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We went to a BBQ party over the weekend in the suburbs of Philadelphia and I tripped on the walkway leading up to the house. I fractured my ankle. What can I do?

 

A:

According to Pennsylvania trip and fall accident law, homeowners who invite guests to their homes have a duty to keep their properties or homes in reasonably safe condition so that their guests will not get hurt while at their homes.

If the sidewalk/walkway at the house was in disrepair, making it a dangerous condition for pedestrians to walk on, then the host of the BBQ party may be liable for your injury.  Therefore, we need to know how you fell and what caused you to fall.

Other related article: Property Owners May Be Liable For PA Pedestrians' Trip And Fall Accidents And Injuries On Sidewalks

For example, what was the walkway made of? Bricks or stones? Were bricks missing? Did the missing bricks cause you to fall?  If so, were you carrying anything in your hands that prevented you from seeing the missing bricks?

Once it is established that you indeed tripped on a dangerous condition on the walkway, the next element we need to prove is whether the homeowner had notice of the dangerous condition.  Did the homeowner know that the bricks were missing and therefore posed a tripping hazard? If so, the homeowner may be liable

If the homeowner did not actually know about the missing bricks, should he have known?  If the homeowner should have known that there were missing bricks, then he may be liable.  To see a discussion about constructive notice, see Is Proving Notice Necessary To Win A Pennsylvania Trip And Fall Accident Case?

If the host is found liable, you may recover financial damages resulting from your trip and fall accident.  Damages include:

  • past/future medical expenses,
  • past/future lost wages,
  • out of pocket expenses, and
  • pain and suffering.

Many people wonder what expenses are considered out of pocket expenses; they can be medical expenses and non-medical expenses.  You may have to get a walker or a cane to help you move around because of your fractured ankle.  The cost of the cane would be considered an out of pocket medical expense.

An example of a non-medical out of pocket expense would be the cost of hiring a landscaping company to mow your lawn.  Because you cannot bear weight on your ankle, you need to hire someone to cut the lawn at your house.

I don't know what your relationship is with the host of the BBQ party.  Many people may have a hard time suing someone they know.  This obviously may sour a once good relationship between friends.  However, some people find that they have no choice but to sue the people they know.  Their injuries may be catastrophic which prevent them from working.  This puts an incredible strain on their financial situation.  They may not have the means to pay for medical co-pays or may not have short-term disability insurance to cover the lost wages while they are out of work.

Feel free to give me a call to discuss your potential trip and fall accident case.  We can go over all of your concerns and questions regarding a trip and fall accident lawsuit.  877.944.8396


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