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September 7th, 2012

Philadelphia Slip and Fall Law – Business & Store Liability

Phila PA Slip and Fall Law Chart

Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents are very common in all kinds of stores and establishments, such as:

  • restaurants,
  • bars,
  • hotels,
  • sports events,
  • shopping malls,
  • clothing stores,
  • department stores,
  • grocery stores, and
  • convenience/gas stations.

Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Law

Under Pennsylvania law, a property owner has a duty to reasonably maintain a premises which is open to the public, regardless of the type of business. Succeeding in a slip and fall case in Pennsylvania depends on proving that the store, via one of its employees, was aware of the defect (actual notice). If there is no such evidence, then there must be some evidence that the property owner should have known about the defect (constructive notice).

Proving Notice in a Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Lawsuit

The majority of slip and fall cases boil down to proving  that the owner had constructive notice. If there is evidence of actual notice, then the defendant will usually settle the case to avoid going to trial. No property owner wants a jury to hear that its employees knew that there was a problem or defect with its premises yet failed to correct it.  It’s when there is no evidence of actual notice, that cases end up in trial.

Proving that a store owner should have known about a defect is much more difficult than simply pointing to a prior accident report or maintenance log which showed that the owner knew of the defect. Proving constructive notice is largely dependent on circumstantial evidence, like how long the defect existed, where it was located, how it was created, etc.

For example, in a slip and fall case involving a puddle of water or food left on a floor, being able to establish how long the water or food was left on the floor is helpful. The longer the puddle was left there, the better the argument that the owner should have seen it.

The reality is that any slip and fall or trip and fall accident can result in serious, catastrophic injury. Head injuries and broken bones are quite common. When these kinds of injuries occur, it is vital to have the case reviewed thoroughly by a knowledgeable slip and fall accident lawyer in Pennsylvania.

Related Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Legal Articles:

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

The law firm of Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan has helped many slip and fall and trip and fall accident victims. The firm offers a FREE, INITIAL consultation. Contact our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey slip and fall lawyers. Click To Call. Our lawyers can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Published: September 7, 2012