Slip and fall accidents can cause more severe injuries than most people would imagine. If your slip and fall injury occurs at a premises owned or operated by someone else, you could be eligible for financial damages, provided the injuries resulted from the property owner’s or manager’s negligence.
Under Massachusetts premises liability law, someone who owns a property or is in control of the property (such as a tenant), has a legal duty to keep it in safe condition if others are visiting the premises. Failure to maintain a reasonably safe property could cause you injuries, resulting in legal consequences for the negligent property owner or operator.
If your injuries occurred as a result of slipping and falling on a wet surface, or a poorly lit driveway, or badly designed or broken stairs, or such other unsafe property conditions, it is time to speak to an experienced Boston slip and fall attorney at Shapiro Law Group, PC to evaluate your claim for damages.
Four Elements to Establish Liability
The presence of the following four elements must be established in order for you to successfully obtain damages from the at-fault party that caused your slip and fall injury:
- The owner, controller or manager of the property is required to exercise reasonable care or a specific code of conduct
- That party failed to fulfill that duty of care
- That failure contributed to your slip and fall accident
- You actually suffered bodily injuries in that accident
Even if you may have a seemingly straightforward case, it may be hard to prove these four elements in order to obtain damages. A number of unpredictable factors will affect a slip and fall injury case in Massachusetts.
You can substantially increase your chances of obtaining your rightful compensation when you seek legal representation from a competent Boston personal attorney at Shapiro Law Group, PC. Our tenacious and resourceful attorneys will negotiate hard with the insurance company to get you the maximum possible damages.
Comparative Negligence Rule in MA
In slip and fall injury cases in Massachusetts, the comparative negligence rule that the state follows is likely to come into play, which will influence the amount of compensation you may be awarded. You can expect the negligent premises owner or operator to either deny your claim in full or argue that you are at least partly responsible for the accident.
If the at-fault party successfully makes a case to apportion some blame on you, it could reduce your compensation proportionately. Here are some of the common arguments that property owners use in slip and fall injury claims:
- The area where your slip and fall accident occurred is restricted for visitors, and you were not expected to be there.
- You were distracted or not paying enough attention when the accident occurred (for instance, you were either talking to someone and not looking around or using your phone while walking).
- You were wearing ill-fitting, defective, or slippery footwear.
- The site of the accident was clearly marked with warning signs.
- The hazard, which led to your slip and fall injury, was conspicuously noticeable, and you could have avoided it had you been careful.
Clearly, in the face of these types of legal arguments, you need support from a seasoned Boston slip and fall attorney at Shapiro Law Group, PC.
How to Make an Effective Claim for Your Injury?
To make a successful claim against the property owner or manager for your slip and fall injury in Massachusetts, your attorney should be able to effectively question the at-fault party’s ‘reasonableness’ in maintaining safe premises for visitors.
The skilled Boston personal injury attorneys from our legal team may investigate the following issues to hold the premises owner liable for your slip and fall injuries:
- Was the hazard that led to your slip and fall accident on the premises for a sufficiently long period for the owner to have noticed it?
- Was the property being regularly cleaned and inspected for any potential repairs, maintenance or safety issues?
- Was it an object on the premises that caused you to slip and fall? If so, was it possible for the owner to place the object in a safer manner or place it in a safer area?
- Should the property owner have used barriers and warning signs to alert people about the slipping and falling hazard?
- Was the property owner warned before by staff, customers, or other visitors about the presence of a hazard (such as poor lighting or an uneven surface or a damaged staircase)?
When you choose to work with dedicated Boston slip and fall attorneys at Shapiro Law Group, PC, you can be sure that you have the best legal team on your side. We will explore all legal avenues to establish a solid personal injury case to maximize your compensation from the at-fault party.