Snow and Ice Slip & Fall Lawyers Pittsburgh, PA
Pennsylvania Lawyers Represent Clients in Slip and Fall Accidents Caused by Snow and Ice in Erie, PA
Winters in the Midwest and Northeast can be brutal, and Pittsburgh and Allegheny County residents are no strangers to snow and ice during the winter months. Snow itself can cause dangerous conditions, but when the temperatures tend to fluctuate between the 20s, 40s and back again during the winter months, massive snowfalls can melt and refreeze, causing dangerous and unpredictably icy conditions. Although you may not think that falling in the snow will cause serious injuries, in many cases snow and ice slip and fall accidents result in broken wrists, knees, hips and even more serious and lasting injuries.
Property owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent these injuries, and when they negligently fail to do so, can be held financially accountable for this negligence. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., we will investigate every aspect of your accident to fight to obtain the maximum compensation award possible in your case. We have successfully represented hundreds of clients injured in slip and fall accidents in Pittsburgh, Erie, Allegheny County and throughout Pennsylvania, and are ready to go to work in your case today.
Property Owners’ Legal Duty to Reduce Dangers Caused by Snow and Ice
Property owners have a general duty to keep their property safe for customers, visitors and guests, which can include removing snow from parking lots, sidewalks and walkways, making sure those areas are salted for ice and placing warning signs if necessary. Under Pennsylvania law, a rule known as the “hills and ridges doctrine” can apply in some cases where a slip and fall accident was caused by a failure to promptly remove snow or ice. To establish your right to recover compensation under this doctrine, our lawyers will investigate to prove:
- The snow or ice accumulated in such a way that it became unreasonably dangerous for pedestrians (i.e., hills, ridges or other elevations became a factor),
- The property owner either knew of the dangerous conditions, or should have reasonably known of the dangerous conditions based upon the circumstances, and
- The snow or ice actually caused the slip and fall accident and resulting injuries.
An important factor in these cases is proving that the owner was negligent in failing to remove the snow within a reasonable time frame. In many snow and ice slip and fall cases, we are able to establish the negligence component of the case by investigating to prove whether:
- Prior complaints regarding the owner’s failure to remove the snow can be used to show a pattern of neglect,
- Any employees or other witnesses in the area can testify as to the property owner’s knowledge,
- Knowledge can be established by proving constructive knowledge—in other words, under the circumstances, the property owner should reasonably have had knowledge of the conditions.
Time is a Critical Element in Slip and Fall Accidents Caused by Snow and Ice: Experienced Lawyers at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. are Here to Help
Although it is important to act quickly in retaining legal counsel who can investigate to preserve valuable evidence after any type of accident, timing can be especially important in slip and fall cases caused by snow or ice. Property owners can quickly act to remove the snow or eliminate the icy conditions, often without assistance or witnesses—thereby eliminating evidence that the property was dangerous at the time of your fall, and making it more difficult to recover compensation for your injuries.
Even if you are unable to call our slip and fall accident lawyers to the scene immediately following the accident, use your phone to take photos or videos of the conditions that caused your fall if you are not severely injured, as that evidence can prove valuable in establishing that the dangerous condition existed, and when.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Pittsburgh Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
When you seek out legal representation, it is always important to make sure that your lawyer has a proven track record of successfully helping clients recover compensation in similar accidents. At Goodrich & Geist, P.C., our skilled team of slip and fall accident lawyers have a combined 50-plus years’ worth of experience successfully protecting the rights of clients who have been injured because of falls caused by snow and ice. Call our offices or fill out this online form, to set up a free consultation with our slip and fall accident lawyers today. Our office is conveniently located at 3634 California Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
FAQ: When you say that I can recover damages for pain and suffering, what exactly does that mean?
While compensation for your medical bills and other expenses caused by the injury are based upon the actual financial outlay that the injury caused you to make, compensation for pain and suffering is a more subjective analysis. When you only receive compensation for amounts you spent, or wages you lost, because of the injury, you aren’t really fully compensated for the inconvenience and pain of the event. Compensation for pain and suffering will depend upon the nature of the injury, how it impacted your life and how it is anticipated to impact your life in the future. Every single case will be different but, for example, if you were an avid cross country runner prior to your accident, and you broke your knee in the fall, we can argue that the injury resulted in a loss of enjoyment of life, which can add to your pain and suffering compensation.
FAQ: Snow and ice are natural occurrences. Why can someone else be held responsible if snow or icy conditions caused me to fall and become injured?
Every snow and ice slip and fall case is premised upon the reasonableness of the property owner’s actions. Property owners are legally obligated to make sure their property is reasonably safe for those who enter or pass through, which includes removing dangerous snow and ice. A case will not succeed unless the property owner unreasonably neglected his or her property. For example, if you slipped and fell in the snow during an ongoing snowstorm, the property owner likely could not have prevented this and would not be held responsible.