Leading Personal Injury Law Firm In Philadelphia SLIP AND FALLS

If your loved one suffered a slip and fall at a business or residence in Philadelphia, The Thistle Law Firm can help.

Request a consultation with us today and we’ll help determine if you have a case.

The Basics of Slip and Fall Cases in Philadelphia

While we all know to watch out for icy streets, a slip and fall injury can occur at any time. This is because there are so many more hazardous situations than we commonly think about. Whether it’s a broken handrail, unmarked step, or wet floor, if a hazard is marked properly and precautions aren’t taken to reduce their danger, they can cause serious and lasting injuries out of nowhere. However, since people don’t always consider every possible danger, they may not always know whether or not they can get compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

It’s the responsibility of businesses and property owners to ensure that their property is safe for people on the premises. When they don’t take the proper precautions, whether that be removing snow or putting up the right signage, and someone is hurt as a result, they are liable for the injuries their negligence caused and may have to cover the damages of the slip and fall victim.

There are many potentially hazardous scenarios that are likely to cause a slip and fall injury, including:

  • Spills that aren’t cleaned in a timely manner
  • Sidewalks that haven’t had salt or ice melt applied
  • Uneven walking surfaces, like a broken sidewalk
  • Obstacles placed in hazardous areas

To prove a slip and fall case, you first must show that the property owner acted in a negligent way. This means that you must demonstrate that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard and had a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue.

What Happens If I’ve Been the Victim of a Slip and Fall Injury in Philadelphia?

Determining Negligence in a Philadelphia Slip and Fall Case

Anyone who owns property in Philadelphia is required to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for customers, employees, guests, and anyone else who is on the premises legally. The principle behind this requirement is known as premises liability. It is the basis of Pennsylvania's laws regarding personal injury accidents and liability.

Success in a slip-and-fall claim will ultimately depend on the accident victim's ability to prove that the Philadelphia property owner did not take reasonable steps to keep the property safe, directly causing the accident due to that negligence. For example, a property owner may be responsible for an accident if they didn't promptly repair a potential hazard or failed to provide proper warning about the slip and fall hazard to prevent injury.

In Pennsylvania, laws regarding slips and falls do protect Philadelphia property owners against liability claims in some instances that are weather-related. For example, under what is known as the Hills and Ridges Doctrine, a property owner isn't responsible for any injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents that occur either during or in the immediate aftermath of a snowstorm. This rule was enacted in response to the state's harsh winters, which can sometimes make keeping a property entirely free from slippery conditions nearly impossible.

In slip-and-fall cases involving snow and ice, liability will ultimately depend on the victim's ability to show that the property owner or representative did not clear walking surfaces promptly; therefore, ice and snow had accumulated to form hills and ridges. Although the Hills and Ridges Doctrine can make it more challenging to win a claim related to slip and fall accidents under winter conditions, the property owner may still be liable when they have neglected to make reasonable efforts to clean up the snow and ice.  

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, to be successful in a claim, a victim must prove the following:

The property's owner violated the duty of care.

A violation of the duty of care owed to the victim occurs when an at-fault party creates a dangerous condition causing the accident because they neglected to maintain the property to a reasonable standard.

Property owners may be held liable for the following:

  • Tripping hazards: A tripping hazard may include an exposed electrical cord, raised or torn carpeting, uneven floors, or some other unexpected obstruction that may cause a fall.
  • Slip hazards: Recently waxed flooring, greasy spots, and spills that aren't cleaned up immediately can cause slip-and-fall accidents. Accumulated ice and snow on a walkway are also a hazard.
  • Inadequate lighting: Poor lighting along walkways, in parking areas, and inside stairwells can lead to decreased visibility and cause slip-and-fall accidents, particularly in areas where uneven surfaces exist.
  • Maintenance hazards: A failure to address issues such as open holes, broken railings, and construction areas that do not have proper safety barriers in place can all become potential hazards that will cause slip-and-fall accidents.

The actions of the property's owner resulted in specific damages.

An experienced Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer will use all of the evidence at their disposal to demonstrate any economic or non-economic damages resulting from your slip and fall injuries. Specific damages may include compensation for medical treatment, loss of wages, and certain intangible costs, such as pain and suffering.

The owner of the property owed a duty of care to the victim.

Pennsylvania's laws regarding personal injury from a slip and fall require that property owners have a duty to avoid harming legal visitors on their property and pedestrians. That is known as a duty of care, and it includes mitigating risks associated with potential slip and fall hazards, either by eliminating the threat or by providing adequate warnings that a danger exists. The duty of care is not afforded to anyone that trespasses on the property or has engaged in excessive, careless behavior, which could be a factor in the accident.

The property's owner was negligent and, therefore, caused injury to the victim.

For any personal injury claim to be successful, the injured party must show that they were exposed to an unnecessary hazard that was the direct cause of their injuries because the property owner failed to take reasonable care of the premises.



If you suffer a slip and fall injury, witnesses of the accident and any photos of the dangerous hazard that caused it will be important to prove your case.

In Philadelphia, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a slip and fall lawsuit, starting on the date of the accident. With decades of personal injury experience, the attorneys at Thistle Law will help you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us at 215-568-6800 or fill out our contact form below.

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