Most people have suffered an embarrassing fall when out in public. However, severe falls or trips can cause serious injuries, including fractures, soft tissue damage, and concussions.
If you have been injured in a fall on someone else’s property, negligence may have contributed to the condition that caused your accident. In that case, you could seek monetary damages from the negligent parties.
An experienced personal injury attorney could help you figure out how to proceed based on your unique circumstances. You have only two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit, so do not hesitate to speak with a Bucks County slip and fall lawyer.
Why Does the Type of Visitor Matter in Trip and Fall Cases?
Trip and fall accidents that result in personal injuries often fall under premises liability law. This body of law holds that owners of property, both commercial and private, have an obligation to keep it in reasonably safe condition. However, the extent of the duty the occupier owes to a visitor depends on the reason the person was on the property. In order to recover compensation in Bucks County, an attorney must show the property owner breached an owed duty to the claimant resulting in them slipping and falling.
A person who is on property that is open to the public or visiting a business as a customer or potential customer is called an invitee. The property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. They must keep their property free of hazards and inspect the property to ensure that dangerous conditions do not develop. They must repair any issues, such as a spilled drink or slippery surface, within a reasonable time, and must warn invitees of any existing dangers, such as a wet floor warning sign.
A social guest is a licensee. Licensees have permission to be on the property but are not there to transact business. Property owners must warn licensees of any unreasonably dangerous conditions they know about that the licensee is unlikely to anticipate, but the occupiers have no duty to inspect for unknown hazards.
A property has no duty to keep property safe for adult trespassers, but they may not intentionally or willfully cause them harm. A property owner has an obligation to either keep premises free of conditions that might lure children into dangerous situations or prevent them from entering.
Proving Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases
Proving negligence requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that they were owed a duty of care, the defendant violated this duty, the breach caused an accident, and injuries resulted. The extent of the duty and whether the defendant breached the duty will depend on the plaintiff’s visitor status. Establishing causation requires the local attorney to link the injury to the fall, and that actual compensable losses were suffered as a result.
However, there could be some potential barriers to recovery, due to 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §7102 which establishes comparative negligence. Under this rule, if a plaintiff negligently contributes to their injuries, they may still collect damages so long as they hold less than 50 percent of the responsibility. Additionally, any award of damages will be reduced by a percentage equal to the claimant’s degree of fault.
Seek Advice from a Bucks County Slip and Fall Attorney
If you have suffered injuries in a serious falling accident, do not try to handle your case alone. The premises liability laws are complicated and holding insurance companies and property owners accountable can be difficult without experienced legal guidance.
Contact a Bucks County slip and fall lawyer after an accident to find out whether you have grounds to seek legal damages. Your initial consultation is always free, call today.