Whether as a result of a slip and fall or a trip and fall, many people are injured in sidewalk accidents in Pennsylvania. Pedestrians, bicycle riders, and parents with strollers, are common victims of such accidents. In many situations, a sidewalk accident occurs due to no fault of the individual who fell. Under the laws of Pennsylvania, a sidewalk accident victim may be able to recover for their injuries, where a defect such as a gap, break, missing or uneven part of the sidewalk caused the accident.
Who are the Common Defendants in a Sidewalk Accident Case in Pennsylvania?
Usually, there are multiple defendants in a sidewalk accident lawsuit. Each case varies, depending on the nature of the defect or dangerous condition. Private property owners such as individuals or businesses can be held liable for defects like snow and ice accumulation. Local government or state agencies can also be held liable for defects in the sidewalk, such as broken, missing or sunken pieces of sidewalk.
What is the Law Relating to Local Governments and Lawsuits for Sidewalk Accidents?
Under Pennsylvania law, local government or agency liability for defects in sidewalks is either primary or secondary. Primary liability is for sidewalks which abut streets or property owned or controlled by the local agency. For example, the City of Philadelphia may be held liable for sidewalks which abut streets owned or otherwise controlled by the City. On the other hand, secondary liability is reserved for situations when a third party owns the property, but the City has authority to control the sidewalks which abut the property. For example, the City could be sued for a defect on a sidewalk in front of a private residence within Philadelphia’s city limits. However, this liability is secondary to that of the private homeowner. The same rule applies for businesses.
It is very important to have the case reviewed immediately by an experienced sidewalk accident lawyer in Pennsylvania. There is a special prerequisite to filing a lawsuit against a local agency. A special notice must be filed within 180 days of the accident.
Related Legal Article: Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident Law – Local Government Liability
For more information, call our Pennsylvania slip and fall lawyers at 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle sidewalk accident cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:
- PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia
- NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Published: July 13, 2012