Thousands of Philadelphia residents walk for leisure or to and from work every day. Millions of pedestrians around the country walk while counting on the safe construction of public and private sidewalks, curbs, and paths. According to Edith A. Pearce curbs and public sidewalks are responsible for some of the many slip and fall accidents that cause personal injury each year.
When it comes to curbs, experts find that height makes a significant difference when it comes to public safety. The Pennsylvania Superior Court has recently held that “even a one inch high walkway defect may create liability when it spans multiple feet.” The Pearce Law Firm, PC reports that they have seen many injuries that have come as the result of falls on surface areas like sidewalks and curbs. Injuries can range from minor personal injuries to catastrophic, resulting in paralysis and even death.
These slip and fall injuries can occur on private or public property, and it’s important to find out who is liable. In the recent case of Melchiorre v. Lord’s Valley Xtra Mart, the Pennsylvania Superior Court decided that “although many property owners may not be responsible for extremely small irregularities on pedestrian surface and although no mathematical guideline for triviality exists, the Court will consider the length and general condition of the wider surface area. In this case, the victim’s injuries resulted from a concrete pad surrounding the pumps at a gas station. The Plaintiff, Melchiorre tripped over the pad sustaining permanent injuries. He then filed a suit for negligence. The Court of Common Pleas in Pike County awarded summary judgment to the owners of the property based on the “trivial defect” doctrine.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, contact a Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer to find out about your rights. The new law that requires courts to look closer at several feet of surface area could help your case. Knowing whether or not a property owner is liable for your injuries is important.