In part 1 of this article, I talked about how homeowners are responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalks in front of their homes under Pennsylvania law. If a dangerous condition on the sidewalks causes pedestrians to fall, homeowners may be responsible for the pedestrians’ injuries.
In part 2 of this article, I will talk about a trip and fall accident case I handled where a homeowner was responsible for my client’s injuries.
I represented a woman who was walking home with her husband and daughter after dinner in Old City, Philadelphia. It was dark and she tripped over a raised brick on a brick sidewalk. She fell forward and her left hand went into a hole which was created by missing bricks. Her left hand struck the edge of the hole causing her fingers to bend back. As a result, she sustained multiple displaced fractures in her hand.
Upon inspection, the sidewalk was a mess. It had multiple raised bricks and areas of missing bricks.
As in many Philadelphia trip and fall cases, one of the elements the injured pedestrian has to prove is that the property owner had notice, whether actual or constructive, of the dangerous tripping hazard. In this case, we were able to prove that the homeowner had actual notice of the dangerous sidewalk.
The homeowner admitted at the deposition that he knew the bricks were dangerous tripping hazards for pedestrians. He noticed the condition of the brick sidewalk when he moved into the property. He also testified that the bricks were missing and raised because multiple commercial, construction, and/or city vehicles parked on the sidewalk. He didn’t call the City or the companies to attempt to prevent the vehicles from parking on the sidewalk. He didn’t do anything to fix the bricks until it was too late. Suffice it to say, the homeowner had ample notice of the dangerous condition on his brick sidewalk.
Due to the location of the fractures, my client had a long road to recovery. We were able to recover a satisfactory confidential settlement prior to trial.
If you were injured in a trip and fall accident on a public sidewalk in Philadelphia and would like to know your legal rights, feel free to contact Dan O’Brien at 877.944.8396. Dan and his team have helped many injured pedestrians in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.