When is the City Responsible for Slip and Fall Injuries?

Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks can cause serious injuries. Maintaining a safe sidewalk in front of a property, whether residential or business, is the responsibility of the property owner. But in Pennsylvania, a city or state agency can be secondarily liable to a person who slips and falls because of a defect in the sidewalk.

A property owner is required to use reasonable care in maintaining the sidewalk and is also required to inspect it for dangerous conditions. Many property owners have insurance policies to compensate those who are injured in a slip and fall accident. But what happens if the property owner doesn’t have insurance or money to compensate for injuries to those who fall?

A person who is injured in a slip and fall on a sidewalk in Pennsylvania can also bring a suit against the city or state because they are secondarily liable to those injured by a defect in the sidewalk. Conditions like cracks, uneven pavement, or a general state of disrepair can all be defects for which the city or state is secondarily liable. Ordinarily, sovereign immunity protects the city (42 Pa.C.S. § 8542) or state (42 Pa.C.S. § 8522) from lawsuits.

But there are exceptions to the government’s immunity, including when the city or state was on notice of defects in certain real property, highways, or sidewalks. An experienced personal injury attorney can help to establish that the city was on notice or could reasonably be charged with notice that the sidewalk was dangerous. Our personal injury attorneys conduct thorough investigations to build the best case against negligent property owners as well as the city or state. We are ready to assist you to obtain compensation for injuries caused in slip and fall accident in Pennsylvania.