Pittsburgh Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Slip and Fall Attorney Advocates for Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents in Pittsburgh and Throughout Pennsylvania
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania, you need to discuss the facts surrounding your injury and any potential claim with a trusted and experienced slip and fall lawyer. Attorney Mark A. Smith is an experienced Pennsylvania slip and fall attorney, working to protect the rights of clients in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
Slip and fall accidents are caused by many factors and can be potentially fatal. Common injuries sustained by slip and fall accident victims range from fractured wrists, arms, hips, and legs, to far more serious injuries such as those of the spinal cord and brain. Each year in Pennsylvania, slip and fall injuries result in permanent disability and death.
Some of the causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Slippery floors caused by grease, oil, wax or a combination of several
- Food or garbage on the ground
- Paths, walkways, and store aisles being blocked
- Exposed electrical wires
- Poor or missing lighting
- Missing or inadequate handrails, guardrails, or stairs
- Absence of required signs such as “wet floor”
What Do I Need to Show to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
Has the property owner’s negligence caused your accident
If you have been injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property in Pennsylvania, you should contact us to discuss your case with experienced slip and fall attorney Mark A. Smith. Together we will review and discuss your legal options to get the financial compensation you deserve for your losses.
The strongest slip and fall cases are those in which it is clear that the property owner’s negligence led to your accident. In considering a potential claim, Attorney Mark A. Smith reviews any and all facets of the property that the owner reasonably should have known about or noticed. The property owner’s failure to notice and repair the defect or issue may give you cause to begin legal action.
The reasonable standard in Pennsylvania depends upon the situation. If you are injured in a Pittsburgh supermarket by slipping on a broken bottle of cooking oil five seconds after it shattered, it is not reasonable for the store personnel to have warned its customers or taken any action before your injury, so they may not be liable. If the bottle of oil shattered fifteen minutes before you were injured by slipping in the aisle, a court is far more likely to determine that the store owner was negligent in not taking the necessary steps (aisle cleanup, blocking the aisle, posting of signs, making a store announcement warning customers to avoid the aisle) to prevent your slip and fall accident.
Property owners almost always claim that the slip and fall accident was your fault
Some of the most common arguments made my property owners in defending a slip and fall injury claim include:
- You shouldn’t have been where you were (you were in a closed-off section, the public isn’t allowed where you were injured)
- The owner had well-marked barriers to show the dangerous condition but you ignored them
- You were wearing shoes or clothing that were dangerous or inappropriate for where you were
- You allowed yourself to be distracted by your phone, a shopping list, a conversation, and the like
Can I Still File a Slip and Fall Claim If I Was Also Negligent
Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative negligence” rule
When faced with a slip and fall accident claim, the property owner will try to argue that you are at least partially responsible for your fall and injuries
The reason property owners do this is that you may be entirely denied compensation or have any court award reduced if the other party can successfully blame you for the fall.
Because Pennsylvania has a “modified compensation rule,” a court will consider this if you were at all negligent. Any financial award you might win in a slip and fall case in Pittsburgh or throughout Pennsylvania will be reduced proportionally to your percentage of fault as determined by the court. So if the court determines that you were 25% at fault for your slip and fall accident, the other party would have to pay 75% of the damages (medical bills, your lost wages, potential pain and suffering, and other compensation).
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Claim in Pennsylvania
Be aware of the Pennsylvania statute of limitations
You always need to leave yourself enough time to file a slip and fall injury claim. Do not hesitate to contact Attorney Mark A. Smith, who has the experience to advise you on all of the details involved in filing a claim.
Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations is a state law that puts a time limit on your right to have a lawsuit heard in the civil court system. Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations to bring an “action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another,” which includes slip and fall injuries.
The most important thing to remember is that no matter how strong a claim you may have if you try to file a Pennsylvania slip and fall lawsuit after the two-year deadline, the other party will raise this with the court, which will almost certainly dismiss your case. Because there may be exceptions to this rule, it is critically important to consult with an experienced Pennsylvania slip and fall attorney such as Attorney Mark A. Smith to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Accidents in Pittsburgh
All homeowners must tell their guests about, or correct, any dangerous conditions that guests are unlikely to recognize. As a social guest, you may be able to recover from your host, depending on how you were injured.
Yes. Where it can be proven that a store was given notice of a dangerous condition, it is extremely helpful in establishing that fact that the store owner knew about the condition and was negligent in not remedying it.
In Pennsylvania, property owners are responsible for knowing about dangerous conditions on their property when the dangerous condition existed long enough that a reasonable person would have discovered it.