Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is renowned for its rich history, iconic Liberty Bell, and irresistible cheesesteaks. Its unique blend of historic charm and modern urban life attracts millions every year. Yet, like any bustling city, accidents such as slip and fall injuries are not uncommon on its cobblestone streets and contemporary establishments. Understanding the statute of limitations — a legal term that refers to the set duration within which one must initiate legal proceedings from the date of an alleged offense — becomes vital in such scenarios.
This time limit serves to ensure fairness in legal claims and prevent stale claims from arising. For anyone in Philadelphia who has experienced a slip and fall, being aware of these time constraints is crucial. Such knowledge can mean the difference between receiving due compensation or missing out due to a legal technicality. If you or someone you know is involved in such an accident in this iconic city, swift action, coupled with an understanding of the local laws, is paramount. This article delves into the specifics of the statute of limitations for slip and fall injuries in Philadelphia, guiding you through the essential steps and considerations.
If you were involved in a slip and fall accident and have more questions than this article answers, give the Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers a call at Munley Law. We offer a free consultation to new clients. You will be able to tell your story to an expert lawyer who will give you a reasonable assessment of your case.
Understanding Slip and Fall Injuries
In order to understand a slip and fall accident case, let’s first break down the reason someone would file a slip and fall claim. Understanding slip and fall injuries is crucial as these accidents are common and can lead to significant physical and financial consequences.
A slip and fall injury occurs when an individual falls to the ground as a result of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. Common causes of these accidents include:
- Wet floors
- Uneven surfaces
- Poorly lit areas
- Obstacles or debris in walkways.
Once a person experiences a slip and fall, they can suffer from a range of injuries, including but not limited to:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Head injuries, such as concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and abrasions
- Bruises and contusions
The severity of these injuries can vary, with some requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
What Are the Factors That Affect a Slip and Fall Case?
When a slip and fall accident occurs, several factors can affect the outcome of a potential legal case. The first factor is the condition of the property where the accident happened. If the property owner failed to maintain the premises properly or didn’t address a known hazard, they could be held liable for the accident.
Another factor to consider is the actions of the victim at the time of the accident. If the individual was not paying attention or was in an area they shouldn’t have been, this could impact their ability to recover damages.
Finally, the timing of the legal action is crucial, as there are strict statute of limitations laws that dictate how long a person has to file a claim after an accident. Understanding these factors is vital for anyone involved in a slip and fall accident, as it can significantly impact the potential success of a legal claim.
Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically two years from the date of the injury. This means that an individual has two years to file a lawsuit after they have been injured.
While this may seem like a long time, if you fail to bring a claim forward within that window, you will forfeit your rights to all compensation. Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations on personal injury law is one of the many reasons it is essential to have a seasoned personal injury attorney by your side. At Munley Law, our slip and fall accident lawyers will take over all the details of your case, including the paperwork. We will not only make sure your claim is filed correctly, but we will also make sure it is filed well within the time restrictions to ensure you recover maximum compensation.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute?
In short, yes, there are exceptions to Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. For example, if the injured party is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended until they reach the age of majority. In Pennsylvania, as in most other states in the U.S., a minor is a person below the age of 18. Therefore, once the minor reaches 18, the clock starts ticking on their claim.
Additionally, suppose the injured party was not aware of the injury and could not have reasonably discovered it within the two-year time frame. In that case, the statute of limitations may be extended. Other exceptions may apply based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case.
Since 1959, Munley Law has represented thousands of Pennsylvania residents. We are deeply aware of the time limits on personal injury claims and how to best help our clients during a time of enormous stress and physical pain. We offer a free consultation where we will help you understand how the statute of limitations may apply in a specific case, as these laws can be complex and vary depending on the situation.
Premises Liability and Comparative Negligence
Another factor that comes into play in a slip and fall injury case is premises liability. Premises liability is a legal theory that holds property owners and occupiers responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors. In a slip and fall case, premises liability requires the victim to prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and failed to rectify it, thereby causing the injury.
This includes demonstrating that the property owner had a duty of care, breached that duty by allowing a dangerous condition to exist, and that this breach directly resulted in the victim’s injuries. We will go over this again when we talk about how your personal injury attorney will build and argue your case.
