Berman & Asbel, LLP

Can I File a Lawsuit After a Slip-and-Fall Accident?

This time of year means shopping and navigating your way along uneven sidewalks and snow in Pennsylvania. And that means more slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents.

If you or a loved one falls and is injured at a shopping mall, parking lot or on someone else's property, you need to know your legal options. One option is to file a negligence claim against the property owner. Below, we examine the elements you must prove for a successful claim:

Existence of a Hazard

In the context of a slip-and-fall accident, a negligence claim should involve a dangerous condition. This could include hills and ridges of ice and snow, uneven flooring, standing water, obstructed walkways or other hazards that pose a threat to someone's safety.

Violation of a Duty

In any negligence claim, an injured party must prove first that a duty existed and that a property owner failed in that duty. You will need to prove that you were in a place open to the public or otherwise welcome on the property and that the owner failed in his or her duty to fix or warn you of the potential hazards.

Damages Resulting From the Accident

You will also need to show that the hazardous condition caused damages. These could include medical bills and other economic damages as well as pain and suffering.

Comparative Negligence

Pennsylvania courts comply with the comparative negligence model, which means that you cannot recover damages if you are more to blame for your injuries than the other party. Further, any damages you do collect will be decreased in proportion to your degree of fault.

Securing Legal Counsel After a Slip-and-Fall

Considering how complicated these claims can be, legal counsel will be crucial if you wish to take legal action after a slip-and-fall accident. Speak with a lawyer about your options.

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