Two years ago, a woman was visiting a resident in a Pennsylvania nursing home when she suffered a slip-and-fall accident on the premises. In February of this year, she filed a liability lawsuit for numerous injuries she reportedly suffered in the fall.
If you are like most Pittsburgh residents, you probably feel confident in your ability to avoid slip-and-fall accidents. Unfortunately, overconfidence and complacency may work to increase your odds of suffering a fall. After all, most of these accidents strike out of nowhere when the victim is feeling relatively safe.
With snow starting to fall more frequently and temperatures staying below freezing most days, icy conditions increase the risk of a slip or fall injury. The most common places for slips or falls to occur during winter are much the same as during the rest of the year, with parking lots and sidewalks outside businesses becoming even more hazardous.
At Goodrich & Geist, we often receive inquiries asking us to explain the laws behind slip & fall accidents. With winter knocking on our door, days shortening, and patches of ice already covering parts of some roads and sidewalks, we have decided to give our readers a brief overview of what we mean when we say "slip and fall accident."
Government employees who are acting within the scope of their employment generally enjoy something known as "sovereign immunity." This means that they are immune to lawsuits for their actions on behalf of the government. However, Pennsylvania law allows for some important exceptions to this general rule regarding premises liability.
"To err is human; to forgive, divine," Alexander Pope once said. Assuming the divine nature of it, forgiveness is hard to be certain of after someone has been hurt as a result of human error.