What is Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Principle?
In Pennsylvania negligence cases, the fault of both parties’ will be considered. Whether it’s a slip and fall or a car accident, if the plaintiff was negligent in any way in causing the accident, the plaintiff will be assigned some percentage of negligence.
The plaintiff’s negligence cannot exceed 50%. In other words, the plaintiff cannot bear more fault than the defendant. If the plaintiff’s fault is greater than 50% (51% or greater), then the plaintiff is legally barred from recovering.
Slip and Fall Cases & Pennsylvania’s Comparative Negligence Principle
Under Pennsylvania fall down accident law, you are under a general duty to take reasonable steps to ensure your own safety. That means watching where you are walking and paying attention to what is in front of you. This applies to a pedestrian walking on a sidewalk or a customer pushing a grocery cart in a grocery store aisle.
In slip, trip and fall accident cases, the negligence of both parties will be considered. If the plaintiff (the injured party) was not watching where they were walking, then they will be assigned some percentage of negligence or fault in causing the accident. Fall down accidents occur because the person simply did not see the defect. In most fall down accident cases, that percentage will usually be under 50%, around 20% or 30%.
However, in many slip and fall accident cases in PA, there will be facts which negate the plaintiff’s comparative negligence or fault. This is especially so in cases where the defect was obstructed or otherwise hidden from view. For example, someone walking on a sidewalk may trip and fall due to a hole in the sidewalk concrete which was covered by leaves or other debris. In such a case, there is a strong argument that the plaintiff acted reasonably, was unable to see the defect, and was therefore not at fault in any way.
To learn more about the comparative negligence principle in Pennsylvania slip and fall accident cases, click here.
- Store Liability for Negligence in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Slip and Fall Law – Liability of Stores & Businesses
Philadelphia Fall Down Accident Lawyer 215.925.4451
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