A slip and fall incident can result in very serious injuries with life altering consequences. If you have been injured in a slip and fall incident, you should contact our Delaware County slip and fall attorney who is experienced in evaluating your specific case, establishing the negligence of the property owner or their agent, and presenting a complete picture of the damages you have suffered. A slip and fall case occurs when someone slips or trips then stumbles or falls and is injured. The slip or trip and stumble or fall must occur on another party’s property as a result of some condition of that property that existed due to the negligence of the property owner or their agent.
Michael T. Malarick is an experienced Delaware County slip and fall attorney located in PA. The law office of Michael T. Malarick handles slip and fall cases in and around Delaware County, Boothwyn, Philadelphia, Upper Chichester, West Chester, Drexel Hill, Springfield, Havertown, Garnet Valley, and more.
Delaware County Slip & Fall Lawyer
What is a Slip and Fall Case?
The defective condition can be:
- a cracked or broken sidewalk or curb;
- an unreasonable change in the elevation of a sidewalk, curb, parking lot,or staircase;
- a hole or pothole in a parking lot, driveway, street, or lawn;
- faulty handrails (either loose, broken, or non-existence);
- liquid or debris on a floor or walkway;
- snow or ice on a sidewalk, driveway, parking lot or street;
- a loose, cracked, or frayed carpet or tile floor; or
- a dimly lit area or inadequate lighting if the incident occurred at night.
A slip and fall incident can occur whenever a pedestrian is walking on the property of another and falls as a result of some unsafe condition of the land. Essentially, the injured plaintiff must show that the property owner or their agent created the risk; or that the property owner or their agent knew of the risk and did nothing about it; or, that the risk existed for a sufficient length of time that the property owner or their agent should have discovered the risk.
The defendant in a slip and fall case owns residential property, commercial property, or the property of a governmental entity. The defendant is either the property owner, an agent of the property owner, or an independent third party. A residential property owner is the homeowner. A commercial property owner is the individual, corporation, or partnership that owns the property. A governmental property owner is that entity, such as SEPTA or the US Post Office, charged with maintaining their property.
An agent of the property owner can be a maintenance company contracted to maintain residential or commercial property such as an office building, shopping center, or residential homes or apartment complexes. An independent third party is an individual or company contracted to perform a particular act on residential, commercial, or governmental property. For example, a snow plow operator who is contracted to clear the parking lot, walkways, or entry ways of an apartment complex or shopping center and negligently performs the work can be liable as an independent third party together with the property owner or their agent. Another example is the cleaning company that is hired to sweep, mop, and clean the interior of an office building and negligently leaves a liquid spill or some other debris on the floor can then be liable as an independent third party together with the property owner or their agent.
Delaware County Slip and Fall Attorney: The Snow and Ice Slip and Fall
Snow and ice is the cause of many slip and fall cases resulting in traumatic injuries. In Pa., the plaintiff must show that the fall was caused by naturally occurring hills and ridges of snow or ice that remained on the pathway an unreasonable length of time. It is not enough that the fall was caused by generally slippery conditions in the community. If snow or ice remains on the walking surface beyond the time stated in the particular Township or Municipal Code, then it has remained on that surface an unreasonable length of time.
However, this “hills and ridges” doctrine is not an absolute bar to a snow or ice slip and fall case. If the fall was caused by a localized patch of ice, as opposed to generally slippery conditions in the community then the”hills and ridges” doctrine would not apply. Also, if the snow and or ice was caused by the property owner’s negligence, such as leaving a thaw and refreeze area untreated, then the “hills and ridges” doctrine would not apply.
What are the Damages in a Slip and Fall Case
- cuts, scrapes, or gashes on your skin;
- bruises or discoloration of your skin;
- ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, or wrist swelling;
- muscle or ligament strains and sprains;
- bone fractures or dislocations;
- neck and back spinal injuries;
- scarring from the fall or from surgery necessitated by the fall;
- dental issues such as a fractured tooth or TMJ; and
- concussions, and head or brain injuries.
If you are injured in a slip and fall case, you can be compensated for your past and future medical expenses; your past and future lost wages; and, your past and future pain and suffering. This compensation can come from a homeowner’s insurance policy (typically with policy limits of $100,000 or more). This compensation can also come from a commercial property owner, their agent, or an independent third party contractor’s General Liability insurance policy (typically with policy limits of $500,000 or more).
The past medical bills for which you can be compensated are those bills you have paid or owe as a result of treatment from your fall. These past bills can include:
- ambulance costs;
- hospital bills (emergency room treatment, x-ray costs, in-patient/ out-patient care);
- your primary care physician’s bills ( for treatment of fall related injuries);
- dental care;
- specialist care ( such as orthopedic, neurological, or psychiatric care);
- rehabilitative in-patient care;
- physical therapy;
- home nursing care;
- prescription or over-the-counter medications
If the past medical bills have been paid in whole or part by a health care insurance company, the amount paid by that health insurance carrier may have to be paid back out of any settlement or judgment you receive.
Future medical expenses are those medical expenses to be incurred in the future for medical care necessitated by the fall down injury. These future medical expenses can be estimated to a reasonable degree by your treating physician.
Similarly, past and future lost wages are recoverable by the injured person in slip and fall cases. These amounts can be ascertained from your pay records. Again, if future lost wages have been paid to you out of an insurance policy, that amount may have to be repaid out of any settlement or judgment you receive.
The pain and suffering one endures as a result of injuries from slip and fall cases are recoverable. You can be compensated for the pain and suffering you have endured and will endure in the future as a result of medically determined injuries from your slip and fall case.
If you are injured in any way from a slip and fall accident, you should seek an experienced attorney who can answer any questions you may have once an attorney-client relationship has been formed.
Other Areas of Practice
- Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyer
- Slip and Fall Lawyer Upper Darby, PA
- Delaware County Worker’s Compensation Attorney
- Chester County Injury Lawyer