sure that 1. it fixes any unreasonable dangers or hazards, or 2. warns customers about them (i.e., placing warning cones or signs around the hazard).
Under Pennsylvania law, a store or business is required to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe manner. That doesn’t mean that there can’t be any defective conditions on the premises, which includes the store, adjacent sidewalk and parking lot. Rather, a store or business is responsible for unreasonably dangerous conditions. So, whether a dangerous condition is unreasonable depends on the circumstances. For example, a store would probably be held liable for a crumbling walkway in front of the store, a high traffic area. However, if the same defect existed in an area where customers weren’t allowed, i.e., an area of no traffic, liability would be unlikely.
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What Was the Defective Condition that Made You Fall?
In order to win a Pennsylvania fall accident lawsuit, you have to have proof of the defect. You have to be able to show, via evidence, what the defect was. Therefore, these types of cases are easier to prove with pictures or video footage. In the hours, days or weeks after a fall accident happens, it’s critical to get photos of the defect, if possible. But if you wait too long, the defect might be gone, or may have changed.
Also, there’s no room for conjecture or speculation. You can’t guess how the accident happened. You have to be certain. “It was definitely the ____ that caused me to fall.” If you aren’t certain, or you waiver, the case is not strong enough to proceed. Judges in Pennsylvania, including ones in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, will dismiss fall accident cases where the plaintiff can’t identify the defect that caused them to fall.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Fall Accident Lawyers – FREE CONSULTATION
For a free consultation about a fall accident lawsuit, contact our firm. Our Philadelphia office is located on Walnut Street in Center City. (866) 641-0806
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