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Types Of Premises Liability Cases – By A Philadelphia, PA Slip, Trip & Fall Accident Lawyer

A common type of personal injury lawsuit in Philadelphia, PA is a premises liability lawsuit, which encompass different types of cases, including but not limited to slip and fall accidents, trip and fall accidents and negligent security cases.  This article will discuss these types of premises liability cases.

Philadelphia, PA Slip and Fall & Trip and Fall Accidents

The most common type of premises liability cases is a slip and fall or trip and fall accident.  For instance, a pedestrian walking in Center City, Philadelphia may trip over an uneven sidewalk, or in the winter, a pedestrian may slip on an icy sidewalk and fall.  A pedestrian may be crossing the street and step in a pot hole on the street and trip as a result.  In areas where there is a high pedestrian traffic, these types of accidents are quite common.

Another common fall accident is slipping or tripping on a stairway.  Pedestrians may slip on an icy stairway going into a Septa train station.  A hotel customer may trip on a raised tread on one of the steps heading to the hotel lobby.

Related: PA Slip & Fall Accident On A Painted Stripe In A Parking Lot

Negligent Security

Another type of premises liability case is when an individual is injured by another due to the responsible party’s failure to provide reasonable security.  For instance, an individual walking to his car in a dark parking lot is assaulted, or a tenant is assaulted in his apartment lobby because the locks of the building front door are broken.

Other Premises Liability Cases

Other premises liability cases may include children injured on a school playground due to negligent supervision, or children having near-drowning accidents at a public pool due to a lifeguard that is not paying attention.

Proving Fault - Negligence

For all of these premises liability lawsuits, including others not mentioned in this article, the injured victims (plaintiffs) must prove that the liable parties (defendants) were negligent.  In order to prove negligence, victims must prove the following 4 elements:

  1. the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff,
  2. the defendant breached the duty,
  3. the breach of duty caused the accident and plaintiff’s injuries, and
  4. the nature and extent of any damages which occurred as a result of the accident.

All four of the above elements must be proven in order for the injured plaintiff to prevail in a premises liability lawsuit.  For instance, a pedestrian slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk in front of a store in Philadelphia, and it was the store’s responsibility to clear the sidewalk of snow and ice.  The pedestrian does not sustain any injuries, but decides to sue the store. 

In this scenario, the pedestrian would not prevail.  Even though the first 3 elements are proven, i.e.,  the store had a duty to keep its premises, including the sidewalk, free of unreasonably dangerous conditions, such as ice, but failed to do so resulting in the customer’s fall, the customer did not sustain any injuries or damages.  Even through there is no doubt that the store was at-fault, without damages, the plaintiff cannot prevail and financially recover.

However, if the customer broke his wrist and needed to have surgery and rehabilitation services after surgery, then there are damages and he may prevail and financially recover for his injuries and damages.


In addition to proving negligence, an injured plaintiff in Philadelphia slip, trip and fall accident cases must prove that the liable party had notice of the unreasonably dangerous condition (snow, ice, broken sidewalk, etc.) that caused the plaintiff to slip, trip or fall.

There are two types of notice: actual and constructive.  If the defendant knew that there was a dangerous condition but failed to fix it, the defendant will most likely be held liable.  This is actual notice.  On the other hand, a defendant has constructive notice of a dangerous condition if the circumstances show that the defendant should have known about the condition. 

What Can Plaintiffs Recover

Plaintiffs may present different types of damage claims in a Philadelphia premises liability lawsuit, such as:

  • medical expenses,
  • lost wages, and/or
  • pain and suffering.

A damage claim that cannot be easily calculated is pain and suffering because it is different for everyone.  Two individuals with the same injury may be affected differently due to their age.  A woman in her 70s who sustains an ankle fracture may require longer recovery time and even develop complications due to her age.  Compare that to a young woman in her 20s with the same injury who may bounce back after just a few weeks.  When determining pain and suffering damages, different factors are considered, such as how the injuries affect the individual’s daily life in terms of work, family, etc.

Help After A Philadelphia, PA Premises Liability Accident – We offer FREE consultations. Call today to schedule a FREE consultation with Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. at 877.944.8396

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