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Philadelphia Sidewalk Accident Attorneys

Philadelphia Sidewalk Accident Lawyer

At the PhillyLaw law firm, we understand the complexities involved in slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall cases on sidewalks. Our experienced team of attorneys is well-versed in the local laws and regulations that govern sidewalk maintenance and accident liability in Philadelphia. We work diligently to investigate each case thoroughly, gathering evidence and building a strong case to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Whether it involves negotiating with insurance companies or representing clients in court, PhillyLaw is committed to providing exceptional legal support for those affected by sidewalk accidents. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your ability to recover compensation for a Philadelphia slip-and-fall accident.

a broken step in the front of a Philadelphia building

Liability for Slip-and-Fall Accidents on Sidewalks

Property owners in Philadelphia have a legal obligation to maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their properties in a safe condition. This responsibility typically encompasses the removal of snow, ice, and debris, as well as the repair of cracks or uneven surfaces that could pose tripping hazards. When property owners fail to uphold these duties, they can be held liable for slip-and-fall accidents that occur as a result. Liability determination involves proving that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the sidewalk, that the negligence directly led to the accident, and that the victim suffered injuries as a result. It is also essential to consider the specific circumstances and local ordinances that might affect liability, such as whether the sidewalk is owned by a private individual, a business, or the city itself.

Sidewalk Accidents on Private Property

When a slip-and-fall accident occurs on private property, liability typically rests with the property owner. Whether the property is residential or commercial, owners are required to ensure that the sidewalks in front of their premises are safe for pedestrian use. This includes prompt removal of hazards like snow, ice, leaves, and other debris, as well as repair of any cracks, uneven surfaces, or potholes.

Sidewalk Accidents on Public Property

When a slip-and-fall accident occurs on public property, determining liability can be more complex. In many cases, the city or municipality is responsible for maintaining sidewalks and ensuring they are safe for public use. However, establishing liability against a government agency requires adherence to specific legal procedures and timelines, which can differ significantly from those involving private property owners. Victims must often demonstrate that the governmental entity had prior knowledge of the hazardous condition and failed to take appropriate action to rectify it within a reasonable timeframe.

Additionally, local government agencies are typically protected by a sovereign immunity act, which can limit or restrict the ability to sue for damages in a slip-and-fall accident. Despite these challenges, with the proper legal guidance, it is possible to hold public entities accountable for negligence that leads to sidewalk accidents. Phillylaw’s experienced attorneys are prepared to navigate these complexities, ensuring that victims of sidewalk accidents on public property receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

The Pennsylvania Tort Claims Act

The Pennsylvania Tort Claims Act can significantly influence the ability to pursue compensation for slip-and-fall accidents on public property against the government agency responsible for the sidewalk. This legislation grants government entities various protections and often limits their liability in personal injury cases. Under the Tort Claims Act, local government agencies, including municipalities, can only be held accountable for negligence under specific conditions. Victims must provide timely notice of their claim, typically within six months of the accident, and prove that the public entity had prior knowledge of the hazardous condition and failed to address it promptly.

a person on their hands and knees in the middle of a sidewalk, with a dropped backpack in the foreground.

Contributory Negligence Under Pennsylvania Law for Sidewalk Accidents

Under Pennsylvania law, contributory negligence can significantly impact the outcome of a sidewalk accident case. Contributory negligence refers to the legal concept where a victim’s own negligence played a role in causing their injuries. In Pennsylvania, the rule of comparative negligence is applied, meaning that if a victim is found to be partially at fault for their accident, their compensation can be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault.

For instance, if a pedestrian is found to be 20% at fault for not paying attention to where they were walking, and the property owner is 80% at fault for failing to repair a large crack in the sidewalk, the pedestrian’s total compensation would be reduced by that 20%. It is crucial to note that if a pedestrian’s fault exceeds 50%, they may be barred from recovering any compensation at all.

Determining the extent of contributory negligence involves a thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the accident. Factors such as the pedestrian’s actions, the visibility and noticeability of the hazard, and any warnings provided by the property owner are taken into account. PhillyLaw’s experienced slip-and-fall lawyers are adept at analyzing these factors to minimize the impact of contributory negligence and maximize the potential recovery for our clients. By meticulously reviewing all aspects of the case, we ensure that victims receive fair compensation despite the complexities of contributory negligence under Pennsylvania law.

What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Philadelphia Sidewalk Accident

If you have been injured in a Philadelphia sidewalk accident, taking immediate and appropriate actions is crucial for your health, safety, and legal rights. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your health should be your top priority. Even if you think your injuries are minor, it is essential to seek medical evaluation as soon as possible. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent but could worsen over time if untreated.
  2. Report the Accident: Notify the property owner or manager about the incident. If the accident occurred on public property, report it to the relevant municipal authority. Ensure that the incident is documented and that you receive a copy of any official report.
  3. Document the Scene: Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, focusing on the hazardous condition that caused your fall. Capture different angles and include nearby landmarks to establish the location. If there were any witnesses, collect their contact information and statements.
  4. Preserve Evidence: Keep your clothing, shoes, and any other items involved in the accident. These can serve as evidence that might help your case. Make sure to document any visible injuries with photographs.
  5. Consult the Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at PhillyLaw: Contact a slip-and-fall lawyer who specializes in sidewalk accidents. An experienced slip-and-fall lawyer can guide you through the legal process, explain your rights, and help you build a strong case.
  6. Keep Records: Maintain a detailed record of all expenses and losses related to the accident, including medical bills, prescription costs, transportation expenses for medical appointments, and any lost wages due to inability to work. This documentation will be critical in supporting your compensation claim.

By following these steps, you can protect your well-being and strengthen your legal claim. Phillylaw’s team is here to provide expert legal advice and support at every stage, ensuring that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.

Contingency Fee Arrangement

PhillyLaw operates on a contingency fee basis for personal injury claims like slip-and-fall accidents, which means that our clients do not have to pay any upfront legal fees for our services. Instead, our attorney’s fees are contingent upon successfully recovering compensation for your case. This arrangement makes high-quality legal representation accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.

Under a contingency fee agreement, we only get paid if we win your case. Our fee will be a predetermined percentage of the settlement or court-awarded damages, agreed upon before we begin working on your case. This ensures that our interests are aligned with yours—we are motivated to secure the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.

PhillyLaw is Here For You When You Have Injured Yourself on a Sidewalk in Philadelphia

At PhillyLaw, we understand the life-altering impact a sidewalk accident can have on you and your family. Our dedicated team of legal professionals is committed to providing compassionate and comprehensive support throughout the entire legal process. From the moment you contact us, we work tirelessly to build a strong case in your favor, meticulously collecting evidence, consulting with experts, and negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve.

We know that dealing with injuries and their aftermath can be overwhelming, and our goal is to ease your burden. PhillyLaw’s attorneys combine extensive experience with a personalized approach, tailoring our strategies to meet the unique needs of your case. Whether it’s gathering critical medical documentation, preserving vital evidence, or representing you in court, you can count on us to be there every step of the way.

Don’t navigate this challenging time alone. If you’ve suffered a sidewalk accident in Philadelphia, reach out to PhillyLaw for a free consultation. We are here to fight for your rights so you can focus on your recovery, knowing that you have a trusted ally in your corner.