Understanding Your Rights After a Fall Due to Tracked in Snow From Our Slip and Fall Lawyers in Philadelphia, PA
It is no secret that the weather in Pennsylvania can be treacherous. Snow and ice storms can create a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians outside. But they can also cause dangerous conditions inside too. Tracked in snow presents a very serious slip and fall hazard in stores, hospitals, offices, and other businesses. Property owners and tenants owe duty to ensure that their premises are reasonably safe. When tracked in snow melts and causes a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, victims may be entitled to compensation for their personal injuries.
At Silver & Silver, our slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia, PA have over 40 years of protecting the rights of individuals hurt on the property of another. We have fought back against some of the largest businesses, insurance companies, and law firms in Pennsylvania and the United States. We will not allow these big corporations to leave victims hurt in a slip and fall on tracked in snow with high medical bills and significant lost wages. We have a proven track record of holding landowners and tenants responsible for their careless, reckless, and negligent errors that hurt others.
Landowners and Tenants Owe a Duty of Care to Guests
Slip and fall cases are a type of premises liability matter, or cases involving the use or occupancy of property. Under Pennsylvania law, a landowner, tenant, property maintainer, or anyone else with control over the property could be a defendant who is liable for a negligently caused slip and fall accident.
One of these defendants may be negligent in failing to use reasonable care under the circumstances in maintaining or repairing the premises. This includes allowing tracked in snow and melted snow to accumulate in a store entrance or exit which can be a very dangerous hazard in a store or business.
Proving Liability in Philadelphia, PA
In order to be successful in a slip and fall lawsuit, a victim must demonstrate several key elements. These elements must be proven “by a preponderance of the evidence,” or that it is more likely than not (51%) that the plaintiff’s allegations are true and accurate.
DUTY: The most basic element is that the defendants owed a duty of care to the victim. With snow tracked in a store or business, that duty of care is usually considered to be the highest level of care. This is because a guest is considered an “invitee” by the business to purchase goods or services. The law requires businesses to protect individuals that they invite to transact business. This means a defendant must keep the premises reasonably safe, perform regular inspections, and repair or warn/block off dangers or hazards.
NOTICE: A victim must also prove that the defendants had “notice” of the dangerous condition. Our slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia, PA know that “notice” is often hotly contested in a premises liability case. A victim only needs to prove one type of notice. The different types of notice are the following:
- Creation – if a defendant created the dangerous defect, that would automatically establish notice. In a tracked in snow case, a defendant who shovels snow inside a building or brings snow inside (i.e., on a shovel or on his boots) could be responsible for creating the dangerous condition.
- Actual Notice – if a defendant saw the tracked in snow or was told by another customer of the hazard or wet floor, that could establish actual notice.
- Constructive Notice – if the defect existed for a significant period of time for a routine and regular inspection to uncover the defect, it could establish constructive notice. This means if the tracked in snow was present for a long time on the floor that a defendant could be charged with notice.
- Recurring Condition – this is technically a type of constructive notice, and it occurs when a certain hazardous defect is a recurring For example, if the ceiling leaks onto the floor when it rains, that is a recurring condition of a dangerous defect (wet floor). With snow and ice tracked into a store, it is likely that a store will have constructive notice of a recurring condition. For example, whenever it snows the floors get wet. Pennsylvania law would require a landowner or tenant to place down mats, mop up the floor, and have wet floor signs.
CAUSATION: After you have proven a duty and notice, you will also need to establish causation. This means establishing that your injuries are related to the accident. Silver & Silver’s slip and fall attorneys in Philadelphia understand that causation is also hotly contested in most cases. Insurance carriers and defense lawyers commonly try to claim pre-existing conditions on your injuries to minimize what you would be entitled to. In some cases, they will even claim you were injured elsewhere and are faking an accident to recover compensation from their client. We will not let this happen to you after a fall caused your injuries.
DAMAGES: Finally, you will need to establish your injuries from a tracked in snow accident in Philadelphia. This includes both your physical injuries resulting in pain and suffering, but you may also be entitled to damages such as lost wages, lost earnings, loss of consortium, medical bills, property damage, medical equipment, ambulatory devices, and other costs related to your fall.
Time is Limited on Seeking Compensation: Call Silver & Silver Today!
Victims of a premises liability accident in a business must file a lawsuit within a tight time limit known as the statute of limitations period. Under Pennsylvania law, the general statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years. This means filing a claim outside of this time period could result in the automatic dismissal of your case. However, there are many instances when you have less time to file a lawsuit. Many of the factors that could shrink the amount of time that you have are in other areas of statutory law or in common law, or judge-made decisional law.
Therefore, if you were injured in an accident due to tracked in snow in a business, call the area’s leading slip and fall lawyers in Philadelphia at Silver & Silver. We offer FREE case evaluations and accept personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis meaning we only get paid after you get paid. Learn more by calling (610) 658-0500 or use our convenient “contact us” box available here.