With spring finally upon us, many residents in Philadelphia and surrounding suburban areas are spending more time outdoors. More people are jogging outside, going for a nice walk or walking to their destinations rather than taking taxis or buses. When there are more people outdoors, there are also more slip, trip and fall accidents in Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs.
One type of slip, trip and fall accident is a sidewalk fall down accident. In many Philadelphia sidewalk trip and fall accidents, the property or home owners are liable for the injured pedestrians’ damages. Home/property owners have the duty to keep the sidewalk on their properties free of unreasonably dangerous conditions that may cause pedestrians to fall.
Home/property owners should inspect their sidewalks to make sure that they are in good repair in order to prevent trip and fall accidents.
After the treacherous winter we had this year, the snow, salt and shoveling may have damaged many sidewalks. Pieces of concrete may be missing, creating holes or uneven walking surfaces which may be dangerous tripping hazards for pedestrians.
Trees growing near the sidewalks may also have damaged the sidewalks, i.e., tree roots grew and are pushing a part of the sidewalk up, making it uneven and dangerous for pedestrians.
Some situations may arise where home owners are not responsible because the dangerous condition on the sidewalk was created by another party. For example, a cable company or a utility company may need to dig a hole in the sidewalk; however, if the company does not properly repair the hole, it will be responsible for a pedestrian’s injuries after tripping over the hole.
Just because a dangerous condition on the sidewalk exists does not in and of itself render the property or home owner responsible for a pedestrian’s injuries. Property and home owners need to have prior notice of the dangerous condition.
If the owner actually knew about the dangerous sidewalk because he saw the broken sidewalk prior to the accident at issue, he may be held liable. If the owner should have known about it, i.e., he walks on the sidewalk every day but for some reason doesn’t notice it, he may be held responsible.
However, determining liability of all potential parties requires a thorough investigation. Therefore, after a trip and fall accident Philadelphia, it is important to talk to a personal injury lawyer. If it is possible, take pictures of the sidewalk and the dangerous condition that made you fall.
Call the personal injury lawyers at White and Williams LLP to schedule a FREE consultation at 877.944.8396.