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Who is Liable for a Sidewalk Fall Accident in Pennsylvania

Phil Blackman-Pennsylvania New Jersey Personal Injury LawyerPublished on behalf of Philip Blackman, an experienced personal injury lawyer who has devoted his entire career to helping individuals and families who have been injured due to medical malpractice, car accidents, fall accidents and more. FREE Consultations: 215.925.4451

Pedestrians who are injured in fall down accidents often ask who is liable for the sidewalk accident. The answer depends on who owns the property adjacent to the sidewalk. In general, under Pennsylvania law, both private individuals and business owners have a duty to maintain sidewalk abutting the property in a reasonably safe manner. Negligent conduct which leads to liability in sidewalk accident case includes things like failing to conduct inspections or failing to correct a known problem in the sidewalk, such as a large gap between concrete blocks, missing concrete, etc.

Is a City/Municipality Liable for a Sidewalk Accident in City Limits? Sidewalk fall accident cases can be complex. Most fall down accident causes are fought on the issue of liability. In addition, sidewalk fall accidents may involve other issues, such as whether the city/municipality is liable.

Under Pennsylvania local government liability law, or what is known as the Pennsylvania Political Subdivision Tort Claims Act, local agencies (i.e., cities, municipalities, etc.) can be held liable for sidewalk accidents which occur within their jurisdictions. However, that liability is secondary to the property owner.

For example, let’s say a pedestrian trips and falls over broken concrete in a sidewalk. The sidewalk abuts a private residence in Township A. If the homeowner is bankrupt and has no means to pay a judgment, then liability of the Township may come into play.

Sidewalk Accident Cases Against Local Government Agencies in PA

Succeeding in a sidewalk accident case against a government agency requires proving a higher level of negligence than in a sidewalk accident case against a private individual or business. This is due to the principle behind government immunity. Government agencies cannot be sued except in specific situations. The legislature crafted certain exceptions to this blanket immunity and in doing so, created a higher bar.

In sidewalk accident cases against Pennsylvania local government agencies, the injured pedestrian must prove that the agency had notice or should have had notice at a sufficient time prior to the incident, such that the agency could have take remedial measures to correct the defect.

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Pennsylvania Sidewalk Accident & Fall Lawyers – FREE CONSULTATIONS

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The lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

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*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.

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