Premises liability lawsuits are also commonly known as slip-and-fall lawsuits. These cases cover a wide variety of issues, and can have a number of various outcomes. The best way to get a better understanding of your individual case is to call the Thistle Law firm and speak to us via a free consultation. Our team of experienced lawyers have handled countless slip and fall cases in Philadelphia, and have compiled some of the top problems we see clients encounter in the blog post below.
Long Waits for Decisions
Even if it seems like your slip and fall case should be easily and promptly resolved, things sometimes seem to drag on and on. That’s because motions and counter-motions may continually be introduced. Some premises liability suits may take months, or even years to resolve. This makes knowing the outcome of a case very difficult.
It also makes it challenging to determine what a final settlement will be. After multiple counter motions, settlement amounts may increase or decrease, depending on the case.
Could the Problem Have Been Anticipated?
In order for a slip and fall case to be successful, your lawyer must prove that the defendant knew, or should have been reasonably expected to know, about whatever caused the accident – and then not repaired it. If the defendant can prove that the accident was not foreseeable, then it may not be possible to bring a successful lawsuit against them.
Exemptions to Liability
In New Jersey, some organizations are immune from tort laws in slip and fall cases under the state’s charitable immunity law. These include:
- Religious institutions
- Educational institutions
- Charitable organizations
Pennsylvania has done away with charitable immunity, but in Pennsylvania and New Jersey alike, government employees and agencies are protected. In Pennsylvania, they are protected under the Sovereign Immunity act, which allows the state to only be held liable for damages in very specific instances. For instance, public entities may be held liable if the property where the injury occured is owned and maintained by the city.
Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Cases
If your slip and fall case ends up in court, Pennsylvania has a “modified comparative negligence” rule that will undoubtedly come into play. This means that any damages that you claim will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault for the accident. If the victim is found to be more than 50% at fault for the accident, they are not eligible to file a claim under this comparative negligence rule.
How this usually plays out is that if the jury finds you are 10% responsible for our slip and fall accident, then the amount they award you in damages will be reduced by 10%. If the jury planned to award you $20,000 for your injuries (including medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering), then they would reduce that amount by $2000, leaving your total award at $18,000.
Pennsylvania Statute of Limitations
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for premises liability is known as Pennsylvania Cons. Stat. Title 42 section 5524. This states that: “an action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another” must be brought within two years. If you have waited more than two years to bring your case forward, it may not be possible to proceed. That’s why we recommend you call the experienced attorneys at Thistle Law as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Will My Slip and Fall Case Go to Trial?
Many slip and fall cases are settled out of court, and have no need to go to trial. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the decision of whether or not your case should go before a jury, and should always be willing to help move your case forward if it is in your best interest.
You will have to make a strong case to prove fault in a slip and fall, and to receive a settlement that accurately reflects the true extent of damages you have suffered. The attorneys at Thistle Law can help you navigate the many challenges to bringing a successful lawsuit, and help you prove and win your case. Contact our office for a free consultation today by calling 215-525-6824 or by filling out this form.