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Trip and Fall Accident Claims Against the City of Philadelphia

Posted February 10, 2015 | Slip and Fall

The City of Philadelphia is frequently sued by victims of slip and fall accidents who fell because of a defective sidewalk, street or condition of public property.

slipThe City of Philadelphia has governmental immunity; however, the PA legislature has created an exception for damages caused by a dangerous condition of city owned “real property.”  Under the real property exception, the city’s actions with regard to the care, custody or control of real property may impose liability.

Even so, when a trip and fall accident victim brings a claim against the City of Philadelphia, he must overcome greater legal obstacles than if he was making claim against a private property owner. Some additional requirements that must be met when making a claim against the City of Philadelphia include:

  • Notice of the dangerous condition – To recover damages you must establish that the dangerous condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury and that the City of Philadelphia had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition and sufficient time to protect against it.
  • Notice of a claim – The City of Philadelphia must be put on notice of a claim within 6 months from the date of the incident, or you will be barred from bringing a claim against the city.
  • Permanent Injury Required – In order to win a claim against the City of Philadelphia you must spend in excess of $1,500 on medical expenses and prove that you have suffered a permanent loss of bodily function, permanent disfigurement or permanent dismemberment as described in 42 Pa.C.S.A. 8553(c)
  • Trespassing – Intentional trespassers are barred from recovering damages for injuries sustained on property owned by the City of Philadelphia

In addition to these legal hurdles, there are limits on the amount of money that you can recover for injury claims made against the City of Philadelphia.  Pennsylvania lawmakers have placed a $500,000 damages cap on personal injury and wrongful death claims made against the city.  See 42 Pa.C.S.A. 8553(b)

Don’t Wait to Contact an Experienced Trip and Fall Accident Attorney

Due to notice requirements, if you believe the City of Philadelphia is wholly or partially responsible for your slip-and-fall accident, it is important to consult an experienced trial attorney who will take the necessary steps to protect and win your claim. The Wieand Law Firm has extensive knowledge and tremendous experience litigating trip and fall accident claims against the City of Philadelphia.  If you were injured on a city street, sidewalk or public property owned by the city, call us or submit an inquiry through our online contact form.  The consultation is completely free.  We handle slip and fall claims on a contingency fee basis.  This means that you owe no costs or attorney’s fees unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.

Secondary Liability Against the City of Philadelphia

Under certain circumstances, the City of Philadelphia may also be held liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on sidewalks on private property.  The “sidewalk provision” of the tort makes the City of Philadelphia secondarily liability for accidents that occur on the thousands of sidewalks technically owned by the city but are adjacent to private property. The City of Philadelphia can be held liable only if it has notice of a dangerous condition, the risk or danger is reasonably foreseeable, and the city had sufficient time to protect against the condition before the accident.

The difference between primary and secondary liability depends on a difference in type of negligence which caused the injury and in the nature of the legal obligation owed by each party to the injured person.  Secondary liability is not based on a difference in degrees of negligence.  For example, when a pedestrian is injured by falling on broken sidewalk the abutting property, the owner may be primarily liable if he failed to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.   The City of Philadelphia would be secondarily liable if it neglected its duty to perform inspect the sidewalk and ensure the property owner keep the property in good repair.  Practically speaking, secondary liability usually comes into effect if the homeowner is not insured or has insufficient home insurance to cover the damages caused to an accident victim.

What Types of Trip and Fall Claims do We Handle?

Trial attorney Brent Wieand has successfully represented clients in a variety of types slip and fall accident claims against the City of Philadelphia; including:

  • Cracked or broken sidewalks
  • Broken street and potholes in the street
  • Slip and fall on liquid on public property

PA & NJ Slip and Fall Lawyer

Brent Wieand, is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia that works on a contingency fee basis. This means you never pay costs or fees unless he get money for you. Brent practices throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He is proud to serve Southeastern Pennsylvania including Berks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, as well as the New Jersey areas of Pennsauken, Gloucester and Camden NJ. Call today for a free consultation at 1(215) 666-7777.