Philadelphia Sidewalk Accident Lawyer
Trip and fall slip and fall accidents on sidewalks occur every day in the United States. Although these accidents occur nationwide, states differ on whether you can bring a claim against the responsible party. For example, in New Jersey, the average homeowner is generally not liable for defects which cause sidewalk injuries. In Pennsylvania, on the other hand, a homeowner with a sidewalk is usually 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 for making repairs to their sidewalk, and failure to do so when they are held responsible constitutes negligence. Negligence is the failure to do something which a reasonably prudent person would do. In the case of sidewalks, a homeowner is responsible for fixing cracks and defects, so that people do not 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 typically 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, and you should consult an experienced personal injury lawyer for advice and representation in your claim. At The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. our attorneys are able and willing to 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 incidents in which people 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 regarding the time during which to clear the ice or snow. This allows for notice to be given 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 at these and other issues 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.