Cold winter months can be dangerous in PA. Not only is driving more dangerous, but simply walking to your car or strolling around the block can risk serious injuries. Slipping on ice can cause serious injuries, especially for older adults or people who are already injured. If you or a loved one slipped and fell on an icy surface, you may be entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation on your case, contact the Philadelphia slip and fall injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Falling down may not appear to be a particularly serious accident. In reality, falling to the ground can cause severe injuries, especially if you are older or your body is more prone to injuries.
When you fall, it is hard to control how you fall. People who are overall more athletic may be able to catch themselves and control the fall in a way that protects them from injury, but the average person may not have these skills. Most people reach out their arms or try to grab onto objects to prevent their fall, but many times end up with additional injuries.
Landing on an outstretched arm is a common cause of broken arm injuries. Especially for older adults with more fragile bones, these injuries can be quite acute. Serious broken bone injuries may require surgery to set the bones. Your doctor may install pins, rods, screws, and other implants to help the bones go back into position so they can heal properly. This can result in expensive medical bills, pain, and suffering.
During a fall, your head may strike the ground or strike other objects on the way down. The force of impact can vary depending on how you fall, but any head injury has the potential to cause injuries to your brain. Concussions are a common result of these accidents. When you suffer a strong blow to the head, your brain can move within your skull and suffer bruising. More severe damage to brain tissue can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI). TBI can mean loss of motor function, trouble thinking and remembering things, mood and personality changes, and other life-altering effects. Some of these injuries may be serious enough to require ongoing care for the rest of your life.
Falling onto your back or landing awkwardly can cause back and spine injuries. Landing on your back can break bones in your spine or throw your spinal column out of alignment. When this happens, the tissue between your vertebra (your “discs”) can become inflamed and herniated, causing serious pain. If the misaligned bones put pressure on your spinal cord, it can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or even loss of function below the point of injury. These injuries may require ongoing care to heal or reverse the injury.
Who Pays for Slip and Fall Injuries in PA?
Bad winter weather can cause ice and snow to build up on outdoor surfaces. A parking lot, sidewalk, or the steps of a SEPTA station that isn’t properly shoveled or salted can become a sheet of ice. Falling on ice can result in serious injuries, requiring medical care, keeping you from work, and causing you serious pain and discomfort. When this happens, it is important to consider filing a lawsuit for your injuries.
One of the first issues in a personal injury lawsuit is determining who to sue. In a slip and fall case, the responsible party is usually the owner of the property where you were injured. Parking lots and parking decks are the responsibility of the property owner. Many sidewalks are the responsibility of the owner of the business, home, or apartment abutting the sidewalk. It is the duty of a property owner to ensure that the property is reasonably safe for others to use. Especially if you were using this property as a guest or customer, such as a paid parking lot customer, you should be entitled to safe travel.
Suing a property owner for your injury requires showing four elements. The first of these is proving the duty referenced above. Property owners owe guests to their property a duty to clean up or repair hidden dangers like ice. Second, you must show that the property owner breached that duty. A failure to shovel the sidewalk or salt a parking lot may constitute a breach. Third, you must prove that this breach caused your injuries. Lastly, you must prove that you have damages the court can compensate you for. Medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the injuries may constitute substantial damages you could be compensated for.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers
After seeking medical treatment for a slip and fall, it is important to talk to an attorney about your injuries. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at The Reiff Law Firm may be able to take your case and help you file a lawsuit against a negligent property owner. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (215) 709-6940.