What Constitutes Theft By Deception?

In Pennsylvania, people can be charged with a crime called theft by deception when they lie about illnesses or engage in other types of deception to induce people to make contributions to them. While this crime is similar to a general theft offense since it involves intentionally taking the property of others, theft by deception has an added element of trickery or deception. In this type of offense, the victims rely on the lies made by the thief when they give money or property to him or her. If you have been charged with theft by deception, you should talk to an attorney at DiCindio Law.

Examples of theft by deception

Cases involving allegations of theft by deception might involve intentional misrepresentations or false impressions. Cases involving false impressions occur when people create misconceptions that others believe are true. A common example of a false impression theft by deception case is when people eat at a restaurant and then sneak out without paying for their meals. This could be charged as theft by deception because the people gave the false impression that they would pay for the meal but did not.

Theft by deception involving intentional misrepresentation happens when a person knowingly lies or leaves out important information so that victims will rely on what the person said.

Another form of theft by deception is phishing. This occurs when people send messages by text message, phone, or email to potential victims. The goal is to leave the recipients with the impression that they are a regular company with which the victims regularly deal with to try to obtain their confidential information. Phishing scams commonly result in identity theft charges.

Using stolen credit cards is another example of theft by deception. In this scenario, the thief gives the store employees the false impression that he or she owns the card. Alternatively, the thief might make intentional misrepresentations that they have permission to use it.

Potential penalties for theft by deception

The potential penalties for theft by deception will depend on the value of what was stolen and other details of the case. The typical penalties for theft by deception in Pennsylvania include the following:

  • Less than $50 – Third-degree misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
  • From $50 to $199 – Second-degree misdemeanor with up to two years in jail and a fine of p to $5,000
  • From $200 to $2,000 – First-degree misdemeanor with up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Over $2,000 0 A third-degree felony with up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000

In addition, if you have a conviction for theft by deception on your record, it will be difficult for you to find a job.

Since identity theft and phishing scams frequently are completed on the internet, the federal authorities might be involved in prosecuting the cases. The penalties handed out by the federal government are frequently stiffer than those handed out at the state level.

Judges will take a number of factors into consideration when they determine the penalty to order for theft by deception, including the following:

  • The seriousness of the offense and any mitigating factors
  • The dollar amount involved
  • The defendant’s criminal record
  • Whether the defendant is a minor or an adult
  • How long the offense lasted
  • Whether valid defenses exist

In some cases, prosecutors might be willing to extend plea offers because of the difficulty of proving the intent to deceive the victim.

Defenses to theft by deception

There are four primary types of defenses available to criminal charges, including excuse, alibi, procedural issues, and justification. The defenses that might be available to you will depend on the facts of your case. Some examples might include the defendant’s lack of an intent to deceive the victim or the victim’s willing participation. Each case is different and might have different defenses available.

Get help from DiCindio Law

If you have been charged with theft by deception, you should retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney at DiCindio Law can help you to determine the defenses that might be available and guide you through the process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling us at 610.430.3535.

How To Prove Negligence In a Slip And Fall Case

People sometimes are injured in accidents when they are visiting the property of other people or businesses. If you were injured on someone else’s property because of the negligent actions or inactions of the property’s owner or possessor, you might wonder whether you have legal rights to recover damages. Liability is a key issue in claims involving slip-and-fall accidents. Whether you intend to pursue a settlement with the insurance company or file a lawsuit, you will have to prove that someone else is responsible for your injuries and losses. An attorney at DiCindio Law can help you to understand liability as it applies to the facts and circumstances of what happened to you. In a slip-and-fall accident, it will be important to identify the potentially liable parties, to evaluate whether they were negligent, and to determine whether their negligence caused your injuries and losses. It will also be important to consider whether you contributed to your accident with your carelessness.

Slip-and-fall cases and theories of liability

To prove a defendant’s liability to pay for damages following a slip-and-fall accident, an injured victim will typically have to prove one of the following:

  • The property owner, possessor, or the property owner or possessor’s agent should have discovered the dangerous condition and corrected it but failed to do so.
  • The property owner or agent caused the dangerous condition that resulted in the accident, and the accident and injuries were a reasonably foreseeable consequence.

For the first scenario, the key question will be whether the condition would have been identified by a reasonable person as dangerous and whether the defendant had sufficient time to fix the problem before the accident. For the second scenario, the question will be whether the slip-and-fall accident was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the dangerous condition that the owner or agent created.

Proving liability and negligence

In slip-and-fall settlement negotiations, the reasonableness of the defendants’ actions or inactions will frequently be an issue. This is because a plaintiff must be able to prove that the defendant did not act in the same way as a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances to prevail in this type of claim. To assess whether the defendant’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances, the plaintiff will need to consider several factors.

