Fall accidents in front of stores are pretty common in Pennsylvania. Whether it’s a retail shop, grocery store or even a gas station, fall accidents can happen for any number of reasons. It’s not always because the store owner was negligent. Sometimes, people trip over their own feet. But, in many cases, a fall accident will happen in front of a store due to negligent care and maintenance of the sidewalk, walkway or the door threshold.
While most instances won’t result in major injuries, individuals can sustain broken bones, back injuries and even head injuries. For example, a mom carrying her toddler into a store trips over an uneven section of the walkway in front of the store. They both fall, resulting in head injuries for the toddler and a broken wrist for the mom.
Financial Compensation for a Fall Accident in Pennsylvania
Under PA law, an individual who is injured as a result of another party’s negligent conduct is entitled to seek financial compensation for the resulting injuries and damages. This includes claims for the following:
- medical bills,
- lost wages, and
- pain and suffering.
Proof of the damages must be sufficient. For instance, in order to prove medical expenses, you have to submit all bills. The same thing goes for lost wages. With respect to pain and suffering, you’ll have to present evidence of how the accident, injuries and recovery period affected your family, work and social life. Witness statements and testimony from family, friends and/or co-workers may be necessary.
Getting Financially Compensated Depends on Proof of Negligence
Getting fairly compensated in a fall accident lawsuit requires proof of the other party’s negligent conduct. First, the injured individual is required to identify the cause of the accident. In other words, what was the defective condition and how did it cause the accident? Second, there must be proof that the property owner was indeed negligent. This means proving that the owner or an employee either knew about the defective condition or should have known about it under the circumstances.
Most fall accident cases come down to the second aspect. There must be sufficient evidence that the owner knew of the problem or at least, should have known about it. So, depending on the nature of the defect, it can be quite difficult to gather sufficient evidence. It all boils down to the fundamental question – how long did the defective condition exist?
Defects that are part of the property itself, like a broken piece of sidewalk, tend to be easier to prove. These types of defects don’t usually appear overnight. On the other hand, defects that exist on the property, like water accumulation or a misplaced floor mat, are harder to prove because they can happen in a matter of minutes. The longer a defective condition exists, the easier it is to prove that the owner knew or should have known about it.
For more info, visit our Fall Accident Library.
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