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May 152013
 

Spring is officially here and with the nice weather, residents in Pennsylvania are out and about. However, slip, trip and fall accidents do happen and while most folks won’t suffer any real injury, a few do. Injuries like head/brain trauma and broken bones do result from fall accidents.

Especially when walking around in a city like Philadelphia, with crumbling sidewalks and streets, one misstep and an ankle could be so severely broken that it requires reconstructive surgery and placement of a plate or surgical screws. Tree roots, cobblestones, storm/cellar doors, etc. can become sidewalk fall hazards.

Someone who was once an avid runner may suddenly find themselves unable to do the thing they love the most, or a mom with young children may be laid up for weeks, which for any parent, especially one with young children, is a nightmare.

Pennsylvania Trip and Fall Accidents – Liability for a Defect in Sidewalk

Who is Liable for a Sidewalk Accident?

In Pennsylvania, local cities and townships are secondarily liable for sidewalks within city limits. For instance, in Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia is secondarily liable for any sidewalk accident which occurs in front of a privately owned store or home.

Secondary liability means that the given city/township is liable after the owner of the store, business or residential home. Stores like restaurants, clubs, bars, retail shops, etc. in addition to a residential homeowner may be held liable in a Pennsylvania sidewalk fall accident case.

So, for example, let’s say you’re walking down the street meeting friends at a restaurant in Philadelphia. As you walk in front of a store, your foot hits a large hole or bump in the sidewalk and you fall. Your ankle is severely sprained or worse, broken, and you require surgery with placement of a few surgical screws. Come to find out, the store owner knew about the hole because someone else tripped over it a month before you did. Yet, the owner did nothing about it. In this scenario, you would have a case against the store owner for negligence in maintaining the sidewalk.

Because this trip and fall accident occurred within the city limits of Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia could be secondarily liable. However, the burden of proof in sidewalk accident cases against the City is much higher than the burden of proof required to prove negligence against a private store or homeowner.

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Philadelphia Trip & Fall Sidewalk Accident Lawyers

If were injured in a sidewalk accident in the Philadelphia area or in Pennsylvania, and would like to discuss your case with one of our trip and fall accident lawyers, call 800.220.7600.

Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis and welcome calls from local counsel.

Our hotel accident and injury attorneys serve victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE.

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