March 21st, 2014

Philadelphia Airport Accident Q&A: Who is liable?

Question: I tripped and fell at the Philadelphia Airport. Who is liable for the accident?

Answer: Philadelphia airport injuries and accidents are very complex due to special laws which generally shield government entities, like the City of Philadelphia, from liability. In order to determine who the proper parties are, the facts of the accident must be reviewed with an accident lawyer who has experience with airport accident cases.

City of Philadelphia Liability for Airport Accidents

Under a local charter called the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, the City of Philadelphia is responsible for control and maintenance of the Philadelphia International Airport. When an accident occurs inside the airport or outside the premises, such as in an official airport parking lot/garage or sidewalk area, the City of Philadelphia may be held liable for negligence in causing the accident. For example, if a traveler walking to her car in the airport parking garage trips on missing concrete in the landing area near the elevators, the City of Philadelphia may be liable for negligence in allowing the concrete to deteriorate.

It is important to note that cases against the City of Philadelphia are very complex. In order to win an accident case such as a fall down accident case, there must be sufficient evidence of the dangerous condition and evidence that the City had notice of the condition and enough time to fix the condition.

In addition, there are many requirements which must be met in order to proceed with a lawsuit against the City. For instance, there is a hard and fast time deadline of 6 months within which a special notice must be filled with the correct government parties. Therefore, do not delay in talking to an accident lawyer in Pennsylvania.

Liability of Other Parties

Other entities may be liable as well. For instance, in a snow/ice fall accident case on a sidewalk, a snow/ice removal contractor may be liable for failing to remove snow/ice properly. An accident which occurs inside of an airport retail store may result in liability of the store or company which owns/operates the store. It is crucial to properly identify the parties because failure to join the correct party may result in dismissal of the case.

Financial Compensation in an Airport Accident Case

Under Pennsylvania law, an individual who is injured due to the negligence of another party may be able to recover fair and reasonable financial compensation for the following:

  • past and future medical bills,
  • past and future lost wages, and
  • past and future pain and suffering damages.

Related: How to Tell if You Have a Valid Slip, Trip or Fall Case

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