In a case involving the defendant’s alleged constructive notice, the plaintiff will need to consider whether the dangerous condition existed for a sufficient time so that a reasonable person in the same situation would have found it and have remedied it. The plaintiff will also need to check whether the property owner had a policy for employees to regularly check for hazardous conditions and whether there is an inspection log. If there is an inspection log or other records, the plaintiff will need to check whether the employees followed the procedures before the incident occurred.

For situations in which the property owner or possessor created the hazard, the plaintiff will need to determine whether a reasonable justification existed for creating it. If there was a reasonable justification for the creation of the hazard, the plaintiff will then need to determine whether it continued to exist when the slip-and-fall accident happened. The plaintiff will also need to think about whether the hazardous condition might have been created less dangerously by the use of preventative measures, including placing it in a different area, placing warning signs near it, or keeping people from accessing the area with guardrails or other devices. Finally, a plaintiff might need to consider whether poor lighting in the area may have contributed to the accident.

Proving that the accident was not the result of your carelessness

In many slip-and-fall claims, the property owner or possessor will argue that the plaintiff was either partially or completely responsible for his or her accident and injuries. Defendants raise this type of defense to try to reduce or avoid liability. Pennsylvania follows a rule of modified comparative negligence. Under it, a plaintiff will not be able to recover damages if he or she was more than 50% at fault for causing the accident that injured him or her. If the defendant is successful in showing that the plaintiff shared fault at less than 50%, the plaintiff’s gross award will be reduced by that percentage. For example, if a plaintiff is found to be 30% at fault and is awarded $100,000, his or her damages recovery will be reduced to $70,000.

People are expected to take steps to avoid open and obvious hazards. These are dangerous conditions that a reasonable person should see when using his or her normal perception. A lawyer will assess several factors when determining whether the plaintiff’s carelessness contributed to the cause of his or her accident and injuries. For example, the attorney might look at whether the plaintiff was distracted by something else, including talking or texting on a phone instead of watching where he or she was walking. Other considerations might include whether warning signs were posted in the area or other safety measures that the plaintiff ignored. If the defense can prove that the accident happened because of the plaintiff’s carelessness, it will be unlikely for the plaintiff to win the claim.

Get help from an experienced injury lawyer at DiCindio Law

Proving liability in slip-and-fall accidents can be difficult and require extensive investigation and legal analysis. People who are seriously injured in falls while they are visiting the property of another person or business might benefit from consulting with an experienced injury attorney at DiCindio Law. We can review the facts and circumstances of what occurred and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim’s legal merits. If we agree to accept your case, we can work with experts to build a strong case showing the liability of the property owner or possessor. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535. You can also request a consultation by submitting your information and case details to us on our online contact form.

Supermarket Accidents: How to Claim Injury Compensation

People in Pennsylvania go to the supermarket to buy groceries so often that they rarely think about the potential risks of accidents that can happen. When you are pushing your shopping cart down the store’s aisles, you likely are thinking about finding the items on your shopping list or about what you need to purchase for dinner. However, hundreds of people suffer injuries in supermarkets every day from slip-and-fall accidents. If you suffer injuries after slipping or tripping and falling in a supermarket, you might wonder who will be responsible for paying for your losses. A personal injury lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you determine whether you might have grounds to pursue a claim after your supermarket accident.

Common causes of supermarket accidents and injuries

Supermarket accidents commonly happen because of dangerous conditions that exist within the store or the parking lot. Some of the common causes of supermarket accidents include the following:

  • Broken tiles
  • Torn carpeting
  • Slick surfaces
  • Spills
  • Objects or debris left on floors
  • Falling packages or boxes
  • Broken asphalt
  • Potholes
  • Entrance mats that slip or are bunched up

Some of the common types of injuries that happen in supermarket accidents include broken bones, lacerations, bruises, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Whether you will be able to recover will depend on several factors, including whether your accident was caused by the negligence of the supermarket owner or operator and whether your carelessness caused your accident.

Duty of care

Supermarkets owe a legal duty of care to people who visit their premises to shop. They must ensure that their premises are free from hazards that could foreseeably cause injuries and harm. This duty does not require that supermarkets remove every possible hazard from the store. Instead, the property owners or operators are responsible for correcting conditions that could reasonably cause preventable harm that they know about or that they reasonably should have discovered.

For example, if a supermarket employee ignores spilled milk in an aisle, and you slip and fall, you may have grounds to file a liability claim. By contrast, if another customer spilled the milk immediately before you slipped in it, you will not be likely to have grounds for a claim because the supermarket’s employees did not have a chance to discover the spill and clean it up. To win a claim, you must prove that the store or its employees engaged in negligence in some way and that the negligence caused your accident and injuries.

Like other businesses that are open to the public, supermarkets have a legal obligation to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition to protect their customers. The store may be liable to pay damages to injured victims if the victims can show that their accidents happened because of dangerous conditions on the property. Injuries in slip-and-fall supermarket accidents can happen for many reasons. People might slip in accumulated rain, ice, or snow in the store’s entryway or trip over a torn mat. The store might have inadequate lighting, making it difficult to see obstacles or objects in the customer’s path. Whether the store will be liable will depend on whether the hazard had existed for a sufficient time for the store to have noticed it and have a chance to correct it.

