Slip and fall accidents cover virtually any accidents that occur as the result of the negligence of an owner, tenant or property manager at a property. This negligence can include failure to post adequate warning signs during maintenance, cleaning or construction, not properly maintaining the premises or not providing adequate lighting. Slip and fall cases can also result from liquid spills and snow and ice accumulation.
Who Can be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall Case?
Landlord, tenant or property management companies are the ones who are typically held liable in slip and fall accidents after it is established that the accident was the result of their negligence. Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere from office buildings to stores to restaurants. The owners or managers of a property with snow accumulation can also be held liable for resulting injuries. Previously, Massachusetts law made a distinction between “unnatural” and “natural” snow and ice build-up, and owners were not liable for “natural” build-up. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found in 2010 in Papadopoulos v. Target Corporation that companies must act reasonably in removing snow and ice instead of assessing whether the accumulation is “natural” or not. This duty to keep the property reasonably safe extends to other factors besides just getting rid of snow and ice accumulation.
What Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Case?
When someone has been injured in a personal injury case, the ultimate goal of the litigation is to make that person whole again as though the injury had never happened – but that might not be possible because of the severity of the damages that are possible in a slip and fall or other premises liability case. Damages from negligence can be extensive and can even include broken bones, head injuries and permanent injuries that impair your ability to work or lead a normal life. If your lawyer is able to establish that the property owner or tenant was negligent, it is possible that you can recover monetary compensation for your medical costs (both past and in the future) as well as compensation for lost income and for your pain and suffering.
What Should You do if You are Injured on Someone Else’s Property?
There are a lot of crucial steps that need to be undertaken before you can win – or settle – a slip and fall case in Massachusetts. It is essential to show that your injuries were the result of negligence by the owner or tenant in the space where the accident occurred. In addition to keeping track of your medical records and as much other evidence as possible related to the accident, you should contact an experienced premises liability attorney as quickly as you can.
Peter Ventura has been using his legal abilities since 1985 by representing clients in personal injury and other cases in Massachusetts. To get a free case evaluation and learn what the next best steps for your particular case are, contact the Worcester law firm of Peter Ventura at 508-755-7535.