Seeking Compensation for Trip and Fall Accidents: Premises Liability Lawyers
The entertainment industry often treat falls caused by tripping on a pothole in the sidewalk or a slippery floor in a business as the stuff of comic fodder. These depictions of fall victims will show neck braces being removed when the coast is clear. Unfortunately, these stereotypes that suggest falls typically result in only minor injuries that are exaggerated by malingerers is both inaccurate and irresponsible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) paint a more accurate picture of the potential life-changing impact of a slip and fall or trip and fall caused by the failure of property owners to eliminate hazards or warn of their presence. Seniors citizens are especially susceptible to serious injuries in fall accidents. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among seniors. Approximately 95 percent of hip fractures suffered by the elderly are caused by a fall. In a typical year, almost 23,000 seniors die as a result of injuries experienced in a fall. The bottom line is that falls are no laughing matter. They can result in permanent disability and serious injuries that include brain injuries, spinal injuries, severe fractures, knee injuries and even fatalities.
Why Should You Put the Law Firm of Steven Chung in Your Corner?
Insurance companies aggressively defend against premises liability claims based on injuries incurred in falls. The aggressive approach taken by insurance companies makes it important to have a proven Philadelphia premises liability attorney represent you. Common tactics used by insurance companies in these cases include attempting to blame the victim for causing his own injury by being careless or inattentive. Similarly, the property owner’s insurance company also will seek to mitigate its liability by claiming a fall victim was not injured or that he or she is misrepresenting the severity or existence of an injury. In some cases, the insurance company will put a victim’s medical history under a magnifying class to find an alternate cause of the injury.
Steven Chung is a proven Philadelphia slip and fall attorney who brings an insider’s knowledge and expertise when dealing with insurance companies. Prior to his career as a successful personal injury attorney, Mr. Chung was an insurance defense lawyer, so he understands the strategies and tactics used by insurance companies to deny valid claims and justify low-ball settlements. Mr. Chung frequently works with a range of experts to establish liability, causation and damages. He engages in timely investigations to preserve evidence and identify witnesses. His success in obtaining millions of dollars for personal injury victims is predicated on diligent investigations, innovative legal arguments and persuasive advocacy.
Will a Court Impose Liability If I Fall on the Premises of Another?
A property owner can be liable for injuries incurred by visitors because of a hazardous or danger condition that the property owner knows or should have known existed. Commercial property owners also have a duty to conduct reasonable inspections to discover defects and clear hazardous condition or to provide adequate warnings.
The scope of the duty owed to a person who comes on the premises of a property owner depends on the purpose of the visit. The classification of visitors to the premises of property owners include:
Invitees: There are two types of invitees: (a) a business invitee and (2) a public invitee. A business invitee is on the premises to engage in activity directly or indirectly connected with the property owner’s business. This category of visitors includes people like customers, suppliers, delivery people and employees. By contrast, a public invitee is someone who visits a property held open to the public for the reason the property is open to the public. Invitees are owed the highest standard of care by property owners. Property owners essentially owe invitees a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe and clear of hazards.
Licensees: While licensees enter property with the permission of the property owner, they visit for their own purposes rather than the benefit of the property owner. An example of a licensee is a social guest visiting friends of family. The property owner owes a duty to licensees to warn of hazardous conditions that the visitor is not likely to discover on the property.
Trespassers: Trespassers come onto the property of another without implied or express consent to enter or remain on the property. The duty of care owed to a trespasser is minimal. The property owner must only refrain from willfully, wantonly or intentionally causing injury to the trespasser. An example might include setting a trap for trespassers. However, children are generally owned a higher duty of care because they lack the maturity and experience to fully appreciate certain risks. Children also benefit from the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. When a hazardous condition is attractive to children and presents risks that will not necessarily be appreciated by children, the property owner may owe a duty to make the condition safe.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you are injured in a slip and fall on the premises of another, you should report your fall to the management of the business and/or the property owner. Businesses should prepare an accident report when you report the fall, and injury victims will need to obtain a copy of the accident report. However, you should not sign any paperwork presented to you by the store. Fall victims also must obtain prompt medical attention and disclose all symptoms even if they seem minor or unrelated to the slip and fall accident. It is important to follow through on all diagnostic exams and the full course of treatment and/or physical therapy.
Because slip and fall claims are extremely fact intensive, injury victims need to obtain prompt legal advice. Successful litigation of a slip and fall lawsuit in Philadelphia, PA will usually necessitate a prompt investigation that may include the following:
- Inspection of the accident site
- Interview of witnesses which includes employees of a business
- Scrutiny of business records and prior accident reports
- Analysis of factors that contributed to the accident like poor lighting
- Review of video surveillance footage
- Gathering of public records related to past similar accidents
Established Slip and Fall Lawyer Philadelphia, PA
Steven Chung has built his reputation by diligently preparing cases for trial, which allows him to negotiate settlements from a position of strength. Mr. Chung is committed to delivering exemplary legal services with a firm commitment to obtaining the fullest possible recovery for his clients. Because of his extensive experience, he is qualified to handle slip, trip and fall accidents that occur on private, commercial and public property, such as:
- Grocery stores
- Department stores
- Parking lots
- University campuses
- Private residences
- Government buildings
- Public sidewalks
- Apartment complexes
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a fall caused by the negligence of a property owner, Philadelphia trip and fall attorney Steven Chung offers a no obligation free consultation to evaluate your case and advise you of your rights and options. Call Steven Chung at 215-688-5777 to learn how we can help.