Holding a supermarket liable

Several theories can support a supermarket’s liability for an accident on its premises. A store may be liable if the unsafe condition was created by it. For example, if the store used a very slippery wax to clean the floors, it may be liable.

Even if they did not create the danger, supermarkets can also be liable if they were aware of the hazardous condition but did not take action to remedy it. For example, if one customer drops a pickle jar in a store aisle, and another customer is injured after slipping and falling in the spilled liquid and broken glass, the store may be liable. In that case, the plaintiff will need to show that the store knew that the pickle jar had been broken or that it should have known about it. To prove this type of case, a plaintiff would need to present evidence demonstrating that the broken jar had remained in the aisle for long enough that the store should have discovered and cleaned it up. The victim might also show that the store was aware that spilled or dropped items were common occurrences, but the store failed to have an inspection system in place to monitor and clean up spills.

People who are injured in supermarkets will have to present evidence that the condition was not open and obvious. Open and obvious conditions are those that people should reasonably have noticed and taken steps to avoid them. For example, customers will likely be unable to recover damages when they are injured by tripping over large and visible displays. Customers are expected to use reasonable caution to protect themselves.

The statute of limitations

People who are injured in supermarket accidents must act quickly. Like other states, Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. If you wait to file your claim until after the statute of limitations has passed, you will not be able to recover damages through a lawsuit. Pennslyvania’s statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury. In practice, people should seek legal help as soon as possible after an accident so that important evidence will not be lost.

Get help from DiCindio Law

Being injured in a supermarket accident can result in substantial losses. If you have suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by the negligence of the store or its employees, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Contact DiCindio Law to learn about the rights that you might have by calling us at 610.430.3535 or by filling out our contact form.

Facts & Statistics About Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents injure hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. These accidents can occur nearly anywhere. Floors that have hazardous conditions, including debris or slick areas, can cause falls and injuries. A majority of slip-and-fall accidents are preventable. By learning the facts and statistics of slip-and-fall accidents, you might understand how you can prevent yourself from being injured. If you have suffered injuries after slipping or tripping and falling on the property of someone else because of negligence, the legal team at DiCindio Law can help you to determine whether your potential claim has legal merits. Here are some important facts and statistics about falls that you should know.

Falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits

The National Flooring Safety Institute reports that an average of eight million people goes to the emergency department for the treatment of fall injuries in the U.S. each year. Out of these visits, in excess of one million of the injuries are caused by slipping or tripping and falling.

Falls are the top reason for workers’ compensation claims

Slip-and-fall accidents at work are common. They are the leading reason for workers’ compensation claims. Among workers who are ages 55 or older, falls are the top cause of work-related injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents at work are the top reason for missed days from work.

Older adults are especially at risk for falling

The National Council on Aging reports that 25% of adults ages 65 and older fall every year. Falls are the top cause of fatal injuries among older adults. An elderly adult is treated for fall injuries in the U.S. every 11 minutes. An elderly person dies from fall injuries in the U.S. every 19 minutes. Older adults are at a greater risk of falling because of mobility problems, and they are more likely to suffer fractures and other serious injuries because they are more fragile.

Falls are the second-leading cause of workplace fatalities

According to EHS Today, falls in the workplace are the second-leading cause of deaths behind transportation deaths. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cites more companies for violating the agency’s fall protection regulation than any other type of violation. Failing to have fall protection results in numerous injuries and deaths each year in the construction industry.

Falls are very costly

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nonfatal falls cost an estimated $50 billion each year. Fatal falls cost an additional $754 million. Of those amounts, Medicaid and Medicare pay for three-fourths of the expenses related to serious fall injuries. The CDC anticipates that the costs for treating nonfatal and fatal injuries will soar as the population ages because of the large cohort of baby boomers.

One out of every five falls results in serious injuries

One out of every five fall accidents causes serious injuries. Some of these injuries include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries. Some slip-and-fall accident victims never return to their previous levels of functioning. Around 5% of people who slip or trip and fall break bones.

Falls can be prevented

Most falls can be prevented. In many cases, a fall occurs because of the negligence of the person who falls or the negligence of a property owner, employer, or another party. Property owners should inspect their properties regularly to identify hazards that could result in falls and promptly correct them. People should remain alert to their surroundings to prevent themselves from slipping and falling.

Flooring materials and floor surfaces are a top cause of falls

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, flooring materials and surfaces are a top cause of slip-and-fall accidents, accounting for two million injuries from falls every year. Slick flooring materials or freshly waxed surfaces can cause falls in businesses and private residences.

Hip fractures caused by falls are serious

The CDC reports that an estimated 300,000 elderly adults are treated in the hospital each year for hip fractures. Falls that result in hip fractures most frequently happen when people fall sideways, and 95% of hip fractures happen because of falls. The NFSI reports that 50% of older adults who suffer from hip fractures in falls will not be able to return home.

