Bucks County Slip and Fall Lawyer
The experienced slip and fall injury attorneys, serving Feasterville, PA, at the law offices of The Levin Firm are ready to aggressively represent you if you have suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident. With more than a decade’s worth of experience, our team is ready to investigate your case, build your claim, and fight for your full damages award.
Injuries from Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents, which rarely involve the same amount of force as other serious accident types, such as a car accident (with the exception of falls from heights), can still be very serious. Depending upon the victim, the angle of impact, and the degree of force with which the fall occurs, common injuries in a slip and fall accident include:
- Traumatic head and brain injuries;
- Fractured bones;
- Back injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Bruises and laceration;
- Internal injuries; and
- Soft tissue injuries.
These injuries can be debilitating. In fact, for elderly people, falls can be fatal, and are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal trauma-related injuries amongst older adults. Even when falls are not fatal, they have the potential to change the course of a person’s life, or at the very least, lead to high medical bills and prevent them from returning to work for a few days or weeks.
Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are caused by a number of factors, most of them preventable. Some of the top causes include:
- Hazards in a walking area – such as torn carpet, broken stairs, debris or objects, loose wires or cords, spills and slippery surfaces, and more.
- Health conditions – in some cases, a person may suffer a fall as a result of a health condition, such as a seizure or heart attack.
- Neglect – in a nursing home or care setting for elderly people, a nursing home resident may suffer a fall because they are not properly cared for or monitored.
Of the above, hazards in walking areas are the most common causes of slip and fall accidents that affect the average person.
When Are Property Owners to Blame?
It is important to know how the responsibilities and duties of a property owner relate to slip and fall accidents, and why a property owner may be to blame when a slip and fall does occur.
Property owners in Pennsylvania have a duty to maintain their property in a condition that is reasonably free from any known hazards. For example, if a property owner knows that there is a broken stair on their property, they have a duty to correct the broken stair, and do so within a reasonable amount of time. This extends to other hazards, too, such as snow and ice, or even a spilled glass of water in a restaurant.
This duty of care is extended to all of those who enter the property lawfully – invitees and licensees. This may include a person who is invited to the home of another, a customer who enters a store, or a patient seeking healthcare at a hospital. The duty of care does not apply to trespassers. In Pennsylvania, the only duty that property owners have to trespassers is to refrain from willful, wanton, or reckless conduct to harm a trespasser.
This means that if you suffer a slip and fall on someone else’s property and that slip and fall was caused by a hazard that they knew, or should have known about, and failed to remedy in a reasonable amount of time, you can file a claim for damages against the property owner. Your claim can seek damages for the full extent of your medical bills and lost wages, as well as compensation for your noneconomic losses, such as your pain and suffering.
What Is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?
The attractive nuisance doctrine is a type of tort theory that applies to children. The law states that certain objects on a property may be attractive to children, making trespass foreseeable, and that children are unable, due to their age, to be able to reasonably foresee harm associated with the property. As such, property owners have a duty of care to eliminate the attractive – but hazardous – object/situation, or take action to prevent children from entering the property. Under the theory of attractive nuisance, property owners are often liable for harm caused to children on their properties, despite the fact that the children are trespassing.
Time Limit for Filing a Claim
If you are injured due to the negligence or fault of another in a slip and fall accident and suffer damages, you can bring forth a claim against the at-fault party. However, under Pennsylvania Code Chapter 55, Section 5524, this claim must be brought within two years from the cause of action. Waiting longer than two years to file an action could bar you from recovering benefits at all.
The Benefits of Working with an Experienced Feasterville Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall claims are complex, and proving that a) a hazard existed on the property, b) the property owner knew or should have known of the hazard, and c) the property owner failed to take action to correct the hazard within a reasonable amount of time can be very difficult. The reasonable amount of time factor is especially complicated – If a glass of water spills, creating a slip and fall hazard, how is what’s “reasonable” determined when it comes to the amount of time that passes from the moment of the spill to when it is cleaned up? Will a difference of five minutes or 50 minutes affect liability? What if the employee was the one who spilled it and should have cleaned it up – is a property or business owner liable for the actions of an employee?
All of these questions, and others, are common during slip and fall claims. Our attorneys are here to investigate your case and get to the bottom of what happened and who is to blame, as well as provide answers to even the toughest of legal questions.
Contact Us Today
We want to work with you if you are recovering from a slip and fall accident. Before the statute of limitation runs out, contact us today to schedule your free consultation. You can send us a message via our website, or call our Feasterville law offices directly.