In Pennsylvania, comparative negligence laws may impact a slip and fall case. These laws take into account the victim’s role in the accident, and if the victim is found to be partially at fault, their compensation will be reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a victim is awarded $100,000 but is found to be 20% at fault for the accident, they would receive $80,000. It is important for victims to consult with a personal injury attorney who can navigate these complex legal theories and laws to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
What Should I Do If I Sustained a Slip and Fall Injury in Philadelphia?
If you have experienced a slip and fall injury in Philadelphia, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention immediately, even if the injuries seem minor. Medical records will be vital for a personal injury claim and your health should be the top priority.
- Report the accident to the property owner or manager and ensure that an incident report is filed.
- Document everything about the incident, including the date, time, location, and circumstances surrounding the fall. Take pictures of the scene and any hazards that may have contributed to the accident.
- Gather the contact information of any witnesses who saw the fall.
- Preserve any evidence that may be related to the accident, such as shoes or clothing.
- Consult with a personal injury lawyer before speaking to any insurance companies.
It is critical to avoid speaking with insurance companies without legal representation. Insurance adjusters are skilled at minimizing payouts, and anything you say can be used against you. Seeking medical attention promptly is essential not only for your health but also for bolstering your personal injury claim. Medical records serve as tangible evidence of your injuries and their severity.
Partnering with a Munley personal injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the complex legal landscape surrounding slip and fall accidents. We will ensure that all the necessary evidence is gathered and that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations. We will also handle all communications with insurance companies, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Will Munley Law Help Me With My Philadelphia Slip and Fall Case?
Besides filing your claim on time, there are several steps we will take to secure a favorable outcome in your slip and fall claim. At Munley, we believe knowledge is power. We equip our clients with as much knowledge as possible so they can fight for their rights. We keep you updated on your case and your lawyer is constantly available to you as we try to serve justice in your name.
After we file your claim, here is how your Munley personal injury attorney will lead you to success:
- Determining fault: We will identify the party responsible for maintaining the property where the injury occurred. Once we identify the party, we will then prove they had control over the premises and the conditions that led to the fall and to your injuries.
- Proving negligence: There are four components to proving someone’s negligence caused a victim’s injury. They are:
- Duty: Establish that the property owner had a duty to keep the premises safe.
- Breach of Duty: Show that the owner failed to address a hazard or unsafe condition.
- Causation: Prove that the breach of duty directly resulted in the injury.
- Damages: Demonstrate the extent of the victim’s injuries and associated costs.
- Investigating the Accident Scene: Our lawyers will visit the location where the fall occurred to gather evidence and understand the conditions that led to the accident. We will take photographs, video, and document any hazards or relevant factors.
- Speaking to Witnesses: As part of our investigation, we will interview individuals who witnessed the incident to gather statements supporting the victim’s case. We will also collect contact information for any witnesses to ensure their testimony can be used in court if necessary.
- Negotiating with the Insurance Company: Once you partner with a Munley lawyer, you never have to speak to anyone at the insurance company again. We will do all the talking! We will communicate with the insurance adjusters to negotiate a fair settlement. We will utilize evidence and legal knowledge to counter any attempts to minimize the claim.
- Taking the Case to Trial: If a settlement cannot be reached, your personal injury attorney will prepare to present the case in court. Our lawyers are nationally recognized trial lawyers who have won millions for our clients in the courtroom. We will develop a compelling argument that clearly outlines the fault, negligence, and damages involved. Our legal team will work to ensure all necessary evidence, witness statements, and expert testimonies are ready to be presented.
By meticulously following these steps, our personal injury lawyers have built strong, winning cases for thousands of clients. We are confident we can do the same for you.
Call Today For a Free Consultation
At Munley Law, our personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we only get paid if we win your case. A contingency fee is a percentage of the final settlement or court award that the attorney receives as payment for their services.
Over the years, we have seen this arrangement benefit our clients immensely. It allows you to pursue a legal claim without worrying about upfront costs or hourly fees. With a Munley Law attorney, you can focus on your recovery while your lawyer handles the complex legal process, all with the assurance that we are motivated to secure the best possible outcome in the case. Call today for your free consultation so we can get to work and secure the compensation you deserve.
Philadelphia Practice Areas
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
1617 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103