Top cause of traumatic brain injuries is falling

Falling is the top cause of traumatic brain injuries among all age groups. While many people believe that car accidents are the leading cause of TBIs, they are more frequently caused by falls. People who suffer from TBIs in falls may be left with permanent disabilities and reduced quality of life.

The risk of slipping and falling can be increased by health conditions

Many types of health conditions can increase the risk of slipping and falling. Some of the factors that might lead to an increased risk of falling include taking certain medications, having vision problems, suffering from nutritional deficiencies, suffering from bodily weakness, and other causes.

Property owners have a duty of care to prevent foreseeable fall accidents

Property owners have a duty of care to prevent foreseeable fall accidents that could injure people who are lawfully present. Businesses should regularly inspect their premises and promptly correct any dangers or post signs to warn customers of potential dangers.

Get help from DiCindio Law

In some cases, people who suffer injuries in Pennsylvania slip-and-fall accidents may be entitled to recover compensation for their losses. When an accident results because of the negligence of a commercial or residential property owner, the victim may have grounds to file a lawsuit. By filing a legal claim, the victims might be able to hold the property owner accountable for the harm that was caused. Contact DiCindio Law to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535 or by filling out our online contact form.

Store Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident

People who go shopping are normally thinking about the things that they will buy. Most people do not think about the possibility of being injured in a slip-and-fall accident. If you slip and fall while you are shopping, you might wonder whether the store is responsible for paying for your losses. A personal injury attorney at DiCindio Law can evaluate what occurred and explain whether the store might be liable for paying damages to compensate you. While stores may be liable in some cases, they will not be liable in every slip-and-fall accident. Working with a skilled lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to determine liability.

Understanding premises liability

Premises liability is a category of tort cases that fall under the umbrella of personal injury law. This term is used to describe the liability of a store or other property owner for injuries that occur on their premises. Business owners have duties of care to keep their properties in a reasonably safe condition for customers who go to the stores to shop.

Stores should inspect their properties to keep them safe. If a store’s owner or operator knows that their businesses present unique risks of creating dangerous conditions, they should take steps to prevent their customers from being injured in accidents because of those foreseeable hazards.

It is important to understand that a store’s potential liability for a slip-and-fall accident is not the same thing as an insurance policy. Stores are not automatically liable to people who are injured on their premises. Instead, the store must have been negligent in taking steps to prevent or correct hazardous conditions that could result in foreseeable injuries.

Determining liability is fact-specific. A jury will consider the circumstances of a case to decide whether the store was negligent and if the store’s negligence was the cause of the victim’s accident and losses.

Types of cases when a store might be liable in a slip-and-fall accident

Many different situations might result in store liability, including the following:

  • Haphazardly placed products falling from shelves into aisles
  • Fallen branches or debris on sidewalks
  • Placing displays too close to each other
  • Allowing too many people inside at once
  • Letting customers push and shove each other to try to grab an item
  • Leaving liquids on the floor
  • Leaving paper towels on the floor in the bathroom
  • Waxing floors with slippery wax
  • Failing to clean ice, snow, and rain that have been tracked inside by customers

All stores have a duty of care to their customers in Pennsylvania. Both small stores and large chains have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe to prevent their customers from being injured.

The open and obvious doctrine

The open and obvious doctrine is a legal concept under which the customers of a store have a legal obligation to avoid readily apparent dangers inside of stores. While a store has a duty to keep its premises safe, the customers also have a duty to take steps to avoid obvious hazards.

When considering whether to award damages in a case, a jury will consider the circumstances and decide whether the customer should have acted differently. A condition is considered to be open and obvious in Pennsylvania if it is something that would be reasonably apparent to a person who was exercising normal perception and judgment.

Short-staffing issues

Being short-staffed is not an excuse for a store to fail to inspect the premises and correct dangerous conditions. It is the store’s obligation to have the number of employees it needs to keep the premises safe. This means that a store cannot defend itself by claiming it did not have enough employees working to inspect and discover the dangerous condition when it occurred.

Potentially liable parties

Some claims involving injuries in stores may involve more than one defendant. Depending on the facts, you might be able to file a claim against the store’s operator. In others, you might be able to file a claim against the property owner that failed to properly maintain the property. Some stores may be parts of a chain, making it appropriate to file a claim against the local store, the chain, or both. Your attorney can help you to identify all of the potentially liable parties that you should name as a defendant to your claim.

Evidence of other incidents

If records exist of other slip-and-fall accidents in the store where you were injured, they can help to bolster your claim. Your attorney can review the previous claims to evaluate whether the store knew about the potential dangers because of prior accidents. These types of incidents can function as a warning to a store that it should take additional steps to protect its customers.

