How to Win a Philadelphia Slip, Trip and Fall Accident Case
In order to prevail in a Philadelphia slip, trip and fall accident lawsuit, plaintiffs (injured individuals) have to prove certain legal elements pursuant to PA slip, trip and fall law.
In Philadelphia slip, trip and fall accidents, the most litigated issue is notice, i.e., whether the property owner knew about the dangerous condition. In order for property owners to be liable for injured individuals’ accident and injuries, they must have notice. There are two types of notice, actual and constructive.
Property owners have actual notice if they know about a dangerous condition on the property, i.e., sidewalk, which would present an unreasonable risk of harm to pedestrians. Consider the following scenario. The sidewalk in front of a home in the suburbs of Philadelphia has large, missing pieces making the surface uneven. A neighbor walking at night trips and falls as a result of the uneven surface on the sidewalk. The homeowner discovered the broken sidewalk about a month prior to the individual’s fall while he was working on the flower bed in front of his house. He made a mental note that he had to get the broken sidewalk fixed, but never fixed it. In this case, the homeowner is responsible for the accident because he had actual notice of the dangerous condition on the sidewalk and failed to take reasonable steps to make the sidewalk safe, i.e., he never called anyone to fix the sidewalk or took reasonable steps to warn pedestrians of the dangerous condition.
Property owners have constructive notice if they should have known about a dangerous condition on the sidewalk. Using the same example above, let’s assume the homeowner did not work on the flower bed in front of the house, but walks his dog every day on the sidewalk. The homeowner claims that he never actually noticed that the sidewalk was broken. However, because he walks on it every day, he should have known about it.
In addition to proving that the property owner had notice of the dangerous condition, injured individuals must prove that the dangerous condition caused the accident and their injuries. Stayed tuned for part III of this slip, trip and fall article series, which will discuss how plaintiffs prove their injuries and damages.
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Disclaimer: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Since each case is unique, discussion of prior outcomes and settlements in past cases is no guarantee of a similar outcome in current or future cases.