Gary P. Heslin
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Experienced Pennsylvania Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney serving Northeast Philadelphia
It hazardous enough being a police officer on an emergency call. When you have to respond to a call about a domestic disturbance/assault you can never tell what’s going to be on the other side of the door.
Unfortunately, in the winter, there’s always the possibility that the apartment complex where the disturbance is occurring doesn’t clean up their ice and snow. This happened to a client. She gets the call at about 1 o’clock in the morning. She stops in the parking lot, gets out of her car, and begins walking toward the apartment. It’s not well lit. Suddenly, she falls and hears her wrist crack as she hits the payment.

Black Ice Leads to Winter Slip and Fall SettlementBlack Ice in Apartment complex leads to slip and falls

Turns out she fell on black ice. There was no way she could have known it was there. Unfortunately, no one takes a picture of the black ice. It’s hard to think of that when you’re staring at your fractured wrist.

Insurance Carriers Can't Be Trusted

The problem with this apartment complex is that they and their insurance carrier deny they are responsible. They say they did nothing wrong. They always clean up the snow and ice. They said my client must be lying. They even sent me some documents which outlined their wonderful snow and ice removal procedures.
We put the case in suit and they began doing everything they can to obstruct the case. We subpoenaed their management people. We wanted to find out about their great system of cleaning up ice and snow.
The first manager they produced for a deposition didn’t even work there at the time the client fell. He knew nothing about their snow and ice removal procedures at the time of the accident because “he didn’t work there.” He gave me the name of his boss and I brought him in for a deposition. He did work there at the time, but he knew nothing about their snow and ice removal procedures because it was “another manager” who would have been responsible. I brought that other manager in and he knew nothing about the snow and ice removal procedures because it was the responsibility of the head of the maintenance department. He told me that man didn’t work there anymore and he didn’t know where to find them.

The Truth Be Told

Well, once I got his name. I did find him, coincidentally living close to my office. I subpoenaed him in for a deposition. That turned the case around. He said he had been responsible for snow and ice removal at the apartment complex up until about 2 months BEFORE the accident. That’s when they relieved him of a lot of his duties and cut his hours and pay. I asked him who replaced him and he said in a loud voice NOBODY. He said he had put the snow and ice removal procedures together, but once they cut his duties, no one at the apartment complex followed them. He said he had to beg them to follow up on his procedures, but most of the time they just ignored him, including the time when my client fell.

You Must Always Have a Persistent Personal Injury Attorney

Well, we won the case and the client came away extremely happy. This is just an example of why your Philadelphia slip and fall lawyer has to be persistent. You’ve got to keep going back and back at them. You can’t give up until you get the truth and that’s going to go a long way toward you winning your case.