Sidewalk accident liability in Pennsylvania is relatively straightforward. Under tort or negligence laws, Pennsylvania homeowners and businesses have a duty to make their premises and sidewalks reasonably safe, especially sidewalks in major cities like Philadelphia. Courts have long recognized that in urban areas with high amounts of pedestrian traffic, homeowners and business owners alike, have a duty to conduct reasonable inspections of their properties to check for any hazards.
Negligence in a Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident Lawsuit
Sidewalk accidents often result from gaps, tree roots, water or snow, and broken or missing areas. Liability often stems from the failure to correct a known hazard or failure to inspect property for defects.
Common claims made in a Pennsylvania sidewalk accident case include:
- failure to maintain,
- failure to inspect for hazards,
- failure to correct a known hazard, or
- failure to warn.
Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident Law: Failure to Inspect and the Failure to Maintain
Landowners and business owners have a duty to conduct a reasonable inspection of their property for defects. What is reasonable depends on the circumstances. For instance, cobblestone sidewalk areas may require more frequent inspections than a concrete block sidewalk, due to the nature of cobblestones and issues with uneven areas. In addition, tree roots often cause damage to sidewalks. Therefore, sidewalks near trees may require more frequent inspections than a sidewalk without any trees nearby.
Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident Law: Failure to Correct a Known Hazard
Under Pennsylvania laws, property owners who know of defects yet fail to correct them are likely to face liability when a passerby is injured in a sidewalk slip and fall or trip and fall accident. The duty to warn coincides with the duty to correct a hazard. A property owner who knows of a defect yet fails to provide adequate warnings may be held liable for injury in a sidewalk accident.
Related Pennsylvania Sidewalk & Fall Down Legal Articles:
- Slip and Fall Accidents at Work in Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident Law – Defendants in a Sidewalk Accident Lawsuit
- Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident Law – Local Government Liability
For more information, contact 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 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: August 27, 2012