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Premises Liability this Winter: what every property, business and homeowner needs to know

premises liability

Blustery winds, sub-zero temperatures, bouts of freezing rain and heavy snowfall—it’s a mixed bag of conditions we’ve become accustomed to during the winter months in Pennsylvania. It’s that winter weather that often times leads to hazardous conditions on sidewalks, driveways and parking lots.

Ice and snow accumulation can quickly lead to a catastrophic accident for an unsuspecting fall victim. At Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., we see a lot of slip and fall injuries this time of year. It is critical to understand property and business owners have a duty, legally known as premises liability, to ensure their properties are clear from hazards. Property owners and renters alike should know:

  • Who is Responsible after a Slip and Fall?
  • Slip and Fall Statistics and Common Injuries
  • Steps to Take after a Fall

Premises Liability and Who is Responsible after a Slip, Trip and Fall?

When someone slips, trips and falls at someone’s home, everyone knows exactly who is responsible for the land and property. However, if someone takes a spill at someone’s rented property, things can become complicated very quickly. Under the legal concept of premises liability, property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for residents, visitors and employees.

That means, if walkways need repaired, snow needs shoveled, or other hazards arise, the landlord is required to handle the situation in a timely manner. If the property owner is aware of a problem and he or she refuses to remedy it, it may become a legal liability if someone is hurt or killed because of the unrepaired danger.

Not acting on a hazardous condition could constitute negligence, which is the underlying key factor in personal injury cases. Anyone injured or hurt because of negligence can pursue compensation for their damages in an injury claim or lawsuit against the responsible party.

Premises liability doesn’t just apply to residences—it includes both public and private properties such as office buildings, restaurants, nursing homes, hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, grocery stores, and more.

Slip, Trip and Fall Statistics and Common Injuries

Second only to motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents account for 23 percent of all accidental deaths in the U.S. and 25 percent of all emergency room visits. Further breaking those numbers down:

  • In 2016, 34,673 people died in falls at home and work
  • About 9.2 million people were treated in ERs for fall-related injuries in 2016
  • Last reported data involving workplace injuries due to ice, sleet or snow show 42,480 injury cases that required time away from work (2014)
  • That same year, 2,390 workers were injured due to snow, ice or sleet in Pennsylvania

The Keystone state sees its fair share of winter weather—and, as we noted above, its fair share of injuries due to slip and falls on snow and ice. These injuries can lead to serious and often times, lifelong injuries. Slip, trip and fall accident victims often suffer:

  • Broken bones
  • Head and spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and low back injuries
  • Herniated discs

Steps to Take after a Fall

Many people injured in slip and fall accidents are embarrassed, and consequently, they don’t file legal claims because they believe it was their clumsiness that led to the injury. However, that is often not the case. Accident victims injured due to negligence on the part of the business or property owner have the right to be compensated for their costly medical bills, time away from work, pain and suffering and their life-altering injuries.

Premises liability can be very complicated, and, as with any personal injury case, it’s important to get the opinion and advice of an experienced attorney who deals with these types of issues every day. At Georgelis, Larsen & Sabatino Injury Law Firm, P.C., P.C., you can rely on our considerable experience and legal skills.

If you are not sure if you have a valid premises liability, or slip/trip/fall case, Call Georgelis First at 1-800-HURT-NOW to arrange a Free Consultation. We’ve helped many others…and have secured millions of dollars for accident victims.

We’re available 24/7 and can come to you. We never collect a fee unless we get money for you. Contact us today and we’ll handle everything from there!


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