Whether you’re shopping at the Tanger Outlets, dining at your favorite Pennsylvania Dutch restaurant, or simply coming home to your apartment after work, you expect the building to be safe and free of hazards. Unfortunately, property owners don’t always devote adequate care to the maintenance of their properties, which can create dangerous conditions for visitors, residents, and patrons. When property hazards cause a slip and fall accident to occur, the person who fell may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
If you or one of your loved ones was injured after falling on someone else’s property in Lancaster County, slip and fall injury attorney Brent Wieand may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, your lost earnings, your pain and suffering, and other hardships you’ve endured because of your accident. An aggressive litigator dedicated to fighting for maximum compensation on behalf of his clients, Brent will stand by your side to provide compassionate and personalized representation, no matter what challenges may arise.
To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with Brent, call the Wieand Law Firm, LLC at (215) 666-7777. Brent represents clients throughout Lancaster County, including Akron, Columbia, Elizabethtown, Millersville, Mount Joy, New Holland, Strasburg, and other local communities.
I Fell on Another Person’s Property, Who is Liable?
The term “liability” describes fault for an injury. While falling on another person’s property doesn’t automatically create liability for the property owner, liability may exist if the accident involved certain factors.
Generally speaking, property owners can be held liable for preventable injuries resulting from their negligent actions or failures to act, which, in slip and fall cases, usually involve failures to perform adequate property maintenance. When property owners skimp on regular cleaning and upkeep for the sake of saving themselves a few dollars, indoor or outdoor property hazards can rapidly develop. Some common examples of trip hazards in apartment buildings and commercial properties include:
- Unrepaired leaks and spills.
- Cords and cables that aren’t securely bundled out of the path of foot traffic.
- Carpeting that isn’t fastened down properly.
- Inadequate lighting, especially in dim areas like stairwells and parking garages.
- Uneven or broken stairs, flooring, or sidewalks.
- Potholes and sidewalk defects.
These types of hazards can crop up anywhere, including:
- Grocery Stores
- Shopping Malls
- Outlet Stores
- Gift Shops
- Floral Shops
- Antique Shops
- Department Stores
- Craft Stores
- Toy Stores
- Hotels and Motels
- Apartment Complexes
Severe and Common Injuries Caused by Accidental Falls
Since they tend to involve low speeds and small heights, you might think slip and fall accidents wouldn’t result in serious injuries. Unfortunately, just the opposite is true. Not only are unintentional falls frequently harmful, they actually rank among the leading causes of several serious and potentially life-threatening types of injuries.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that accidental falls are responsible for more than 95% of all hip fractures among adults aged 65 and older. Beyond being painful and expensive, hip fractures can also increase the risk of death, with one recent medical study showing that “hip fractures are associated with significant morbidity, mortality, loss of independence, and financial burden.” According to the same study, the risk of death within one year of breaking a hip ranges anywhere from approximately 15% to 60%.
Unintentional falls are also a leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), causing more than 40% of U.S. TBI cases from 2006 to 2010. TBI can have permanently disabling medical complications, including disruptions to basic cognitive functions like learning information, making decisions, forming memories, using logic, creating ideas, and solving problems.
Other common injuries resulting from falls include:
- Wrist Fractures
- Broken Noses
- Tooth/Dental Injuries
- Strains and Sprains
- Torn Ligaments
- Back Injuries
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Facial Injuries
- Broken Cheekbones
In some cases, victims fall from heights rather than slipping on an object at ground level. Falls from heights are especially common in the construction industry, causing more construction worker deaths than any other type of worksite hazard.
How Much Compensation Can PA Injury Victims Recover?
Compensation in a personal injury lawsuit can also be described as “damages.” For instance, a plaintiff may “seek damages” in a certain amount, and, if he or she is successful in court, the jury may then “award damages” to compensate a variety of costs, losses, and hardships, both those financial (“economic”) and non-financial (“non-economic”) in nature. Depending on which of the following are applicable to the situation, this can include:
- Loss of Marriage (“Loss of Consortium”)
- Funeral/Burial Expenses
- Lost Income
- Lost Benefits
- Medical Bills
- Medical Devices
- Hospital Bills
- Property Damage
Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania generally does not restrict the amount of compensation a plaintiff can recover following an accident caused by a person or business’ negligence. However, there are some exceptions for lawsuits against state and local government entities, in which case compensation may be limited to no more than $500,000 for local entities, and no more than “$250,000 in favor of any plaintiff or $1,000,000 in the aggregate” for state entities.
If you, your spouse, or one of your family members slipped and fell on another person’s property in Lancaster County, you should speak to a knowledgeable injury lawyer who has experience handling claims similar to yours. Call attorney Brent Wieand at (215) 666-7777 to arrange for a free and completely confidential legal consultation. Brent can answer your questions and help you understand your rights as an injury victim in Pennsylvania.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC is based in Philadelphia, PA, and is proud to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.