Trip and fall accidents are very common and can result in serious injuries. Sidewalk and stairway accident cases are the two most common types of trip and fall accidents which lead to major injuries. In major cities in Pennsylvania, like Philadelphia, these kinds of fall accidents occur every day.
Trip and fall accidents are usually different than slip and fall accident cases. While slip and fall accident cases tend to occur due to transitory conditions, like water or food on the floor, trip and fall accidents generally tend to occur due to more persistent conditions, such as a broken piece of concrete in a sidewalk or stairway. These are the kinds of conditions that develop over time or exist for a certain period of time, whereas water or food on a floor usually exists for a short period of time.
How are Trip & Fall Cases Won in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia trip and fall cases can be tough cases to pursue and win. Proper investigation is crucial. Succeeding in a trip and fall case usually depends on two factors: 1. evidence of the defect, and 2. evidence of negligence.
Related: Store Liability for Accidents in Pennsylvania – Who Pays for Damages
Evidence of the Defect in a Philadelphia Trip & Fall Accident Case
In order to succeed in a trip and fall accident case in Philadelphia, there must be proof of the nature and extent of the defect. Pictures and video footage are some of the most powerful pieces of evidence. If pictures or video footage are not available, then testimony from the injured party, as well as, other individuals will be necessary.
Because most trip and fall cases are caused by persistent conditions, it is usually easier to obtain evidence of the defect in a trip and fall case versus a slip and fall case. For example, a woman slips on food left on the floor in a grocery store. It is cleaned up almost immediately after the fall occurs, and therefore, obtaining sufficient evidence of the defect may be difficult. However, in a trip and fall case involving a broken step, the fall accident victim and/or her attorney has a better chance of taking pictures of the defect later in the day or that week. *If you were injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident case, you should speak to a lawyer about obtaining sufficient evidence of the defect.
Related: PA Slip & Fall Accident Law – The Importance of Seeking a Lawyer Immediately
Evidence of Negligence in a Philadelphia Trip & Fall Accident Case
Just because a person trips and falls does not mean that the accident occurred due to another person’s negligence. In fact, in the vast majority of trip and fall accident cases, the person who fell will be deemed to bear some degree of fault for causing the accident. In Pennsylvania, this is known as the doctrine of comparative negligence.
In the context of a trip and fall accident case, this doctrine basically means that everyone has a duty to watch where they are walking. If you trip and fall over a plainly visible defect, then you may be deemed to bear some fault for causing the accident. If your fault is greater than the fault of the opposing party (i.e., the property owner), the case will not be successful.
In nearly every single trip and fall accident case, the defendant’s attorney will raise this defense and accuse the plaintiff (injured party) of being 100% at fault. In order to overcome this defense, there must be clear evidence that the defendant was negligent.
Evidence of negligence in a trip and fall accident case usually includes proof of the following:
- the defect was created by the actions of the defendant,
- the defect existed for a long period of time before the accident at issue,
- the defendant knew about the defect yet did nothing to resolve it,
- the defendant knew about the defect yet failed to provide warnings,
- prior to the accident at issue, other people tripped and fell over the same defect,
- prior to the accident at issue, other people complained about the same defect.
More: Trip & Fall Accidents on Grocery Store or Shopping Mall Sidewalk in Philadelphia – What You Should Know
Philadelphia Trip & Fall Accident Lawyers. FREE Consultations
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**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
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