Duty of Care—Slip and Fall Facts in Chester County

Slip and Fall Facts in Autumn in Chester County

Next to the Winter Season, with its snow and ice, individuals living in PA can experience more slips and falls than in the warmer months. This is especially true in the Fall. 

The wet leaves that litter the ground, as well as grass, soil, and roadways after rain, can indeed cause slippery conditions. Add to this the fact that fog is apparent in the Fall throughout much of PA. 

While everyone runs the risk of falling in this season of diminishing light and more slippery outside conditions, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) has documented that most of the more serious injuries, such as broken bones and TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries), do occur in the elderly population, as defined by those 65 years of age or older. 

The CDC has also documented that billions of dollars are lost to falls in seniors, and hundreds of thousands of serious injuries occur. As individuals are living longer now and are more active, the number of serious falls among seniors has increased since 2015. 

Why Do Falls Occur Outdoors During the Fall Season? 

Although falls do occur with seniors indoors, outdoor falls during the Fall are less controllable. Indoors, handrails and guardrails can be effective in fall prevention. 

This is not always the case outdoors. Although the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) does maintain indoor standards for property owners or loved ones of a senior, this does not apply to all outdoor activities. 

Although TBIs occur frequently, the major risk for seniors while on a walk or even job outside during the Fall season is generally broken hips or other broken bones, again according to the CDC.

Ways to Avoid Falling Outdoors During the Fall  

Due diligence is needed by seniors to prevent outdoor falls in the beautiful, colorful season of Fall. Many are drawn outdoors by the cooler temperatures and the breathtaking splendor of changing colors. Practicing safety is important, however. 

·     Be aware of all surroundings

While it is nice to enjoy all the scenery, seniors who tread on wet grass or pavements or walkways filled with dead leaves increase their chances of slips and falls. It is just too easy to get caught up in the outdoor beauty. 

·     Ensure that all medical conditions are taken into account

 Individuals with MS (Multiple Sclerosis), any type of arthritis, or vision problems need to adjust their speed of walking and take into account any balance issues that come with a medical condition. 

·     Use any assistive devices necessary 

If a cane or walker is supplied by a medical provider, using this can prevent falls on wet leaves, in roadways where the slope is uneven, or even when a pothole might exist. Glasses, if prescribed, should always be worn. 

Seniors are proud, and unfortunately, many can be “fit as a fiddle” and still need assistive devices but not use them. The NIH (National Institute of Health) has documented this in its latest publication abstract. 

The abstract also focuses on new methodologies of technology that can be assistive in nature without being as cumbersome (and somewhat embarrassing) for older individuals, such as the usual canes, crutches, and walkers. 

·     Drive and walk early in the day 

Although the focus of this article is the slips and falls when outside of a vehicle, eventually, if driving, a senior must get in and out of a vehicle. When on slippery ground, the slips and falls can increase while entering and exiting a vehicle. 

Duty of Care in Slips and Falls in the Autumn 

The Duty of Care does apply to commercial residences such as rental properties, stores, and other types of commercial buildings, including healthcare facilities. 

The ADA requirements do require a handicapped ramp, and handicapped parking facilities are in place. This is not an option; it is a requirement and must be followed to the letter. 

Any slip and Fall that occurs when these requirements are not followed by commercial properties generally can be a negligence case, as the property owners must keep the premises not only handicapped accessible but also free of all slippery debris such as leaves and wet grass. 

Summary—Duty of Care in Slips and Falls Facts in Autumn in Chester County

Not all falls are preventable, but many are with just a few precautionary measures. While many lead to TBIs and broken bones, it is wise to consult an attorney such as Christian J. Hoey, ESQ of Paoli, PA, as soon as a slip or Fall occurs. 

free consultation is available, and a team of experts, including medical experts, exists to assist in bringing a slip-and-fall negligence case to fruition. 

Studies also show that many individuals do not report slips and falls immediately, and this should be avoided as a negligence case needs to be documented ASAP.  

