Recent slip and fall accident legislation in Michigan may pave the way for similar laws throughout the country. This new law affords local governments additional protection against slip and fall accidents occurring on their sidewalks and streets. The law makes it tougher for people to sue their local government when injured in slip and fall accidents where the hazard was “open and obvious.”
In Michigan, the “open and obvious” defense was previously available to private property owners and is now available to local governments with this new law. Lawmakers hope the legislation will help local and state governments save money they would be paying out in settlements. In 2013, the city of Detroit paid out $6 million in slip and fall accident lawsuits alone. If the law ends up saving taxpayers money, lawmakers across the country may propose similar legislation.
Opponents of the new law feel it puts residents in danger and gives communities less incentive to repair hazards. They fear that those severely injured in slip and fall accidents could potentially lose their jobs and homes if they are unable to work and seek compensation for lost wages and medical bills. They also predict a domino effect if insurance companies are not reimbursed for medical bills without the compensation recovered from lawsuits.
Proving a Slip and Fall in Philadelphia
In Pennsylvania, slip and fall accident laws can be complicated. Not every slip and fall meets the criteria for a claim in a court of law. A Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer needs to show one of three things in order to prove that a property owner was negligent and essentially liable for an accident. Pennsylvania requires that it be proven that the property owner either should have known about the danger, created the danger, or knew about the danger and failed to rectify it. Some common causes of slip and fall accidents are ice and snow, wet floors, poorly maintained concrete, and sloped or uneven flooring or carpet.
Your Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyer also determines if you had any responsibility in your fall. In some cases, a jury analyzes your responsibility versus the property owner’s responsibility in arriving at a verdict. As of now, there is no “open and obvious” slip and fall lawsuit protection for local governments in Pennsylvania. If the law works in Michigan, Pennsylvania lawmakers may soon introduce something similar in the Keystone state.
Philadelphia Slip and Fall Lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates Hold Property Owners Accountable for Slip and Fall Accidents
Owners that fail to maintain a safe property should be held accountable. Yet, proving a property owner’s negligence in a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia can be challenging. Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates know how to prove liability. You can focus on recovering from your slip and fall accident injuries, while associates at Geoffrey B. Gompers & Associates advocate on your behalf. Call us today at 215-567-6600 or contact us online to discuss your case. We have offices in Center City and Moorestown, New Jersey to serve clients throughout the Philadelphia and New Jersey.