Statute of limitations for slip-and-fall accidents

Every state has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims. These laws place a limit on the time when claims can be filed. If you wait until after the limitations period has expired, you will not be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations is two years. You should talk to an attorney as soon as possible after our accident instead of waiting until the end of the limitations period is near, however. This can help you to preserve important evidence that might otherwise be lost.

Get help from an experienced lawyer at DiCindio Law

People who are injured in slip-and-fall accidents in stores because of the negligence of the stores’ negligence have a right to recover damages for their losses. Meeting with a personal injury lawyer at DiCindio Law can help you to learn about your rights and the legal options that are available to you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535 or by filling out our contact form.

Benefits of hiring a slip and fall lawyer

If you have slipped and fallen at a local store and have suffered injuries, you might wonder whether you should hire an attorney or try to negotiate with the store on your own. Many people are injured in slip-and-fall accidents each year because of the negligence of others. When you are in this type of situation, you should understand the factors and key issues of slip-and-fall cases to help you to determine whether you need to hire a personal injury attorney. DiCindio Law represents people who have suffered injuries in slip-and-fall accidents and will work hard to recover full compensation for your losses.

What qualifies as a slip-and-fall case?

Many people slip, trip, and fall each year in their homes, in public, at other people’s homes, at work, and in businesses. However, not every accident will qualify as a slip-and-fall claim. Some falls result solely from the victims’ carelessness and are not caused by the actions of others.

Within personal injury law, slip-and-fall claims involve another party’s negligence. The property owner or possessor must have negligently failed to meet the standard of care to maintain his or her premises in a reasonably safe condition, to promptly fix hazardous conditions, or to avoid causing dangerous conditions without proper signage and other safety measures.

Common causes of slip-and-fall accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents are very common and can happen almost anywhere. These types of accidents are especially dangerous to the elderly. Older adults are more fragile and have balance and mobility issues that place them at higher risks of serious injuries in falls. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of $50 billion is spent on the nonfatal falls of older adults each year, and an additional $754 million is spent on fatal falls of the elderly.

While falls can be caused by many things, there are some common causes of slip-and-fall accidents. Some of the most common causes include the following:

  • Uneven surfaces
  • Missing or loose handrails
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Broken steps
  • Broken floor tiles
  • Torn or bunched carpets
  • Slippery floors
  • Spills
  • Broken sidewalks
  • Accumulated ice or snow
  • Holes in parking lots

When a fall is caused by one of these types of issues, an experienced attorney will know how to investigate the claim to identify the potentially liable parties.

Common injuries in slip-and-fall accidents

People can suffer from many different injuries when they fall. Falling can result in broken bones, lacerations, bruises, and head injuries. Some of the types of injuries that are especially prevalent among the elderly are hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Falling can also cause people to suffer psychological injuries. People may develop a fear of falling or of heights that affects their private lives.

What are the benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer?

Businesses and insurance companies engage in numerous tactics to try to avoid liability in slip-and-fall claims. Even if you think that the property owner’s liability is clear, these types of cases can require extensive investigation and the help of experts. It can be difficult to prove legal fault. Experienced personal injury lawyers who regularly handle slip-and-fall cases understand what is required to establish the property owners’ negligence. If you try to settle your claim on your own, the insurance company will do everything that it can to take advantage of you.

Insurance companies and businesses often have teams of defense attorneys who are ready to vigorously defend against premises liability claims. An experienced attorney understands the various tactics that defense attorneys and insurance companies frequently use. This allows a plaintiff’s attorney to gather the evidence that is needed to support a finding of the property owner’s liability.

Once you have retained a lawyer, one of the first steps that he or she will take is to establish a line of communication with the relevant insurance company. Your lawyer will handle all of the investigation and communication for you so that you can concentrate on recovering from your injuries. Some of the things that your attorney might do for you include the following:

  • Investigating and photographing the accident site
  • Filing reports with the appropriate authorities
  • Filing motions for discovery and the preservation of evidence
  • Determining what caused your fall to happen
  • Gathering medical records that show a causal link between your fall and your accident
  • Demonstrating the extent and severity of your resulting injuries through evidence
  • Working with experts to show the extent of your losses and the liability of the defendant
  • Gathering evidence to dispute any claims that you caused your accident and injuries

When you work with a lawyer, he or she can help you to determine the value of your claim so that you understand whether a settlement offer is reasonable or unfair.

Personal injury lawyers also help their clients to prove the defendants’ liability for accidents and injuries. This involves an analysis of what happened, the risk factors that were involved, and a determination of fault. If a lawyer determines that your fault was caused by your carelessness, he or she will explain that to you. For example, if you tripped because you left your shoelaces untied, that will not be grounds to file a lawsuit against a business. By contrast, if you tripped and fell because of a loose handrail or uneven stairs, a lawyer may be able to recover damages for you.

Securing compensation for slip-and-fall injuries

In some cases, insurance companies will send quick settlement offers to the victims of slip-and-fall accidents. These offers are frequently low-ball offers that are extended by the companies because they want to minimize the amounts that they might otherwise have to pay. A lawyer can properly value your claim so that you can understand whether an offer is unreasonably low. He or she can also negotiate with the insurance company to secure compensation in an amount that fairly compensates you for all of your losses.

