No matter what sort of building you are residing in, shopping at, or visiting, you expect it to be safe and free of hazards. However, hazards can easily develop when property owners fail to perform adequate maintenance, too often resulting in preventable slip and fall accidents.
If you were injured after you fell on another person’s property in Berks County, you may have a right to be compensated for your medical bills, the earnings you lost, and other expenses resulting from your accident. Attorney Brent Wieand can help. As founder of the Wieand Law Firm, LLC, Brent has extensive experience handling complex slip and fall claims in Pennsylvania, and is unafraid to challenge powerful adversaries. Brent approaches every case with two goals in mind: crafting a compelling legal strategy, and holding the responsible party accountable for their actions.
To set up a free, completely confidential legal consultation with Brent, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (215) 666-7777. No hour of the day is too late or too early.
Slip and Fall Accidents: Common Causes and Resulting Injuries
Property owners have a responsibility to make sure that their buildings and pieces of land are reasonably safe for residents, visitors, guests, patrons, and even passers-by. When a property owner neglects their maintenance duties, placing their own profits over the health and safety of other people, aspects of the property will inevitably fall into disrepair.
In all too many cases, these property hazards don’t get adequately repaired until someone is seriously injured or killed. When somebody gets hurt because a property owner is negligent in the performance their professional duties, the property owner may be held liable for compensating the victim’s injuries, depending on other circumstances of the accident. This concept is called “premises liability,” or fault (liability) for accidents occurring on hazardous properties (premises).
Because accidental falls can occur anywhere, they are among the most common types of premises liability claims. For example, trip and fall accidents might occur in:
- Shopping Malls
- Grocery Stores
- Fast Food Franchises
- Rental Properties
- Department Stores
- Parking Lots/Parking Garages
The number of ways in which property hazards can cause otherwise avoidable falls to occur is virtually without limit. Negligent property maintenance, which often lies at the heart of these types of cases, can take the form of:
- Wires, cords, and cables that have not been secured away from foot traffic.
- Spills and leaks which are not cleaned, repaired, or isolated within a reasonable timeframe.
- Freshly waxed or mopped floors that are not indicated by warning signs.
- Dark stairwells, hallways, and parking garages that are not adequately lit.
- Crumbling or uneven sidewalks, flooring, and interior/exterior steps.
- Loose or broken railings and banisters that give way when a person leans on them for support.
No matter what sort of property hazard causes a fall to occur, the end result is often personal injury, or even the wrongful death of the victim. In addition to causing close to 100% of hip fractures in elderly adults – and about 40% of the traumatic brain injuries reported from 2006 to 2010 – falls can also result in:
- Broken Bones
- Fractured Wrists
- Broken Noses
- Broken Cheekbones
- Fractured Collarbones
- Broken Ribs
- Broken Ankles
- Facial Injuries
- Wrist Injuries
- Scaphoid Fractures
- Distal Radius Fractures
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Permanent Scarring
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
Wrist injuries are especially common, as most people instinctively extend their arms to brace for the fall.
What Costs and Losses Can an Injury Victim Be Compensated For?
A person who is injured by the negligent conduct of a property owner may be able to recover compensation for a variety of current and anticipated costs and losses. Additionally, the victim may be entitled to compensation for hardships of a non-financial nature, such as the pain and suffering he or she experienced because of the accident. These types of harms and losses, or “damages,” are called “non-economic damages.”
By comparison, damages which are financial in nature are known as “economic damages.” This category of damages generally encompasses the victim’s lost earnings, lost benefits, and various medical expenses, including but not limited to:
- Ambulance Rides
- Doctor Appointments
- Physical Therapy
Another, albeit less common example of economic damages would be home modifications necessitated by the victim’s injuries and resulting physical limitations. For example, if a fall victim becomes paralyzed and requires a wheelchair, they might also need to lower their home’s countertops, widen their home’s doorways, or make other changes to accommodate the injury.
Damages awarded solely for the purpose of reimbursing expenses are called “compensatory damages,” because their function is to compensate the victim. If the defendant’s misconduct was extreme, punishing or “punitive” damages may also be awarded in addition to compensatory damages.
Some states limit or cap the compensation an injury victim may recover. Pennsylvania is generally not among them, though there are a few scenarios in which damages are subject to caps. Compensation may be limited in cases involving Commonwealth parties and local entities, meaning state and local government bodies.
You may be feeling lost and alone in the aftermath of your accident, but you have dedicated legal support on your side. If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you deserve to have the cause of your accident thoroughly investigated. Brent will not let an unscrupulous landlord or corporation try to sweep your injuries under the rug with intimidation, bad faith insurance practices, an unfair settlement, or other dishonest tactics.
Contact a Philadelphia Personal Injury Attorney With The Background & Knowledge to Help Your Case
To set up a free and private legal consultation with Brent, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (215) 666-7777. Brent handles cases throughout Berks County, including Reading, Kutztown, Wyomissing, Fox Chase, Shillington, Sinking Spring, Laureldale, and more.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.