SLIP AND FALLS & TRIP AND FALLS
Premises, including buildings, parking lots, and walkways which are open to invitees must be maintained so they can be safely traveled. An injury from a slip or trip accident can often result in pain and suffering and emotional distress, medical expenses, lost earnings, and property damage to the victim.
If you are considering legal action for a slip and fall or a trip and fall incident, the most useful person on your side is a skilled attorney. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible in order to manage your case. Many slip/trip and fall cases are complex and difficult to prove and your chances of recovering damages for your ordeal are best if you have experienced and knowledgeable legal representation.
If you are hurt in a fall, it's important to see a doctor to insure your injuries are treated and documented. Medical records are important evidence in seeking compensation for your injuries.
Report the incident in writing to the premises owner or manager and if you are reporting the incident to someone, ask the person for a copy of the report for yourself. Make sure to get the name and title of the person you contact.
Document everything. Get the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of all potential witnesses. Take pictures of the exact location of the incident and immediate vicinity and any stairs, icy patches, or other conditions that contributed to the incident. Write down what you were doing before and during the incident, including the way you fell, the exact time and date, and any other important details. Keep the shoes and clothing you were wearing in a secure place as they may be relevant evidence.
Decline to give statements about the incident to an insurance company until you have spoken with an attorney.
Do not place blame and do not take blame. Limit your communication with the property owner or manager to the basics of the incident.
Do not post any details regarding the incident on social media.
You must prove several things in order to hold a party legally liable for your injuries:
- the party had a duty to act reasonably in the circumstances;
- the party breached that duty;
- the party's breach of the duty caused you to be harmed; and
- you sustained damages by the harm you suffered when the party breached its duty of care.
The amount of compensation for an injury depends largely on the severity of the injury. In some cases you may receive compensation for the future effect of the injuries; effects such as ongoing pain and suffering/loss of enjoyment of life, lost future earning capacity, or the burden of future necessary medical treatment and expenses.
AUTO INSURANCE ADVICE FOR PENNSYLVANIA DRIVERS
When selecting options available to you in a Pennsylvania automobile insurance policy, pay close attention to the "full tort" and "limited tort" coverage options. The difference in cost between the two is often not significant, but if you are involved in an auto accident, you will learn that the difference in coverages is very significant.
A full tort election enables you to recover for all non-economic damages in addition to economic damages (medical and property damage bills, loss of earnings, and certain related out of pocket expenses). Significantly, non-economic damages include payment for pain and suffering.
The limited tort option covers non-economic damages only under special circumstance primarily if you have been severely and permanently injured or disfigured. So unless these (or some other limited circumstances) apply, your pain and suffering are not taken into account. So we recommend that you carefully weigh your options before selecting your tort option.
Another automobile insurance option to consider seriously is uninsured coverage. If you do not select uninsured coverage and are involved in an auto accident with an uninsured vehicle, you likely will have great difficulty recovering (a) any economic or non-economic damages, (b) money for property damage to your vehicle, and (c) any money for your medical costs over your own coverage (typically $5,000.00). Considering the huge number of uninsured drivers, this is an option you should also strongly consider.
If you have any questions about your insurance coverage or have been involved in an auto accident and need representation, please call us for a free consultation.
PROTECT YOURSELF IN CASE OF A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
It's important to make good decisions when situations happen which could lead to legal action. The following are some "does and don'ts" that can make a big difference in your outcome.
When you are involved in any vehicle incident:
- Do get the license plate numbers of all vehicles involved. A driver's license, insurance information, name, address, or telephone number given to you or even to police officers may be incorrect or out of date. This may be done on purpose or may be due to illegible handwriting, transposed letters or numbers, or even a pen that does not write well! The unfortunate result of these errors is the same: it may be difficult or impossible to find the responsible party even using a good private investigator.
- Do call the police to the scene and do get the police officers' names.
- Do take photos! Photograph the scene, visible injuries, and the vehicles involved.
- Do not give any statements to any one other than the police.
- Do not talk to the other party's insurance company.