Get help from DiCindio Law

Slip-and-fall accidents can leave people suffering from serious injuries. In some cases, they may result in deaths. If you have suffered serious injuries or have lost a loved one in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, you should talk to an attorney with DiCindio Law. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling our law firm at 610.430.3535 or by filling out our contact form online.

Things You MUST Do After A Slip & Fall Accident!

Each year in the U.S., more than 8 million people seek medical care at hospitals because of fall-related injuries. Falls can be accidents that happen because of the actions of the victims or because of the negligence of others. For example, if you slip and fall because you were texting while walking in a business, your accident would likely be your fault. By contrast, if you slip and fall because a business left a puddle of vegetable oil spilled on the ground for a lengthy time, your fall would likely be the store’s fault. If your fall and injuries happened because of the actions or inaction’s of others while you were lawfully visiting their property, the legal team at DiCindio Law can help you to understand your rights. Here are some important steps to take immediately after you slip and fall and suffer injuries.

Gather as much evidence as you can

It can be difficult to know how to react immediately after you slip and fall. If you can, however, you should immediately gather evidence at the scene of your fall. If you can talk, still conscious, and can safely move, document the scene and your injuries. If you are unable to move easily, ask a friend to take pictures for you.

Use your smartphone camera to take photographs of the area where you fell and your injuries. Take videos of both as well. Write down or include a statement on your video about what you were doing immediately before your fall and whether you were carrying anything or were distracted just before your accident. Make certain to be truthful. Most businesses have security footage that they will review after an accident.

If any witnesses saw your fall, make sure that you get their names and contact details. Ask them to briefly describe what they saw. If an attorney accepts your case, he or she will want to talk to the witnesses who saw what happened.

Report the accident to the correct party

In addition to gathering evidence at the accident scene, you need to report the accident to the correct party. Start by considering whether you fell on commercial, public, or residential property. Consider whether you could have prevented your fall or if you could have spotted the hazard before it happened.

If your fall happened while you were trespassing on someone’s private property, you likely will not have a case. If you slipped and fell while you were shopping at the grocery store because of a broken floor tile, you may have grounds to file a claim. If you know that your accident was caused because of the negligence of someone else, report your accident to the property owner or possessor. He or she will have to complete an accident report. Most property owners or possessors will not want to fill out accident reports. If the owner or operator refuses to complete an accident report, you will need to complete an incident report with your local police department. You will also want to file a complaint against the owner or possessor. If the property is private residential property, ask the owner for his or her homeowner’s insurance policy information, and ask him or her to report your accident to his or her insurance agent.

Seek medical help

You need to seek medical care immediately after your slip-and-fall accident. Some injuries will not show apparent symptoms for hours or days after the accident. This makes it important for you to get checked out by your doctor even if you do not believe that you have been injured. You might have internal injuries that your doctor can identify and prevent your injuries from growing worse.

Getting immediate medical attention is also important to show a link between your injuries and your slip-and-fall accident. An attorney will want to review your medical records after your fall. Seeking immediate medical care can help to make your claim stronger.

You also should save all of the medical bills that you receive for treatment related to your injuries. When you file a claim, you might be able to recover compensation to pay for them.

Retain an experienced premises liability attorney

Working with an experienced premises liability lawyer after a slip-and-fall accident is important. Commercial businesses and their insurance companies often have substantial resources to litigate against claims. When you are injured, you should anticipate that the companies will do everything that they can to try to avoid or reduce their liability.

Retaining an attorney can help to place you on more equal footing with the property owner and the insurance company. Remember that companies often have defense attorneys ready to defend them against claims at any time. A lawyer can help you to gather evidence and build the strongest possible claim. He or she can also help you to navigate through the litigation and court process so that you can avoid making costly mistakes. Representing yourself against a better-positioned company is not something that you should tackle. Instead, hire a lawyer and concentrate on recovering from your injuries while your attorney fights for you.

When you search for a lawyer, make certain that you ask questions about their records at trial. You should also ask about their fee structures and ask for references from former clients about working with them. Follow up with any references that you are provided.

Talk to DiCindio Law

At DiCindio Law, Michael DiCindio has years of trial experience and strongly believes in the rights of people who have been injured because of the actions or inactions of others to recover damages. Mr. DiCindio can talk to you about what happened and review the evidence that you have gathered. He can then analyze the merits of your claim and provide you with a fair assessment. Contact us today to request a free case evaluation by calling us at 610.430.3535 or by submitting your information and case details through our contact form.

Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

People can fall almost anywhere, including at home, at work, at a friend’s home, at a store, or church. Slipping or tripping and falling can result in serious injuries. Elderly adults are especially at risk of being injured in slip-and-fall accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three million elderly adults have to visit the emergency department each year for the treatment of injuries from falls. More than 800,000 people in the U.S. are admitted to hospitals in the U.S. for fall injuries every year. While some falls result in bruises and bumps, others can cause fractures, traumatic brain injuries, or fatalities. When falls result because of the negligence of a property owner or possessor, the injured victim may have a right to recover damages. An experienced lawyer at DiCindio Law can evaluate claims and explain whether they have legal merits.

Most slip-and-fall accidents can be prevented. By understanding what can cause these types of accidents to occur, people can take steps to prevent them. We have detailed the leading causes of slip-and-fall claims below.

Wet or uneven floor or ground surfaces

A majority of slip-and-fall accidents are caused by surfaces that are wet or uneven. The following types of floor or surface conditions commonly lead to accidents:

  • Debris or clutter on floors
  • Loosened floorboards
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Defects in sidewalks
  • Defective or broken staircases
  • Torn carpets
  • Spills
  • Recently mopped or waxed floors
  • Leaks
  • Loose mats

These types of hazards are common in commercial, residential, public, and industrial spaces, which is why they cause so many accidents. It is everyone’s responsibility to correct these types of conditions on their properties to protect their customers, guests, or employees. People should regularly inspect their properties to ensure that their surfaces are cleared and safe. If a business identifies a problem, it should post a warning sign and promptly fix it.

Inclement weather

Inclement weather conditions can result in many slip-and-fall accidents. While no one can control the weather, businesses and people can practice safety during poor conditions. Property owners and cities should do things like shovel sidewalks, salt walkways and steps, and plow the streets. Businesses should promptly clean up ice and snow that people track into their premises. Failing to clear away accumulated ice and snow can result in liability when people slip and fall.

Inadequate training

Many slip-and-fall accidents happen at work. The construction industry poses special risks for fall accidents. Many work-related slip-and-fall accidents are caused because of inadequate training or a lack of safety culture. Every worker who works in the construction industry or other industries with heightened fall risks should be trained to use safety equipment to prevent falls. Businesses and supervisors should also have safety policies in place and work to enforce them. Failing to properly train workers about safe practices can result in falls, serious injuries, and fatalities.

Nursing home negligence

Families sometimes have to place their loved ones in nursing homes so that they can receive the level of care that they need. Unfortunately, one of the top causes of slip-and-fall injuries is nursing home negligence. Older adults have mobility and balance issues that leave them at an increased risk of falling. They are also more fragile and likelier to suffer serious injuries when they fall. The CDC reports that more than 25% of older adults fall every year. When elderly adults slip and fall, they are likelier to suffer fractures. Nursing homes are frequently short-staffed, meaning that the residents may not have adequate supervision when they walk around the premises. When a nursing home resident slips and falls and is injured because of a lack of proper supervision, the facility may be liable to pay damages.

Improper footwear

Many slip-and-fall accidents are caused by improper footwear. Shoes that do not offer the proper traction can result in people slipping on surfaces and falling. For example, wearing stiletto heels on freshly waxed floors can lead to an accident. Boots, sneakers, and other shoes can also cause people to fall if they do not provide good traction for the surfaces on which people are walking.

Fraudulent claims

While fraudulent claims are rare, some people try to stage falls to seek damages. For example, a person might try to spill liquid in a store and then slip in it to stage the scene. Others might have suffered injuries at home and then stage a fall at work to try to recover compensation. People who attempt to file fraudulent slip-and-fall claims are frequently discovered and may face penalties for attempting to defraud insurance companies or the courts.

Most slip-and-fall accidents can be prevented with proper attention and care. Businesses should have regular inspections scheduled throughout each day to check all of the store’s areas and to correct any hazards that are found. People who plan to invite guests to their homes should make certain that their floors are cleared of clutter and debris and that everything is in good working order. Customers and workers should make certain that they pay attention to their surroundings to avoid dangers that could cause them to fall. Finally, nursing homes should make certain that their residents are properly monitored and supervised to prevent them from falling. Many of these steps cost very little, and they can go along way to prevent people from being seriously injured or killed in fall accidents.

Get help from an experienced attorney at DiCindio Law

If you have been injured in a fall while you were on the premises of someone else, you may have legal rights to recover damages if the property owner was negligent. An experienced attorney at DiCindio Law can evaluate your claim and explain whether you might be entitled to recover compensation for your losses. Contact us today by filling out our contact form or calling us at 610.430.3535.

What Is a Slip and Fall Injury?

A slip-and-fall accident is a type of personal injury case that happens when a person trips or slips and falls while they are visiting someone else’s property. Slip-and-fall cases are premises liability claims, and the property’s owner or operator may be liable to pay damages to the injured victims in certain situations. People who have been injured in slip-and-fall accidents while they were visiting the property of someone else may benefit from speaking to a personal injury attorney at DiCindio Law.

