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Slip & Fall

Our Massachusetts premises liability attorneys know there are many potential defects on walking surfaces that may cause a slip-and-fall injury. However, not every slip-and-fall injury is compensable. It’s critical in these cases to ascertain some key facts right from the beginning, such as:

  • Did the property owner create the hazard?

  • Did the property owner know about the defect?

  • Did the defect occur with such regularity or existed for such a length of time that the property owner should have known about it?

  • What level of care did the property owner owe to the person who was injured?

  • Was the injured person a social guest? An employee? A patron of a business?

Each element will play an essential role in whether a slip-and-fall injury claim is worth pursuing. Our dedicated Boston slip-and-fall accident lawyers are prepared to answer your questions, provide you with a carefully considered legal analysis of your case and help you determine the best way to proceed.

We know slip-and-fall accidents can happen virtually anywhere a slippery substance has the opportunity to make contact with a walking surface. Some of the more common sites include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Shopping malls
  • Dance clubs
  • Restaurants
  • Apartment buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Hotels (balconies especially)
  • Stairways
  • Sidewalks
  • Workplaces
  • Icy/ Snowy walkways

When the fall occurs on a hard surface, the injuries sustained are often serious. It’s not uncommon for victims to suffer broken bones (wrists, femurs, hips, knees, etc.), as well as facial and skull fractures. Bleeding, bruising and internal soft tissue injuries can occur as well. It’s important to seek immediate medical attention – and prompt legal advice.

When slip-and-fall injuries are due to the carelessness or negligence of a property owner, we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to secure compensation. This could include recovery for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain-and-suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Future treatment

Although the circumstances of each case are different, our attorneys have extensive experience and a long history of success in Boston slip-and-fall cases. We begin with insurance negotiations and then, if necessary, pursue litigation.

Because Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 260, Section 2A gives us a finite window of time in which to research and file these claims (three years for most), it’s imperative to start the process as early on as possible. Preservation of evidence that could bolster your claim (i.e., surveillance video, witness statements, photo evidence, etc.) may only be possible in those first few days and weeks, so the sooner you act, the better.

Snow and Ice

Massachusetts used to be a difficult state in which to recover damages for snow and ice-related slip-and-falls. The good news is it’s gotten much better.

Prior to 2010, the state required plaintiffs seeking damages for snow and ice to make the distinction between “natural” versus “unnatural” accumulations of these slippery substances. Massachusetts law was that property owners couldn’t be liable for injuries that were caused by so-called “natural” accumulations of ice or snow on the owner’s property. This created all sorts of headaches for the courts because determining what was “natural” and what was “unnatural” turned out to be pretty tricky.

In general, this “natural” accumulation was “untouched” snow and ice. It was only when property owners acted in some way to create an “unnatural” accumulation of these substances that they could be held liable. Property owners who hadn’t shoveled the ice and snow from their property or otherwise created the hazard couldn’t be liable. For years, Massachusetts was the only state that followed this standard, which is why it was for many years referred to as the “Massachusetts Rule.”

Then, in July 2010, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court abolished this rule with its ruling in Papadopoulos v. Target Corp. Justices ruled that from then on, the standard for ice and snow injury liability would be the same as for any other personal injury claim. That is, the property owner has to use reasonable care to maintain the property so it’s in reasonably safe condition for guests.

The ruling was an important one not just because it made paved the way for more successful personal injury lawsuits in snow and ice slip-and-fall cases, but because it helped to prevent them in the first place. Property owners no longer could feel shielded from liability by “doing nothing” to make those accumulations of ice and snow safer for those on their property, parking lots or adjacent sidewalks.

It’s worth noting that per MGL c. 84, Section 18-20, a person has to notify the property owner of injury or damage from snow or ice on their premises within 30 days of it happening – or else forfeit the right to file a claim at all.

Massachusetts Snow and Ice Laws are evolving, so it’s important to understand upfront what your options might be.

Why You Need a Boston Slip-and-Fall Lawyer

Prompt investigation of your fall is imperative. Our legal team is prepared to meet you where you are: Your home, hospital room or workplace to help explain what your legal remedies may be moving forward – and what you can expect in terms of recovery.

It’s key in these cases to show not just that you fell, not just that you suffered injury, but that:

  • Property owner owed you a duty of reasonable care;
  • Property owner breached that duty;
  • Your injuries were a direct result of that breach;
  • You suffered compensable injuries.

Our experienced, compassionate team of Boston injury lawyers have the compassion, the skill and the resources to help you prevail.

Contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC, by calling toll-free at (617) 367-2900.

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