Respected Moorestown Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Serving New Jersey and Pennsylvania
John Mattiacci has more than a decade of experience in handling slip and fall accident cases in Philadelphia, across Pennsylvania and in New Jersey. Slip and falls generally involve ice, snow, water, or any slick or slippery substance on which people walk or stand. These types of mishaps can occur inside or outside of a business like a supermarket or restaurant, a home, on a public sidewalk, in a parking lot or anywhere people are expected to walk. It is estimated that nearly 200,000 people get hurt each year in slip, trip and fall accidents (Walk Zone Safety Report).
In addition to slipping, many people are also injured tripping. Trip and fall accident cases are generally caused by an unsafe or dangerous condition of a walkway or surface. This can include cracked or broken sidewalks, uneven floors, holes in a walkway, a loose or unsecured carpet or rug, or a change in elevation such as an unmarked step.
Both types of cases are usually referred to as “premises liability” cases. John Mattiacci and his firm have secured significant verdicts and settlements in these cases. By example, John recently served as lead counsel in a case in which a union teamster slipped on ice at a business. The client, who slipped but did not fall to the ground, wrenched his knee and suffered an injury. John successfully sued the owner of the property, a Fortune 500 company, and recovered $900,000 for the injured client.
In another case, John Mattiacci was co-counsel for an elderly woman who tripped and fell in a pit surrounding a tree on a public street in Philadelphia. The woman suffered a broken wrist that required surgery. Suit was brought against the agency that planted the tree and the property owner. The defendants did not offer a reasonable amount and the case was tried to verdict before a Philadelphia jury. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the injured woman for $550,000.
These are just some examples of the cases that John has handled as a slip and fall accident lawyer in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Proving Your Case
Premise liability cases may seem simple, but there are many key things that must be proven in order to win. John Mattiacci knows each and every factor that must be proven in order to win these cases as he is very experienced in these slip and fall cases. He and the firm will collect and preserve the evidence that will be needed to maximize your recovery for your case.
They will make every effort to immediately document the safety hazard that causes a client to slip or trip. This includes taking photographs and measurements and otherwise documenting the scene of the accident. We will identify, locate and notify the owner and manager of the property, deal with the defendant’s insurance company, and are more than ready, willing and able to take a case to trial to obtain the fair value of a case.
One of the most important factors for these cases is “notice”, which means that a property owner or manager knew or should have known that a dangerous condition existed on the property. Our firm has handled cases in which notice of the hazard was hotly debated. We know what has to be done to investigate and prove notice in order to win.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I treat with a doctor after an accident?
We counsel each client that they should immediately seek medical treatment if they have been injured. It is important for a doctor to examine anyone that is injured in a fall to diagnose the injuries, prescribe a course of treatment, and monitor a person’s recovery.
Should I take photographs of the scene of the accident?
It is always incredibly useful to have photos or videos taken at the scene of an accident. If a photo can be taken, even on a phone, it can help preserve evidence of what hazard caused the slip or trip, whether warning signs were present, the lighting available, and the location of the actual accident. It can also help confirm when an accident took place. It can be difficult if not impossible for a person injured in a slip and fall accident to take photos, especially if that person is in pain. However, our firm will immediately send someone to take photographs and document the scene of an accident once we are contacted by a potential client. For that reason, it is extremely important to contact a Mattiacci New Jersey lawyer immediately.
Should I report my accident?
It is usually best to report an accident immediately. Doing so confirms the accident occurred and records the date, time, location and nature of the incident. If a person falls at a business, it should be reported to a manager or an employee. If a person falls at a home, the owner or resident can be notified. We tell our clients to ask for the full name and job title of the person they speak to so that information can be preserved. Some businesses use an incident report. Care should be taken when filling out an accident report. Only provide as much information as you can to document when and where the accident took place and request a copy of the report. Document the names of any witnesses and avoid giving any formal statements to the store or an insurance company until you have had an opportunity to contact and speak to an attorney, such as Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer John Mattiacci.
Who will pay my medical bills?
Some but not all businesses and homes have a medical payment provision, often called a “med pay” provision, on their insurance. This med pay provision allows a certain amount of money to be paid for medical treatment for anyone injured on the property. Our firm always asks for confirmation of any med pay coverage. If no med pay insurance exists, a person injured in a slip and fall accident may have to use his or her own health insurance to pay for medical bills. Other programs may be available to pay for medical bills, including benefits through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Public Welfare. The type of insurance or coverage available varies from case to case and from state to state. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help determine what coverage may be available to a person injured in a slip or trip accident.
What actions should I take after a slip and fall accidents?
Following is a list of standard “dos and don’ts”:
- Don’t apologize – “I’m sorry” can be used as evidence that the accident was your fault.
- Seek medical attention as soon as you can, even if you appear to be unharmed.
- Take photos of the accident scene with your cell phone.
- Obtain contact details for any witnesses.
What kind of information will you need from me?
At the very least, we will need to know the following information:
- The location of the accident
- Information about witnesses (and contact details if you have them)
- How the accident happened.
- Who discovered you after the accident.
- Anything unusual you noticed that might point to a cause of the accident.
I slipped on a wet floor at a supermarket. Do I have a valid claim?
You might have a valid claim, depending on the circumstances. If a staff member mopped the floor without erecting a warning sign, for example, you might have a valid claim if you slipped on the floor while it was still wet. If the wet floor was caused by a drink that was spilled only a couple of minutes before you fell, on the other hand, the question becomes whether the owner (or the employees) “should have known” of the spill.
Can I still collect damages if the accident was partly my fault?
Yes, as long as your degree of fault was no greater than the defendant’s degree of fault (this is true in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey). You will lose a portion of your damages, however — if the accident was 30 percent your fault, for example, you will lose 30 percent of your damages. If each party was 50 percent at fault, you can claim against each other.
Can I recover for an injury I suffered in a private residence during a party that I was invited to?
Perhaps. The standard is the same as it is for slip and fall accidents that occur in public places (such as shopping malls). The homeowner or renter will be liable if he knew or should have known of the dangerous condition that injured you and failed to either repair the condition or warn party guests about it.
What are the most common reasons for slip and fall accidents?
The most common reasons for slip and fall accidents include:
- Icy or snowy pavements
- Pavement defects such as discontinuities
- Slippery floors
- Inadequate or non-existent lighting, especially in stairwells
- Weak, broken or nonexistent handrails
- Inadequate safety equipment
There are hundreds of other reasons why a slip and fall accident may occur.
Can I file a claim against a nursing home for a slip and fall accident?
Yes, you can, at least under many circumstances. Nursing homes are responsible for the well-being of their patients, and they can be held liable for neglecting this responsibility. The question of liability will likely hinge on how much independence the nursing home could reasonably have expected of your loved one. You could also win a claim by showing that a violation of nursing home regulations caused the accident.
I was injured after falling off a treadmill at a gym. My membership contract includes an arbitration claus. Does it apply, and does it hurt my chances of recovery?
If you an arbitration clause applies, you will be barred from court. This does not prevent you from negotiating an out-of-court settlement, however. Even if you are forced into arbitration, you won’t necessarily regret it — arbitration proceedings are simple and quick compared to court proceedings. The major disadvantage of arbitration is that you normally cannot appeal an adverse decision.
Injured in a Moorestown Slip and Fall Accident? Contact John Mattiacci
Please note that the information above is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken to create an attorney-client relationship. If you have been in a slip and fall accident in Moorestown or elsewhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, or suffered any other personal injury, you should contact a decisive slip and fall lawyer like John Mattiacci immediately.