Dialing 911 or going to an emergency room immediately is always recommended. Mr. Hoey should also be the next step in documentation, and a phone call is always welcome. 

Please call at 610-647-5151 or 1-888-Go-Hoey1. 

Enjoy the Autumn, but do it safely! 

Distracted Driving

Pennsylvania defines distracted driving as “an activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Drivers have to focus on driving, so they can react to the information on the road, such as road conditions, hazards and other drivers. Distracted drivers do not react appropriately and thus put others at risk for severe injury or death. Examples of distractions, besides using cell phones and texting, include drinking, eating, adjusting the radio, adjusting climate controls, adjusting seats, combing hair, putting on make-up, daydreaming, reaching for dropped items, engaging in heavy conversations, and focusing on events outside of the car.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence typically refers to alcohol use, but drug use can also impair drivers and cause severe car accidents.  In either situation, enjoying cocktails at happy hour, celebrating with drugs or alcohol, drinking too much wine for dinner and unwinding after a long week at work results in too many motorists driving under the influence.  Controlled substances impact each person differently, making it common for someone to misjudge his or her level of impairment.  These poor judgments can lead to severe and sometimes fatal car accidents.

Driver Fatigue

Driving without enough sleep is commonplace for many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and across the nation. Truck drivers, shift workers, and those with sleep disorders are most vulnerable to causing an accident because they are drowsy or fatigued. Not having enough rest slows down reaction time and impairs the senses. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) claims that eighteen (18) hours without sleep impairs a driver to the same extent as someone who has a 0.08 blood or breath alcohol concentration after consuming alcohol.


The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that one-third of all car accidents involve speeding. Drivers who rush, run late, or simply lack patience may choose to speed when they get behind the wheel. Speeding makes it more likely that a driver will lose control of his or her vehicle and makes it more difficult to react to road hazards and other vehicles. Speeding also increases the impact of a car accident and makes it far less likely that a negligent driver may maintain control of his vehicle sufficient to prevent a collision. High speed car accidents make it far more likely that those involved will suffer severe injuries or death.


At HoeyLegal, we know from our litigation experience that tractor-trailer drivers often operate at least one cellular phone which is in use at, during, or immediately prior to a tractor-trailer accident. Additionally, most tractor-trailers are equipped with data recorders which capture, in real-time, important vehicle operation events including speed, hard braking and other evasive maneuvers taken by the operator and the tractor-trailer.  It is imperative that this evidence be obtained before it is destroyed.  At HoeyLegal, our trial attorneys will obtain any necessary court order to preserve this evidence for trial.


Oftentimes, there are several defendants responsible for the tractor-trailer accident. In most cases, at least two defendants are responsible for the ownership and operation of the tractor-trailer.  There may be additional defendants responsible for the hiring and retention of the tractor-trailer driver.  At HoeyLegal, our investigators will promptly identify the responsible defendants and immediately request the preservation of all evidence related to the hiring and retention of the driver, inspection of the vehicles and the supervision and drug/alcohol testing of the vehicle operator.


Our accident investigators include mechanics who will immediately respond to the accident site and the location where the truck has been impounded in order to photograph the truck and conduct necessary mechanical inspections of the vehicle. In the event that a court order is necessary to examine and inspect the trucks, HoeyLegal Attorneys will promptly file the necessary motions to enable the HoeyLegal mechanics and inspectors to conduct a prompt evaluation of the mechanical function of the at-fault tractor-trailer


Our expert accident investigators include former Pennsylvania State Police accident investigators and nationally recognized engineers who will carefully photograph the accident scene and conduct all necessary measurements of skid marks, yaw marks, displacement of debris and thoroughly examine the accident site to preserve all evidence for the time of trial.


Our investigators will promptly interview and record all witnesses that observed the accident and collect all biographical information from the witnesses so they will available to testify on your behalf at trial.

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