Are Property Owners Responsible for Slips and Falls?
Slip-and-fall accidents could happen anywhere in Pennsylvania. The winter may bring more significant risks for accidents due to ice and snow, but even leaves strewn on sidewalks during the fall season might lead people to slip, fall and suffer an injury. Persons walking around inside a store may trip no matter what season. Ultimately, someone who slips and falls on private property may have a personal injury claim.
Property owners have responsibilities for safety
A homeowner who does not fix a broken pathway to the front door may face liability claims if someone trips. The same might be true when a business owner does not repair damaged sidewalks or parking lot surfaces.
Leaving objects strewn about in front of a home or business also presents hazards. Did a business owner sweep the front of the store and then leave a broom lying on the sidewalk? The broom may cause someone to trip.
Inside of a property, a homeowner might face negligence claims when stairs lack a handrail or the steps fall into hazardous disrepair. Businesses should not ignore slip-and-fall dangers such as spills; it’s important to take steps to clean the mess.
The many forms hazards take
Allowing driveways or parking lots to remain snow-covered or icy presents potential liabilities in winter. However, the property owner must be aware of the issue and respond in a reasonable time. No one could expect a business owner to clear off snow in the middle of a blizzard, but such steps become necessary once the blizzard stops.
Ultimately, a property owner or person responsible for the property cannot ignore a duty to care. Negligent behavior may lead to insurance claims or lawsuits. Even a minor slip-and-fall accident could result in high medical bills, so a personal injury lawsuit may help someone recover medical expenses and other losses.