For the second time, Montgomery County apartment owners have denied liability in a slip and fall accident that caused the death of a woman. Her son had filed the lawsuit claiming his mother had stepped into a hole on the property and hurt her ankle. The fall, the lawsuit alleges, also caused her to fall to the ground, sustaining further injuries. Owners of the apartment building have put forward several affirmative defenses, one of which is that the victim was partly responsible for her own injuries.
The story is interesting, as it shines a light on one of the biggest misconceptions of slip and fall cases – that victims cannot pursue damages even if they were partly to blame. Below, our personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia explains the other biggest misconceptions about these claims, and the truth behind them.
You Do Not Need to See a Doctor
Many people think they do not need to see a doctor after a slip and fall, either because they do not believe their injuries are very serious or they do not think they were injured at all. A rush of adrenaline is sent through the system during an accident and so, this can lead you to think you were not hurt. Or, you may simply think your injuries are not serious enough to warrant medical attention.
However, seeing a doctor is very important after any accident. Not only will seeing a doctor ensure your safety and well-being, but it will also document the injury through medical reports, which could act as important evidence afterward.
You Cannot Claim Compensation if You Contributed to the Fall
Sometimes, accident victims are partly to blame for their injuries. For example, a customer may slip on ice outside of a store because they were not wearing proper winter footwear. Still, the comparative negligence law in Pennsylvania allows you to recover a portion of your damages if you are not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
You Can Only Recover Damages from a Private Property Owner
One of the biggest myths surrounding slip and fall accidents is that you can only recover damages if you fell on private property. Fortunately, that is not true. You can file a claim for damages even if you fell on public property. However, filing a claim against any government entity is much more complicated, so it is important to work with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
Exaggerating Your Injuries Can Help You Claim More in Damages
Many people think exaggerating their injuries will help them claim a larger settlement, but that is rarely true. In fact, exaggerating your injuries will only make you seem less credible, which could hurt your case and actually result in you recovering fewer damages than if you had remained honest throughout the process.
You Do Not Need a Personal Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia
You can file a slip and fall claim without the help of a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, but this is never recommended. At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, our skilled attorneys can advise you of the laws that apply to your case, ensure your rights are upheld, and help you claim the full settlement you deserve. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.