Philadelphia Lawyer for Sidewalk Accident
Trip and fall & Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks occur every day in the United States. States differ on whether you can bring a claim against the responsible party. For example, in New Jersey, the average homeowner, generally, is not liable for defects that cause sidewalk injuries. In Pennsylvania, however, a homeowner with a sidewalk is generally responsible for the condition of that sidewalk, whether it be cracks and disrepair or snow and ice.
Cracks and Disrepair
A homeowner in Pennsylvania is generally responsible to make repairs to their sidewalk or they will be responsible for Negligence. Negligence is the failure to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do. In the case of sidewalks, a homeowner is responsible for fixing cracks and defects so people don't trip and injure themselves. In addition to the homeowner, the local governmental agency is also responsible for repairing sidewalk defects. For example, if a homeowner does not have insurance, the city where the home is located is secondarily liable. Moreover, if the sidewalk abuts a commonwealth road, then the commonwealth is responsible for the defect. Claims against the Commonwealth and/or the Local town or city are difficult to prove if the defect is anything other than one "of "the property and not simply "on" the property. Ice and Snow are typically "on" the property and Cracks and Disrepair are usually deemed "of" the property.
If you have fallen as a result of a defect on the sidewalk of someone's property, you most likely will have a claim against that person or entity but you should consult an experienced lawyer for advice and representation for you claim. At the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, our lawyers can guide you through the maze of issues connected with trip and falls from defective sidewalks. The consultation is free, so call today.
Snow and Ice
Even more common than trips on sidewalks are people who fall because a homeowner or business fails to clean their property following a snow or ice storm. In the case of businesses who fail to do so, the law in Pennsylvania is clear that they owe the highest duty of care to people on their property and the failure to make it safe exposes them to liability. In the case of a homeowner, failing to clear the sidewalk within a certain amount of hours following the precipitation exposes them to liability. Most counties have an ordinance as to the time in which to clear the ice or snow. This allows for notice to the homeowner. When there are generally icy conditions all over, a person who is making a claim that they were injured as a result of snow and ice, naturally occurring, must prove that the nature of the snow and ice revealed "hills and ridges". Hills and Ridges is a legal doctrine in Pennsylvania which creates notice on the landowner for dangerous conditions on their property. A person would have to see that the area in question had hills and ridges from others walking on it so as to make it noticeable to the homeowner. If that is shown, then liability can be established.
At Greg Prosmushkin, P.C., our Lawyers are trained to look for these issues as well as many more in order to present a successful claim for you. If you were injured in a fall down accident on a sidewalk, give us a call. The consultation is free.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.