What investigation is necessary in a Philadelphia slip and fall case?


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A: Accidents at hotels, motels, conference centers, etc. are very common in a large city like Philadelphia. What most people injured in these kinds of accidents don’t know is that under Pennsylvania laws, they may have a valid negligence claim against the hotel or facility where the accident occurred.

Determining whether there is a valid negligence claim requires analysis of the following three factors:

1. Cause of the Accident

Determining what caused the accident to occur involves examining the accident location and discussing the accident with the injured person and any eyewitnesses. Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents most commonly occur due to:

  • food or spills,
  • slope and gradient issues,
  • improper use and placement of floor mats, and
  • cracks or breaks in a walkway.

2. Proof

Under Pennsylvania law, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, meaning that the plaintiff must be able to prove how the accident occurred. Determining the cause of the accident and being able to prove that cause are two different things. In some cases, it is difficult to prove the cause of the accident, especially where there is no evidence other than the plaintiff’s own testimony. Pictures, videos, eyewitness testimony and incident reports can make it easier to prove the cause of the accident.

3. Ownership and Control

Under Pennsylvania law, a party who either owns or controls the area where the accident occurred may be held liable. In any given slip and fall or trip and fall accident situation, there may be multiple parties who own or control the area. Those parties may include:

  • the property owner,
  • a management company,
  • a maintenance company, and
  • a contractor or subcontractor who performed work on the area.

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To submit your case for review by our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey hotel accident lawyers, call Click To Call. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

Our attorneys represent accident victims in the following areas: Allegheny County, PA; Berks County, PA; Bucks County, PA; Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Lehigh County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Northampton County, PA: Philadelphia County, PA; Atlantic County, NJ; Burlington County, NJ; Camden County, NJ; Cumberland County, NJ; Gloucester County, NJ; Salem County, NJ; New Castle County, DE; Kent County, DE; Atlantic City, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Newark, NJ; Doylestown, PA; Media, PA; West Chester, PA; Norristown, PA; Camden, NJ; Wilmington, DE; Newark, DE; Georgetown, DE; and New Castle, DE. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states on a case by case basis.

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Published: August 25, 2012