What if I slip and fall in someone’s house?

If you are hurt in a slip/trip and fall on someone’s property, you could receive compensation for your injuries. However, it is important to note that not every accident on someone’s property will result in payment for pain, suffering or medical expenses, according to one online legal guide.

Slips, trips and falls are types of personal injury cases known as “premises liability.” This concept is used in personal injury cases where injuries are caused by unsafe conditions on a property, and a determination is made whether the property owner (or their representative) is at fault for the injury.

Property owners are required to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their property, so that visitors are safe. This is generally known as the “duty of care.” However, not all visitors are equally protected. A duty of care would apply for visitors who had permission to be on a property but not those who trespassed, for example. It also may not apply to visitors who venture into areas that are blocked off or closed.

The conditions that cause the slip, trip and fall also play a role. Outdoors, these include icy walkways and uneven or broken pavement. Inside, it might be a wet or oily floor, uneven floorboards and unsecured carpet. You also might trip over hidden extension cords or something left on the ground.

It is normal to find some of these conditions, such as ice in wintry weather or wet floors after cleaning. To be legally responsible, the property owner needs to either have:

  • Caused the hazard
  • Known about the hazard and done nothing to fix it, or
  • Discovered the hazard in the same way a reasonable person would have done so

In some cases, the injured person may bear some responsibility. Perhaps they were in an area where they were not permitted to be or were on the phone and not paying attention. There could have been signs and barriers that were ignored. When the injured person is found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the injury, they typically will not receive compensation.

Most importantly, Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Laws put a time limit on filing such a case. In Pennsylvania, personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the injury or death.

If you have been injured by a slip and fall or trip and fall in Pennsylvania, and you would like to learn what your legal options are, please reach out to us. Our firm is recognized as a leader in litigating premises liability cases in Pennsylvania.