A lot of times what the defense will try to point out is people carrying bags or packages that might obstruct their view and not looking where they are going. Maybe it was the type of shoes that they are wearing or the conditions of the area. Just generally being unaware of one’s surroundings is usually the biggest attack on someone who has been injured in a slip and fall accident.
Is There A Higher Degree Of Safety Measures Pertaining To Escalators And Elevators?
Elevator or escalator accidents are not as common as a basic slip and fall or trip and fall case, but they certainly do occur. There are times when the elevator doors will open and the elevator will not be level with the floor and that creates an area which can cause a trip. From that point on, it is just like any trip and fall regarding the issues. Did the property owner know that the elevator is in this condition? When was the last time this elevator was inspected and so forth.
What Are The Different Types Of Damages That Are Recoverable In A Slip And Fall Claim?
In a trip and fall you would be able to recover any lost wages which is time that you lost from work because of the accident. If your injury affects your ability to work in the future, you can recover for what is called lost future earning capacity. If you incurred medical bills, you can recover the cost of those medical bills, and at least in Pennsylvania, you can recover those medical bills even if the bills were paid for by some kind of insurance. Sometimes the biggest element, but also the most intangible would be for pain and suffering, which is the value that a jury can place on the loss of your enjoyment of life, the pain, any disfigurement, embarrassment and humiliation or things of that nature.
What Are The Different Strategies That You Use In Premises Liability Cases?
Strategy plays a big part in these liability cases. In the course of an investigation, we need to make sure that we have qualifying evidence of the defect and try to nail down as best we can the argument for why the property owner, in that instant would be responsible. When it comes to a commercial property, most stores and businesses have insurance coverage. So the ability to pursue a claim and get recovery that would put money in someone’s pocket is fairly straightforward. When it comes to a private residence, unlike automobile law where people are required to carry auto-insurance that would cover someone if they injured somebody in an accident, there is no actual obligation for a homeowner to have homeowner’s insurance.
There are instances where you can have a slip and fall on a property and that property is not covered by any insurance. That is something we look into to make sure that there is some entity there that could cover any costs. Beyond that, it is the same as with any other case in terms of developing the full extent of the injury that someone has suffered and exactly how that impacts someone’s life.
How Often Do Slip And Fall Cases Settle As Opposed To Going To Trial?
At least in Pennsylvania, we usually get to a trial within about a year of the case being filed. There are times where a case like a slip and fall gets resolved without having to file suit, but that is usually if the defect is pretty well established or there are significant injuries. In those cases, it could resolve in a matter of months.
How Long Does A Slip And Fall Case Typically Take From Start To Finish?
It typically takes about eighteen months from the day the complaint is filed until the case gets a final resolution.
What Sets You Apart From Other Attorneys That Handle Premises Liability Cases?
We try to emphasize very much the investigation of the defect and establish that we can show that there was a defect. We are also not afraid to take on cases that may be a little bit novel in terms of whether or not there could be recovery. For instance, we handled a case involving a supermarket where the dangerous condition was that a grape had fallen on the floor by the soft checkout area. Our client slipped on that grape and actually ended up needing a knee replacement. The problem in that case would have been that there was no way to prove how long that grape was on the ground.
It was not discolored, and it was not mushed up before our client stepped on it. We had very little evidence to go on. What we did in that case was argue that the soft checkout lane could have had a carpet or a placemat rug like they would have had around their salad and fruit bar area, and because of the likelihood of food being dropped by people checking out on their own, we were able to use that theory to successfully recover for our client. We were not afraid to take on a tough case and even develop new theories of responsibility if we have to.
For more information on Self-Contribution To A Slip & Fall, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (215) 569-1212 today.