Have you required medical attention after a slip and fall on a sidewalk? You may have several concerns:
- Who was responsible for clearing the sidewalk?
- How will I pay for my medical expenses?
- Who will account for my lost wages?
- Should I speak with a lawyer?
At Monheit Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers are prepared to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Victims of slips and falls face a variety of financial hardships. Our lawyers are here to ease your monetary burdens after an injury.
As members of a community, it's important to do all that we can to make sure that our properties are free of dangers which could hurt our neighbors. This doesn't only apply to the interior of our homes - our exteriors must also be safeguarded, including our sidewalks. A trip or slip and fall onto hard concrete can result in serious injuries.
When an innocent victim gets seriously injured due to a neighbor's carelessness, he or she deserves compensation for injury-related expenses. No one should be forced to deal with medical bills and other expenses on their own, especially if the injury results in time missed at work.
About Premises Liability
This rule establishes that property owners must keep their properties safe and free of hazards which could potentially cause an accident.
Property owners owe a legal duty of care to their neighbors and fellow citizens. They must do everything they can to limit potential property dangers which could result in an accident and injury.
These rules apply to all aspects of a property, including the sidewalks outside of them. They also apply to all types of properties, both residential and commercial.
When a failure to meet this duty of care results in an injury, the property owner may be found negligent and held liable for the victim's injury-related expenses.
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Types Of Dangerous Sidewalk Conditions
There are several sidewalk slip, trip, and fall hazards which could result in serious injuries when not addressed:
Ice And Snow
Ice and snow must be cleared from sidewalks within a reasonable time frame. Pennsylvania state law measures this using the Hills and Ridges Doctrine, which says that in order to seek compensation, you must prove three things:
- Snow or ice has accumulated in ridges or elevations which unreasonably obstruct travel and create a danger for pedestrians.
- The property owner had notice of the dangerous condition.
- The accumulation of ice and snow caused a fall and injury.
Fallen leaves create a slipping hazard, especially when they become wet. Property owners must regularly rake leaves to prevent this danger.
Sidewalks with uneven elevations create a tripping hazard.
It's important to keep sidewalks well-lit so that pedestrians are aware of any potential slip or trip hazards.
Who Is Responsible For A Sidewalk Fall?
Determining liability in sidewalk fall cases can get complex. Depending on the particulars of the case, there are a few possible liable parties.
- Private property owners - Private property owners are the most common liable parties after a sidewalk fall. If the property is being rented by someone else, then the tenant may be found liable instead - it depends on the terms of the lease.
- Business owners - If you got injured after a sidewalk fall outside of a business, then the business owner will most likely be held liable. Like with private property owners, the landlord could be held liable if the business is renting the property, depending on the lease terms.
- Third parties - If someone other than the property owner caused the dangerous sidewalk conditions which contributed to your fall, they could possibly be held liable. For example, construction workers may have broken part of a sidewalk and failed to repair it before you fell and hurt yourself.
- Municipalities - In rare circumstances, the city could be sued for damages. In Philadelphia, you must have a permanent injury, proof that the city knew about the hazard, and you must file your claim within 6 months of your injury in order to qualify for a personal injury claim.
What Types Of Compensation Could I Get?
A successful personal injury lawsuit will help provide compensation for all injury-related expenses. This way, the victim can begin recovery from injuries and return to their normal way of life with minimal complications. If you win a verdict or settlement, you could stand to receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering