Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall incidents account for roughly $34 billion in medical costs every year, and can cause some severe injuries as well. A person who slips and falls may suffer broken or fractured bones, and falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Slip and fall accidents are very common among elderly citizens. Every year, one out of every three people age 65 or older will fall. Older individuals are especially susceptible to falling injuries, as they are typically less resilient than younger people are. I
f you or a loved one are suffering injuries from a slip and fall, don’t hesitate to call our experienced Philadelphia slip and fall attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices. Our personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia offer free consultations! Schedule an appointment today by calling (215) 228-0100 9r by filling out an online contact form, telling us about your case, and receiving a free case evaluation.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Resources:
- Why You Need A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Lawyer
- Common Causes Of Philadelphia Slip And Fall Cases
- How Much Your Philadelphia Slip And Fall Claim Is Worth
- Proving Negligence In A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Case
- Factors In A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Settlement
- Steps To Take After A Slip And Fall Accident
- Philadelphia Slip And Fall Claim Process
- Philadelphia Slip And Fall Statute Of Limitations
- How To Prevent A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Accident
Why Call Our Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorneys?
- We are the firm of choice for injured plaintiffs when they need aggressive slip-and-fall accident lawyers to fight for their rights.
- We are unique in our sincere commitment to justice, serving the public, and acquiring real results for clients.
- We can benefit from your claim from trial experience in the area of personal injury law. We can take your case if we need to for better compensation.
- Our lawyers honor our lawyer-client relationship and take slip and fall accident cases on a contingency fee basis, so you will only pay attorney’s fees if your claim succeeds.
What Are Some Common Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries In Philadelphia?
Most slip and fall injury cases result from negligence in some capacity. Often, a property owner fails to address safety issues on their premises and someone is hurt as a result. Some of the most common causes of slip and fall injuries include:
- Wet floors: Perhaps the most well-known cause of slip-and-fall incidents is wet floors. Wet floors in businesses such as grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and other places have many causes, including spills of food or drink, leaks from the ceiling, leaks from appliances, and more. Wet floors should be adequately cleaned up, and if the floor is going to remain wet for some time, there should be signs posted that notify individuals about the hazard.
- Poor lighting: Inadequate lighting is just as dangerous as any wet floor. Anytime individuals cannot see where they are walking, like in parking lots or businesses, they run the risk of running into various hazards. This can include objects in the pedestrian pathway, wet areas of the floor, cords on the floor, etcetera.
- Obstructed pathways: Obstructed pathways are a common problem in many stores. Any type of item that ends up in a pedestrian pathway can become a hazard that leads to trip-and-fall or slip-and-fall incidents. In a grocery store, this is often a problem when stores are restocking their shelves and have not properly warned individuals to stay away from boxes. Additionally, it is not uncommon for a homeowner or a business owner to use various types of plugs or extension cords across the floor. When these are not properly taped down or marked, this could lead to a significant slip-and-fall hazard.
- Loose rugs or carpets: Anytime there are loose carpets or rugs, these could easily slip out from underneath an individual when they walk over. This can be an incredibly dangerous situation in high-risk places such as nursing homes.
- Failure to remove snow or ice: When the weather gets cold, snow and ice will often accumulate at the entrance of a building and even come inside of the building’s entrance. It is important for property owners to address weather conditions of all kinds and clean up quickly.
- Poor maintenance: Property owners have a duty to always inspect and maintain their premises. If a business owner fails in their duty to maintain the premises properly, and this leads to a slip-and-fall incident by a business visitor, they could be held liable.
This is not an exhaustive list, but you can see how the negligent actions of other people may contribute to or directly cause a slip and fall accident. Anyone who has suffered an injury as the result of such an incident needs to be aware of their rights and should turn to experienced legal representation to fight for them.
Injuries Associated With Philadelphia Slip And Fall Accident Claims
Slip and fall accidents can result in a wide range of injuries, and the severity of these injuries can vary depending on various factors, including the environment, the individual’s age and health, and the circumstances of the fall. Some common injuries associated with slip and fall accidents include:
Soft Tissue Injury: These are among the most common types of injuries and can include sprains, strains, and contusions (bruises). These injuries often affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Fractures: Falls can lead to broken bones, especially in the wrists, arms, hips, and ankles. Hip fractures and shoulder injuries are particularly common in elderly individuals and can be very serious.
Head Injuries: Head injuries range from minor concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Even a seemingly minor bump to the head can result in a concussion, which may have lasting effects. Our brain injury attorneys in Philadelphia are here for you.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: Falls can cause injuries to the back and spinal cord, potentially resulting in long-term disabilities, such as paralysis or loss of sensation. Speak to a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer now.
Cuts and Abrasions: Falling on a hard surface can lead to cuts, scrapes, and abrasions, which can vary in severity.
Dislocations: Joints can become dislocated due to the force of a fall. Commonly affected joints include the shoulder, elbow, and hip.
Internal Injuries: While less common, falls can also cause internal injuries, such as damage to organs, internal bleeding, or abdominal injuries.
Psychological Trauma: A slip and fall incident can lead to psychological trauma, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or a fear of falling again.
Death: In extreme cases, slip and fall accidents can result in fatal injuries, especially in older adults who may have weaker bones and other health issues. Talk to a Philadelphia wrongful death lawyer to learn more.
How Can You Prove Negligence In A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Case?
Slip and fall cases typically revolve around the basics of personal injury law and premises liability. The victim, or plaintiff, will need to prove that the defendant caused the injuries through negligence. Proving negligence revolves around being able to establish three facts:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty to act with reasonable care. This means they take action and reasonable precautions so their actions and property do not pose a safety hazard to the public. An example would be to ensure that stairwells on their premises are properly maintained, well-lit, and free of clutter.
- They breached this duty of care through some action, or in some cases, inaction. Following the previous example, if someone asks the property owner repeatedly to fix the lights in a stairwell to reduce the risk of falling and the owner does not take reasonable actions to address these concerns, the court may deem the owner negligent.
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the victim’s injuries. The victim must be able to prove that the injuries would not have happened if the defendant had not been negligent and that the injuries were the direct result of the defendant’s breach of duty to act with reasonable care. If the property owner leaves stairwell lights in disrepair and the victim falls as a result, the property owner would be liable for their injuries.
Property owners are required to furnish lawful visitors or occupants of their property with a hazard-free environment and address any safety issues in a timely manner. If they fail to do so, their carelessness can result in injuries, and an experienced Philadelphia slip and fall attorney will be able to ensure that the victims receive just compensation for their ordeals and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions (or in some cases, inaction).
How Much Is My Philadelphia Slip And Fall Claim Worth?
A frequently asked question we receive at Ciccarelli Law Offices is, “How much is my slip-and-fall claim worth?” The answer varies from client to client since many factors could change the potential value of a claim. We have helped clients settle their claims and fight for verdicts resulting in six- and seven-figure outcomes after fall accidents in Pennsylvania. More severe personal injuries tend to result in higher payouts, but each case is unique. The types of compensation awards available, however, remain the same in the state of Pennsylvania.
- Economic damages. The two classes of compensation under the umbrella of compensatory damages are economic and non-economic. Economic damages refer to out-of-pocket costs such as property repairs, hospital bills, lost wages, funeral/burial costs, and legal fees. Each year in the United States, the medical costs for falls exceed $50 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You could be eligible for significant compensation in medical bills alone for catastrophic injuries.
- Noneconomic damages. Noneconomic damages in a slip-and-fall accident refer to the intangible and general losses a victim suffered. These can include physical pain, chronic suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, the loss of a loved one’s company, and conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. A noneconomic damage award could also account for the life-altering effects of a permanent disability, such as traumatic brain damage or paralysis, on both the victim and his or her family members.
- Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not as common as compensatory damages as an award type in Pennsylvania, but they can arise in cases involving gross negligence, intentional torts or egregious wrongdoing on the defendant’s part. A judge may issue punitive damages to provide better compensation to a seriously hurt victim and/or to punish a defendant for serious misconduct. Punitive damages also set a precedent in Philadelphia for how the courts will deal with negligent property owners. Pennsylvania does not cap punitive damage awards except in medical malpractice cases.
A successful slip-and-fall accident claim could result in compensation for your current and future health care costs, the value of lost future earnings, lost wages, lost inheritance, lost enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, wrongful death damages, and several other losses. If you are curious about the potential value of your particular case, contact a Philadelphia personal injury attorney from Ciccarelli Law Offices. We can evaluate your claim and give you an honest estimate based on your tangible and intangible damages during a free consultation at our law office. We also provide home or hospital visits for your convenience.
What Factors Affect A Philadelphia Slip And Fall Settlement?
Insurance companies will evaluate a slip and fall accident case from many angles before accepting or denying the claim. If an insurance company decides to offer a settlement, the insurance company claims adjuster will decide on a suitable amount based on the specific facts of the case. These may include who was liable for the accident, the severity of injuries, and whether the victim was comparatively at fault. Many factors could determine the outcome and amount of a slip-and-fall settlement in Philadelphia.
Liability for a slip-and-fall accident is typical with the owner of the property where the accident happened. Property defects that cause fall accidents are the legal responsibility of the landowner to resolve. If the victim was working at the time of the accident, however, liability could go to the employer. An employer must exercise a reasonable duty of care for the safety of its employees. To prove someone liable for a slip-and-fall, the victim will have to show the defendant breached a duty of care and caused the accident in question.
Comparative negligence is a common defense strategy a defendant may use during a slip-and-fall case. In Pennsylvania, modified comparative negligence laws state a victim’s partial fault for causing the accident will not automatically bar him or her from financial recovery. It may still be possible to achieve at least partial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. As long as the victim can prove he or she is less than 50% at fault, the victim could still be eligible for payment.
Steps to Take After a Slip-and-fall Accident
There are various steps individuals can take in the immediate aftermath of a slip-and-fall incident, as well as in the days and weeks that follow, to help recover the compensation they are entitled to.
