Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, but when they occur outdoors and are caused by someone else’s negligence, victims can hold the responsible party legally liable if they are injured. If you have been seriously hurt in a slip and fall accident as a result of a landscape hazard, you are entitled to meaningful compensation. If your accident took place in the Philadelphia area, let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy fight for your rights.
Types of Landscape Slip and Fall Accidents
No matter how sure-footed you are, landscape hazards can cause you to slip and fall. Whether you are in a neighbor’s yard, an arboretum, a public park, or on the grounds of a historic building, the owner of the property is responsible for keeping the premises safe, a responsibility known as premises liability. The following are common landscape hazards that may result in injurious slips and falls:
- Flooded, snowy, or icy surfaces that have not been cleared or cordoned off
- Cracked or uneven walkways, steps, or parking areas
- Poorly lit areas hiding holes, fallen branches, or debris
- Loose gravel, pebbles, or debris, especially on slopes or staircases
- Faulty banisters, balconies, decks, or railings
- Ponds, pools, and lakes that are not enclosed or visible
- Fallen electrical wires or fence posts that present obstacles
You should be aware that although typically the defendant in a premises liability case is the property owner, in some situations it may be a tenant, a property manager, or someone responsible for maintenance. As long as the property was unsafe and you were not warned about potential dangers, you likely have a valid claim against the responsible party.
Slip and Fall Injuries That May Result from Such Landscaping Hazards
Victims of slip and fall accidents can suffer a broad range of injuries, some of which may involve surgery, a prolonged recovery, or permanent damage. Some slip and fall injuries can result in catastrophic injuries or even prove fatal. Landscape hazard injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord Injuries
- Sprains, strains, or other muscular injuries
- Neurological damage
- Lacerations, crush injuries, organ damage
How Premises Liability Is Proved
To make a successful personal injury claim, we have to establish that the responsible party was negligent and did not maintain a safe environment, breaching their duty of care to visitors by permitting a hazardous condition to exist and not taking appropriate steps to rectify it or to provide proper warnings. We must also prove that the breach directly caused your injury and that your injury resulted in real (financial) harm.
Essential Services Our Slip and Fall Attorneys Provide
Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of personal injury law and decades of success protecting the rights of victims of slip and fall accidents. As our client, you can depend on us to:
- Thoroughly investigate the accident site
- Carefully examine police reports and medical records
- Identify and interview witnesses
- Check into any history of similar negligence on the part of the defendant
- Consult with relevant experts who can testify on your behalf
- Handle all communications with opposing counsel and insurance adjusters
- Calculate the full amount of your losses
- Negotiate skillfully to recover the damages
- Litigate if necessary to bring you maximum compensation
Damages We Will Fight To Win
At Cooper Schall & Levy, we know how much a serious injury can impact your life, not only physically and emotionally, but financially. For this reason, we work tirelessly to bring you damages to cover all of your losses, including whichever of the following apply in your particular case:
- Medical, surgical, and rehabilitation expenses
- Lost income, present and future
- Lost earning power
- Property damage or loss
- Replacement services
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
- Alterations to make your home accessible
- Permanent scarring or other disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you have lost a loved one to wrongful death due to an accident involving a landscape hazard, our lawyers will fight aggressively to bring you every dollar you are entitled to receive for final medical costs, funeral costs, and the loss of financial and emotional support. While we realize that no amount of money compensates for a lost life, we will do all that we can to provide you with some sense of justice.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania
While comparative negligence laws vary from state to state, all states make legal provisions for the possibility that the victim may bear part of the blame for the accident. For example, the person who slipped and fell may have been suffering from a balance disorder, wearing inappropriate footwear, or been intoxicated at the time they were injured. Such a circumstance does not mean that the victim cannot be compensated for the harm suffered, but rather that their partial fault may cause them to lose some portion of the awarded settlement.
Pennsylvania works under the principle of modified comparative negligence which holds that the injured party can still claim damages as long as they were less than 51 percent at fault. The court will listen to the details of the accident and assign the defendant and the plaintiff each a percentage of the blame. As long as the plaintiff is assigned less than 51 percent fault, they will be able to win damages. Nonetheless, their percentage of fault will be subtracted from the awarded amount of compensation.
If, for example, they are found to be 20 percent at fault for the slip and fall accident and the court has awarded them $100,000 in damages, they will receive $80,000.
Contact Our Well-Respected Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
Recovering from the trauma of a severe slip and fall injury takes time and a good deal of assistance. Let Cooper Schall & Levy make your recuperation easier by taking over the burden of legal and logistical tasks. You will find our lawyers to be supportive and compassionate people as well as powerful advocates. Contact us now. Your initial consultation will be free and we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we bring you the compensation you deserve.