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Filing a Slip and Fall Claim

November 30, 2016

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin

In Pennsylvania, business owners are required to perform maintenance, make necessary repairs, and enforce safety codes to keep their properties safe for visitors. Unfortunately, many property owners fail to take these reasonable steps, which results in thousands of injuries every year. Injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents can be painful and expensive to treat, so if you were injured on someone else’s property, it is critical to contact an experienced accident attorney in Philadelphia who will aggressively represent your interests.

Dangerous Locations

Most slip and fall accidents take place at busy locations where owners either do not have enough time, supervision, or resources to ensure that their property is free of hazards. This includes places, such as:

  • Grocery stores;
  • Malls;
  • Stadiums;
  • Casinos;
  • Restaurants;
  • Hotels; and
  • Amusement parks.

Often, injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents were entirely preventable and only occurred because a property owner failed to correct obvious defects, including:

  • Torn carpet;
  • Damaged flooring;
  • Defective stairs and railings;
  • Poor lighting;
  • Cluttered walkways;
  • Snow and ice;
  • Slippery floors; and
  • Improperly stacked merchandise.

Failing to address these types of problems can have devastating consequences, especially for minors, the disabled, and the elderly. Common injuries include:

  • Concussions and head trauma;
  • Bruising and scrapes;
  • Fractured hands and wrists;
  • Dislocated shoulders;
  • Fractured hips; and
  • Facial injuries.

Duties Towards Invitees

Because store owners invite others onto their property for business purposes, they owe a higher duty of care to visitors. For this reason, business owners can be held legally responsible for injuries sustained by those who were hurt while on their property. To establish that injured parties fall under this protected category, plaintiffs must demonstrate that:

  • They were invited to enter onto the person’s property;
  • They entered the property for a purpose connected to the owner’s business; and
  • Their presence provided a benefit to the property owner or business.

Once this has been established, a court determines liability by assessing the following:

  • Whether an owner fulfilled his or her duty to warn visitors of latent and hidden dangers about which he or she knew or should have known; and
  • Whether he or she had a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect.


Injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents can require expensive and painful treatment. For instance, someone who suffered a severely broken arm may need multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and months of immobility to fully heal. This in turn, may require the injured party to take weeks or even months off of work, which can be financially devastating for families who are supported by a single income. Fortunately, responsible property owners can be held liable for costs associated with the accident as long as they file within two years of the date of the incident. Covered expenses may include:

  • Medical bills;
  • Property damage;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future income; and
  • Pain and suffering.

How an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Business owners who fail to keep their premises in good condition can and should be held responsible for resulting injuries, so if you live in Pennsylvania and were injured in a slip and fall accident, please contact van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin at (215) 977-4627 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you collect the compensation you deserve.


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