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I was leaving a holiday party at someone’s house and slipped and fell on her icy driveway. I am really hurt and wanted to know if I should sue.

 

A:

Legally, you may have a right to sue the homeowner for your slip and fall accident on her icy driveway.  It all depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding your fall.  Factors which need to be considered are:

  • the time of your accident, i.e., day or night,
  • whether the entire driveway was covered in ice,
  • whether there was salt on the driveway,
  • whether there was fresh snow on the driveway, and/or
  • whether there was snow/ice left over from a previous snow storm.

Under Pennsylvania’s slip and fall accident law, a property owner who invites guests to his/her property has a duty to keep his/her property free of unreasonably dangerous conditions so that invited guests will not get hurt.

In your situation, since you were an invited guest to the home for a holiday party, the homeowner had a duty to keep her home safe from unreasonably dangerous conditions.  An icy driveway is considered an unreasonably dangerous condition.  If the homeowner knew that she was having a party and that people were coming to her home, she had a duty to clear the driveway of ice.  She needed to shovel the snow and put salt down to melt the ice since guests would be walking on the driveway.

If the homeowner is your friend, you will be bringing a lawsuit against your friend.  Many times, people don’t want to do that initially.  However, if the injuries are very serious, i.e., if they require surgery that renders you immobile so that you cannot work for a long period of time, you may be faced with a lot of financial stress.  You may have significant damages, such as past and future work loss, past and future medical bills, other out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering as a result of the injuries.

We have represented clients who filed slip and fall accident lawsuits against their family members, such as a daughter or a parent, and in those situations, the party being sued understood the situation because our clients talked to them about it prior to filing a lawsuit.  While legally you may be able to bring a Pennsylvania slip and fall accident lawsuit, the decision of whether to file a lawsuit is solely yours to make. 

Feel free to call me at 877.944.8396 to discuss your accident.

For more information on PA slip and fall accidents, see:


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