It is common for people to believe that if they fall and injure themselves at a business that they must have a premises liability claim for that fall. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. Slip and fall law in Pennsylvania is actually quite complex and most injuries do not form the basis for a successful claim.
In order to have a claim for a fall, you need to be able to prove some basic things involving the business where you fell.
1. The business owed you a duty of care. This means that the business is required to do some basic things to keep its guests safe. If you are visiting a business that is open to the public, the business generally will owe you a duty.
2. The owner failed in his duty due to negligence. In other words, the owner of the business or his employees did something wrong that rises to the level of negligence.
3. The negligence actually caused your fall. If there is a slippery area on the floor due to negligence, but you fell in a different location because your shoelace was untied, the slippery area isn't relevant to your fall and the damage you experience was caused by your shoelace. In that case, you wouldn't have a suit.
4. You were hurt. You must actually be physical injured to have a claim. Embarrassment because you fell won't be enough.
Negligence is the failure to behave as one should under a certain set of circumstances. In the case of a slip and fall case, your lawyer needs to prove one of the following against the business where you fell:
Another question in slip and fall cases relates to your own responsibility. We all are expected to use an appropriate amount of care as we walk through the world. If you were looking down and texting, so not looking where you were going, this will impact whether the business is liable for your fall. If you are considered to be more responsible than the business, you will lose your case.
The best way to determine if you have a case is to call an attorney who knows slip and fall law. Since slip and fall cases require specific knowledge, you will want to go to a firm that specifically handles these kinds of lawsuits.