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Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Accidents at Public Establishments: How to Prove Notice (Part B: Actual and Constructive Notice)

As part A of this article discusses, an element an individual injured in a slip and fall accident at a public establishment may need to prove is that the public establishment had notice of the dangerous condition.  This part of the article will discuss actual notice and constructive notice.

Dangerous Conditions Not Created By Public Establishments

If the dangerous condition is not created by the public establishment, it is necessary to prove that the public establishment had actual notice of the dangerous condition or that the condition existed long enough so that the public establishment would have constructive notice.

An example of actual notice is the following:

There are multiple grapes on the floor in the produce section of a supermarket.  A customer tells the staff at the supermarket about the grapes, but the supermarket never cleans it up.  Someone slips and falls on one of the grapes a couple of hours later and gets injured.  The supermarket would be liable for the patron's injuries because it had actual notice several hours prior to the fall and did nothing.

An example of constructive notice is the following:

Using the same situation as above, there are multiple grapes on the floor in the morning; only this time, no one tells the staff about the grapes on the floor.  Later at night, a customer slips and falls from a grape and gets hurt. 

If the injured customer can prove through witnesses that the grapes were there since the morning, it can be argued that the supermarket had constructive notice because the grapes were there for so long.

The customer can also establish constructive notice if he/she can show that the supermarket had prior experiences with grapes being on the floor often.  It can be argued that the supermarket should have regularly checked the produce section throughout the day as it knew that grapes often fall to the floor to create slipping hazard.

Help After PA Slip and Fall Accident:

If you were injured as a result of a slip and fall accident at a public establishment, you probably incurred various medical bills and expenses.  You may recover your bills and expenses from the public establishment.  For more information, feel free to contact our Pennsylvania slip and fall lawyers at 877.944.8396.  We also help injured individuals as a result of slip and fall accidents in New Jersey.

Related Slip and Fall Accident Articles

*Published: 8-22-2012

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