- Call for medical care. Seeking medical care after a slip-and-fall incident is critical. We understand that individuals may not feel much pain right away, but it is important to assume that there is an injury, even if you cannot see it. Seeking medical treatment not only establishes a link between the incident and any injuries, but it also ensures your health and well-being are the priority.
- Report the incident. Reporting the incident is also important, but this will vary depending on the particular situation and where the injury occurs. This could include reporting the incident to a store supervisor or to a homeowner. Reporting the incident often triggers an official reporting process, particularly with businesses.
- Gather evidence. It may be possible to gather evidence at the scene of the incident, and this is also important. Perhaps you can use your phone or another type of camera to take pictures of the cause of the slip-and-fall and the surrounding area, as well as any visible injuries. There will be additional types of evidence that your attorney will work together in the days and weeks that follow the incident.
- Call an accident lawyer. Slip-and-fall accident lawyers in Philadelphia will be able to get involved quickly, fully investigate the incident, and help negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Your focus should be on recovering, not handling the day-to-day process of a personal injury claim.
- Continue medical treatment. All slip-and-fall injury victims need to continue medical treatment until they have fully recovered, or at least recovered as much as possible with medical treatment. Discontinuing care against the advice of a doctor could harm any potential personal injury claim moving forward.
The Philadelphia Slip-and-Fall Claim Process
Most slip-and-fall accident claims in Pennsylvania reach successful settlements during insurance claim negotiations without needing full court trials to determine negligence or assign fair compensation. Retaining an attorney often increases the odds of securing a successful insurance settlement from a property owner or other defendant without a trial, thanks to an accident lawyer’s negotiation skills. If your slip-and-fall case does require a lawsuit to resolve, however, prepare yourself for the general claims process in Pennsylvania.
- Bring your claim to the Philadelphia Municipal Small Claims Court if it is worth less than $12,000 in damages. You must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of your slip-and-fall injury to qualify for compensation. It is not mandatory to use an attorney for a small claim, but it could help you obtain a fair recovery amount.
- Hire a slip and fall injury attorney from Ciccarelli Law Offices to help you navigate a lawsuit if it is worth more than $12,000. High-value cases can benefit from legal services by optimizing your payout from the at-fault party. Our firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay unless we win.
- Go through the investigation process. Our law firm can investigate your case using help from experts such as accident reconstructionists and physicians. Our firm fronts the costs of an investigation and evidence gathering so you do not take on any financial risk. If we win your case, we deduct these fees directly from the amount won.
- Argue your side of the case before a judge and/or jury. At your personal injury hearing, accident lawyers will present your side of the case using all gathered evidence and a tailored legal strategy. Your lawyer will illustrate the impact the accident has had on your life and why he or she believes you have a valid claim.
- Obtain an award or file an appeal. If the courts rule in your favor, you could receive a judgment award to cover your economic and non-economic damages. Otherwise, accident lawyers could file an appeal requesting a reconsideration of the judge’s decision.
Philadelphia Slip-and-fall Statute of Limitations
It is crucial for any slip-and-fall accident victim in Philadelphia to file their claim as soon as possible. Under state law, personal injury claims must be filed against the at-fault party within two years from the date the incident occurred. Failing to file the lawsuit within this time frame will likely result in the slip-and-fall accident victim becoming unable to recover any compensation they are entitled to.
In addition to this statutory deadline, it is crucial for slip-and-fall victims to be aware that insurance carriers involved in these claims may have their own deadlines. For example, if a slip-and-fall incident occurs at a person’s home, then it is very likely that the claim will be resolved through a settlement with the homeowners’ insurance carrier. The insurance carrier may have a deadline for reporting claims. You need to be aware of this deadline so that the claim can be reported on time and so you can receive compensation without any kind of pushback from the carrier.
How To Prevent Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Preventing slip-and-fall accidents is a two-way street. It is up to individuals as well as property owners to take the steps necessary to ensure that these incidents do not occur. If you are going onto another person’s property, you need to take note of any warning signs about potential hazards that may be present.
However, even if you do not see warning signs, do not take this to mean that there are no hazards that could cause a slip-and-fall incident. You should always assume that there is a hazard lurking around the corner. Look for wet floors, wires running across the ground, loose carpeting, wobbly stairs, and anything else that could lead to a slip-and-fall. Avoid these areas and let the property owner know that there is a hazard that they need to take care of.
If you are a property owner, then you owe a duty of care to any person who has a right to be on your property. You need to regularly inspect and maintain your premises, be on the lookout for any possible slip-and-fall hazard, and remedy the situation as quickly as possible. If it is impossible for you to clean up the slip-and-fall hazard quickly, you need to post warning signs around the vicinity.
Contact a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Attorney Today
At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Philadelphia slip and fall injury attorneys have the experience to handle any type of slip and fall personal injury case. Victims should not need to pay for their medical expenses or pain and suffering on their own if another person or entity caused their injury through negligence. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, reach out to our local personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia if you have any questions or want to review the damages you may be able to collect. Call (215) 228-0100.