Central Pennsylvania Premises Liability Claims
ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CLIENTS IN LANCASTER & YORK
Whether you’re running errands at the store, seeing a show at your local concert hall, or renting a vacation home at the beach for a week, you expect that the property you’re visiting is safely constructed and well maintained.
Property owners have a responsibility to their tenants, patrons, and business invitees to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Unfortunately, not all landlords and property owners care to put the time and money into a property to keep it safe.
If they decline to do so, and you are injured while on their property, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for your damages.
It doesn’t matter if it’s because you slipped on a wet floor at your local supermarket or if you fell as a result of an unsafe structure, you should not be the one held responsible for an accident you could have never seen coming.
The slip and fall lawyers at Hagelgans and Veronis know premises liability cases like the back of our hands. We’ll take on the property owner and their insurance company, and see to it that you don’t have to lift a finger or take on the burden of litigation on your own.
How and Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
It doesn’t take much for our bodies to be put off balance. Sometimes it is due to a lack of attention on our part but, more often than not, a slip and fall occurs, at least in part, because of factors beyond our control. A slip or fall can be caused by:
- Wet/slippery floors
- Tripping hazards (debris, boxes, clutter, etc.)
- Unsafe stairs and floors
- Lack of lighting
- Uneven sidewalks
- Unexpected holes or openings
These conditions can manifest in just about any location or building there is, given the right circumstances. In many slip and fall injury claims, accidents happen in or on:
- Parking lots
- Construction sites
- Nursing homes
- Entertainment venues (theaters, stadiums, convention centers, etc.)
- Rental properties
- Private homes
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Falling, by its very nature, is an unpredictable thing. You could fall the same way, under the same conditions, several times and still get a different result each time. If you’re lucky, a fall will result in you catching your balance, but it could end with you breaking multiple bones or suffering bruising, cuts, and scrapes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five falls will result in an injury such as a broken bone or head injury and falls are the most common cause behind traumatic brain injuries.
It’s important to know what could happen to you if you slip and fall in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some of the most common injuries that can occur from a slip or fall include:
- Concussion or contusion
- Traumatic Brain Injury or other head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones (arms, legs, hips, tailbone, etc.)
- Sprained, strained, or torn ligaments and tendons
- Bruising and lacerations
- Permanent disfigurement
Commercial vs. Residential Slip and Fall Cases
How a slip and fall case unfolds will be based on whether the property on which the accident occurred was commercial or residential. Each of these scenarios carries different stipulations for the landlord or property owner in terms of what they are responsible to maintain and what they can be held liable for.
For the landlord or owner to be at fault in a residential slip and fall case, you, as the victim, must be able to demonstrate that:
- The landlord controlled the conditions that were ultimately the cause of the fall
- Preventing the fall would have been possible through repairs that are considered inexpensive
- An injury was an obvious consequence of failing to perform the repairs
- The landlord’s inability or unwillingness to fix or repair the problem caused the accident
Commercial cases are a bit different, in that there are a number of people who could be considered responsible for the accident: the property owner, property manager, company/corporation, or even an individual employee of the company.
For any of these parties to be considered liable for a commercial slip and fall, one of the following must be true:
- They must have been the cause of the initial spill, obstruction, or dangerous area
- They must have been aware of the danger but neglected to do anything about it
- They should have known about the potential for danger and done something about it, as any “reasonable” person would have.
Proving Fault: Your Carelessness vs. Their Negligence
Many times, the insurer of the company or individual who owns the property will try to shift the blame onto you. They will likely claim that it was your carelessness or inattention that caused the accident, in an attempt to get off without having to compensate you.
Having an experienced slip and fall lawyer on your side can ensure that your interests are being well represented and prevent the owner from succeeding in denying their responsibility.
aThe landlord or property owner doesn’t wnt to help you. In some cases, they’ll even correct the dangerous area or condition after your accident, in order to make it difficult for you to prove what really happened or collect evidence.
That’s why, in the event of a slip and fall accident, the best way you can protect yourself and your rights is by documenting the accident in detail immediately after it occurs:
- Take pictures of the dangerous area, including the floor, ceiling, and any furniture or equipment in the immediate area.
- Speak to anyone who may have witnessed your fall, collect their information and ask if they’d be willing to testify on your behalf in a court of law.
- Save any evidence you have. Do not wash or do anything to the shoes and clothing you wore when the fall occurred, they may contain residue from the substance that caused the fall or small pieces of debris that were in the area.
- Photograph your injuries right away and in the days that come. Document bruises, cuts, or breaks that occurred initially and take a picture of them each day as a means of tracking the healing process and any scarring that develops.
Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney
As with any premises liability case, the key to success is to contact a qualified lawyer ASAP. Not only can a seasoned injury attorney help you with investigating the accident and collecting evidence, they can take the stress of a law suit off your shoulders.
Our clients can vouch for our compassion and kindness, as well as our dedication to fighting for your rights.
Winning a premises liability case that resulted in a slip and fall injury is not easy. The party at fault is likely to be prepared for a situation like this, and they and their lawyers will try every trick in the book to get off scot-free. This is not a situation you should handle on your own.
Call the slip and fall lawyers at Hagelgans and Veronis at 1-877-938-4118 for a free consultation. We’ll explain your rights based on the circumstances and evaluate what kind of damages you may be entitled to.