Can You Sue a Pittsburgh Store Where You Suffered a Slip and Fall?
Like other public places, shopping malls and stores are required to take reasonable care to protect their customers from dangerous conditions on their property. Whether you’re in a large Pittsburgh-area shopping center such Station Square, or a small mom-and-pop store in the Strip District, a slip and fall injury can lead to broken bones, back pain, or other serious medical problems.
Pennsylvania law follows traditional negligence standards in cases relating to storeowner liability and slip and fall injuries. To succeed on a claim, an injured plaintiff needs to prove:
- Duty of care — Because stores invite customers onto their premises, they have a legal duty to maintain safe conditions on both their indoor and outdoor property (such as a parking lot).
- Breach — A plaintiff must show that the party responsible for keeping the property safe did not take reasonable care to do so. Reasonable care covers all types of potential negligence, including a failure to clean up a spill on the floor or to warn customers of an unseen hazard.
- Proximate cause — The specific violation of reasonable care standards must be the cause of the injury.
- Damages — Medical costs, lost wages, and other damages can be awarded if the storeowner or another party is held to be liable for your injury.
In many situations, the slip-and-fall victim might also be partly to blame for the incident. For example, in addition to a slippery floor, the plaintiff’s shoes might have been untied. Under Pennsylvania’s comparative fault rule, an injured party may still collect damages as long as the store bears the majority of the fault. These awards are reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff. So, if damages total $100,000 and the victim is judged to be 20 percent responsible for the injury, the award would be $80,000. If you have been hurt in a fall at a Pittsburgh-area store, an experienced attorney can assess whether a potential legal action exists.
The McClelland Law Group, P.C. represents Pennsylvania clients in premises liability and other personal injury matters. Please call 412-483-1855 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.