Falling accidents are extremely common. According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 800,000 people are hospitalized with injuries related to a slip and fall every year. About one in five falls results in severe harm.
If you suffered a devastating fall, a Southampton slip and fall lawyer might be able to help. A hardworking and well-practiced injury attorney could review the facts of your case to determine if you are eligible to file a civil claim for financial compensation.
Establishing Liability in a Falling Accident
When evaluating a personal injury claim, a court will look for elements of negligence to establish liability. However, for slip and fall cases, there are additional factors that a court will take into consideration, including whether there was reasonable risk, if the condition was apparent, and whether there were warning signs present.
Unsafe Condition Posing a Reasonable Risk
The first factor a court may look at is whether a reasonable person in a similar position would come in contact with the potential hazard. For instance, shoppers are likely to come in contact with a spill that is present in a grocery aisle. If the visitor had no reasonable purpose to be in the location of a hazard, that could potentially impact liability.
Is the Dangerous Condition Apparent?
The second element is whether a reasonable person would have noticed the danger before falling. If a visible spill is marked by a caution sign, a reasonable observer would have seen the threat. On the contrary, if there is a clear liquid on the floor with no visible warning, it is more likely that the injured party did not see the spill.
Visible Warning of the Hazardous Condition
If there is a clear visible warning, the individual should have proceeded with caution. Whether a warning is sufficient depends on several factors, and in many cases it is not. A Southampton attorney representing someone injured in a slip and fall could argue that a reasonable person would not have seen the sign and therefore could not avoid the danger.
What if the Plaintiff is Partially Responsible for the Slip and Fall?
The State of Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state. 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 7102 states that Pennsylvania courts must apportion fault based on each party’s responsibility.
If the injured party was at fault, the court might still award damages if the other parties are determined to bear a larger percentage of the fault. However, this will result in the recoverable damages being reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of liability. For example, if an injured party incurs $100,000 in damages but is ten percent at fault, that individual may only recover $90,000.
As this can greatly reduce a person’s potential recovery, it is important for claimants to enlist the services of an accomplished lawyer. A seasoned attorney in the area could build a claim that minimizes the plaintiff’s comparative fault for the falling incident.
Seek Guidance from a Southampton Slip and Fall Attorney Right Away
If you were injured in a fall caused by another’s negligence, a Southampton slip and fall lawyer might be able to help you seek financial compensation. A trustworthy attorney could explain the applicable law and help you build a strong claim to damages. Even if you are partially at fault, you might still be entitled to compensation. Call our office today to learn more about what an attorney could do for you.