How plaintiffs prove liability in slip-and-fall cases

Before people can recover damages in slip-and-fall accident lawsuits, they must prove the legal elements of their claims by a preponderance of the evidence. Each case is fact-specific and will depend on whether the property owner acted with reasonable care to prevent people from slipping or tripping. Cases also depend on whether the victim was careless and could have reasonably avoided the hazardous condition that caused the fall.

Most people who are injured in slip-and-fall accidents will have to prove that their accidents were caused by dangerous conditions that the property owners either knew about or reasonably should have known about. The dangerous condition must be something that presented an unreasonable risk of harm to a visitor. It should also have been the type of hazard that the injured person should not have reasonably foreseen. This means that people who notice and are aware of obvious hazards must take steps to avoid them.

To prove that the owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazardous condition, a plaintiff will need to prove the following:

  • The owner or possessor created the condition;
  • The owner or possessor had actual knowledge of the condition but failed to correct it; or
  • The dangerous condition existed for a sufficient duration that the owner or possessor should have reasonably discovered and fixed it before the accident.

A property owner will not be liable if it was not reasonably foreseeable that his or her negligence would create a dangerous condition. Before you can recover damages for a slip and fall injury that you suffered on someone else’s property, there must be someone whose negligence caused your injury. You cannot recover for a simple accident or because of a fall caused by your negligence.

Reasonableness

In negligence claims, the cases frequently turn on whether the defendants’ actions were reasonable. In the context of a slip-and-fall accident, the reasonableness of a defendant’s actions will depend on whether the property owner or possessor engaged in regular efforts to maintain the property in a safe condition. If you slipped or tripped over a loose piece of carpet or floor or slipped on something wet, you will want to determine how long the issue had been present to determine whether the owner should have known about it. Getting copies of the property owner’s maintenance and inspection schedule can provide you with evidence about the frequency of the efforts that were made to maintain the property. If you tripped over debris that was left on the floor, you will want to figure out how long it had been left there and why it was placed in that location. Other factors that you will want to consider include whether inadequate lighting contributed to the accident or whether your accident could have been prevented by a warning or barrier. Your attorney can help you to consider these and other relevant factors. Keep in mind that if your carelessness significantly contributed to the accident, you may not be able to recover damages.

The carelessness of the victim

In most slip-and-fall cases, the victim’s carelessness will be a factor. Under 42 Pennsylvania General Assembly Statutes §7102, Pennsylvania follows a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this law, a plaintiff’s recovery will not be barred by his or her negligence as long as it contributed to 50% or less of the accident’s cause. If your carelessness accounted for more than 50% of the cause of your accident, you will not be able to recover damages.

Many defendants will try to place as much blame on the victims as possible for their accidents to try to reduce or avoid liability. Your attorney will examine the facts and evidence to build a strong case of the owner’s liability while demonstrating that you were not careless. Some of the types of considerations that you will need to think about when determining whether your carelessness contributed to your accident include whether a careful person would have noticed the dangerous condition or walked carefully to avoid tripping or slipping. You will also need to think about whether you were distracted by something else or were engaged in an activity that increased your likelihood of falling and whether there were warning signs notifying people of the hazardous condition.

Slip-and-fall accidents on commercial property

The liability of a commercial property owner or possessor for a slip and fall on commercial property will depend on the plaintiff’s ability to prove the following elements:

  • The property owner or possessor caused the dangerous condition;
  • The property owner or possessor knew about the dangerous condition but failed to correct it; or
  • The property owner or possessor should reasonably have known about the dangerous condition and repaired it because of the length of time that it existed.

Slip-and-fall accidents on commercial property frequently involve several responsible people or entities that may be liable to pay damages.

Slip-and-fall accidents on residential property

Landlords may be liable to third parties or tenants for slip-and-fall accidents on rental properties. Injured parties must be able to show that the landlord had control over the area and condition that resulted in the accident and that fixing the condition would not have been unreasonably difficult or expensive. The serious injury that was suffered must also have been a foreseeable consequence, and the landlord must have failed to take reasonable measures to prevent an accident.

Slip-and-fall accidents on government property

Slip-and-fall accidents on government property must follow special rules. Governmental claims have strict notice claims and immunity provisions that could potentially shield the governmental entities from liability in some instances. It is important to seek legal help immediately if an accident happened on government property.

Contact DiCindio Law

If you have been seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident on the property of someone else, you may have legal rights. The legal team at DiCindio Law can review the facts and circumstances of what occurred and advise you about the legal merits of your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling us at 610.430.3535 or by filling out our contact form.

DiCindio Law, LLC opens newly renovated West Chester Office

DiCindio Law, LLC opens newly renovated West Chester Office building.

Located in downtown West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania and built in 1900 – the firm’s building has undergone a top to bottom renovation/restoration with the idea of preserving and repairing the building to the beauty it once was and providing Mike’s client’s with a comfortable and accessible office location and atmosphere.

Mike DiCindio looks forward to continuing to serve his current and future client’s for years to come at this new location.

West Chester Criminal Lawyer and West Chester Personal Injury Lawyer

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