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I lost my balance and fell down the stairs in a PA restaurant and hurt my back and neck. The railing on the stairway broke as I held it going down the stairs. I have a previous neck injury from a prior car accident, can I still sue the restaurant?

 

A:

Yes, even though you have a previous neck injury, you may still bring a fall down accident lawsuit in PA against the restaurant if the restaurant was negligent.  However, the value of your case may be affected by your pre-existing injury and the extent of your pre-existing injury.

Other Fall Down Case Results Obtained By Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq.:

Situation A: Your neck injury from the car accident happened 10 years ago.  As a result, you had 2 herniated discs in your neck.  You were in significant pain and had numbness down your right arm.  You received physical therapy for about a year, and received some epidural shots in your neck to alleviate the pain.  At the end of your treatment, your neck pain improved.  You were able to go back to doing your daily activities, exercise, etc.  The numbness in your arm also went away.  Your neck has not bothered you for the last 9 years until this fall down accident.

Even though you had a prior neck injury, it was not bothering you for the last 9 years. You have not been treated for any neck injuries for the last 9 years.

In this situation, your prior neck injury should not affect the value of your lawsuit because you were not treating for your prior neck injury.

Situation B: Using the same facts as above, but your accident occurred last year.  At the time of your fall down accident, you were still treating for your neck injury; however, you were getting better.  The pain you had immediately after your accident was almost gone.  After this car accident, your neck pain got worse.  An imaging study shows that you have a new herniated disc in your neck.  Therefore, even though you reinjured your neck, you also have a new herniated disc from the fall down accident.  Medical evidence will be important to establish that your old injury was aggravated, and in addition, you sustained a new herniated disc in your neck.  Therefore, you can still sue despite your old neck injury.

In order to prevail in your fall down accident case against the restaurant, we would also have to prove that the restaurant was negligent and had notice of the dangerous railing.  For example, if the railing was loose some time prior to your fall and the restaurant knew about it, but failed to fix it, it will be liable for your injuries.

Public establishments such as restaurants have a duty to protect their customers from unreasonably dangerous conditions.  A loose stairway railing is dangerous and can cause customers to lose their balance if it comes off the wall.

However, if the restaurant did not know about the loose railing prior to the fall, you may still have a case against the restaurant if it should have known about the loose railing.

Related: Is Proving Notice Necessary To Win A Pennsylvania Trip And Fall Accident Case?

Feel free to give me a call to discuss your stairway fall down accident. 877.944.8396


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