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Slip and Fall Lawyer in Lawrence, MA

If you were hurt when you slipped and fell on someone else’s property in Lawrence, MA, you might qualify for financial damages. A personal injury lawyer from Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers can provide a case evaluation to determine if you might be eligible for compensation.

Call us today at 1-800-LAW-GUYS for a free consultation. When we handle your case, you can focus on getting well, and we can take care of the rest. A slip and fall lawyer in Lawrence, MA at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers will work tirelessly to get you all the compensation that you deserve.

Our State’s Law Regarding Property Owner’s Responsibilities to People Lawfully on the Premises

In Massachusetts, commercial property owners must take reasonable steps to make sure people who enter the premises legally are not hurt by dangerous conditions. Owners of private property must also perform needed repairs to keep their property in a safe condition.

What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents

Many things can cause a person to slip and fall. Here are some of the common causes of these accidents:

  • Food and liquid spills
  • Uneven floors and walkways
  • Insufficient lighting
  • Icy sidewalks
  • Broken steps
  • Unsecured wires and cables
  • Raised threshold

If the cause of your slip and fall accident is not on this list, do not worry. Just call us at 1-800-LAW-GUYS to find out if your slip and fall injury might qualify for compensation.

When a Landowner Can Be Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident

Getting hurt on someone else’s property does not automatically qualify you for financial damages. The owner must have legal liability before the law will make him pay for your injuries. If you were hurt because of an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, we will have to prove all three of these factors to hold the landowner responsible for your losses:

  1. There was a dangerous condition on the premises.
  2. The owner knew or should have known about the hazard.
  3. The owner did not take reasonable steps to correct the situation or post adequate warnings to prevent injuries.

If all three elements are present, the landowner is negligent. If the negligence caused you to suffer an injury, the owner is liable for your damages.

Let’s say that a retail store in Lawrence has large icy patches on the sidewalk and entry area every winter but does not apply chemicals to melt the ice or hire a company to clear the ice and keep the approaches to the store safe for customers. A shopper slipped and fell on a slick spot, suffering paralyzing spinal cord damage from the fall.

We will evaluate the store owner’s liability by applying the three factors to the situation.

  • There was a dangerous condition on the premises. The icy patches at the entrance to the store were a dangerous condition.
  • The owner knew or should have known about the hazard. Since the slick spots happened every winter, even if the owner was not aware of the problem at that specific time, he should have been.
  • The owner did not take reasonable steps to correct the situation or post adequate warnings to prevent injuries. The owner could have protected customers by spreading chemicals on the sidewalk and entry or hiring a company to provide that service, but the owner took no such action.

The store owner was negligent. His negligence resulted in the injury to the shopper. The owner will be responsible for the customer’s losses.

Three Things to Do After a Slip and Fall in Lawrence, MA

Every situation is unique, so the steps you should take right after a slip and fall accident may vary. You should always do what makes sense in your specific case. Here are some tips about things to do after a Lawrence, MA slip and fall accident:

Get Professional Medical Attention

Even if your injury seems minor at first, you might have more severe harm than you realize. Some injuries do not show signs at first. A person can have internal bleeding or even broken bones without symptoms for the first day or so. You should get a medical evaluation to find out if you have hidden injuries.

If you do not get prompt medical care, the defendant can allege that you were hurt from some other event and not the slip and fall accident. Your medical records will link your injuries to the accident, which will be essential in holding the defendant responsible for your losses.

Talk to a Slip and Fall Lawyer

The property owner’s liability insurance carrier will start working on a defense as soon as the company is notified of your fall. The insurer makes a profit by paying people as little money as possible for injury claims. Very few people want to do battle with multi-billion-dollar insurance companies on their own. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can protect your right to fair compensation.

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.

CAUSES OF TRIP AND FALL ACCIDENTS

Trip-and-fall accidents occur when your foot or leg strikes or catches on an obstruction, causing you to lose your balance.

The common causes of trip and fall accidents include:

  • Torn or wrinkled carpet
  • Uneven steps
  • Raised threshold
  • Poor lighting
  • Debris or clutter in walkways
  • Uncovered cables or wires
  • File drawers being left open
  • Obstructed view
  • Broken sidewalks
  • Potholes in parking lots

TYPES OF SLIP AND FALL INJURIES

BROKEN BONES

A fracture is a broken bone. You may experience a broken foot, broken ankle, fractured hip, broken wrist or other broken bone in a slip and fall accident. A serious bone fracture can cause time off work, reduced mobility and months of medical treatment.

Symptoms of broken bones include:

  • Intense, throbbing pain
  • Difficulty walking or moving the affected limb
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness

BACK AND NECK INJURIES

A fracture is a broken bone. You may experience a broken foot, broken ankle, fractured hip, broken wrist or other broken bone in a slip and fall accident. A serious bone fracture can cause time off work, reduced mobility and months of medical treatment.

Symptoms of broken bones include:

  • Neck pain
  • Worsening pain with movement
  • Stiffness
  • Loss of range of motion
  • Tenderness or pain in the upper back or shoulders

TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES

Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Brain injuries may be mild, moderate or severe. Symptoms of TBI include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Disorientation, confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • A headache that worsens
  • Seizures
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Coma

PROVING FAULT IN SLIP AND FALL CASES

Massachusetts imposes certain legal duties on property owners and business owners that rent properties. Both homeowners and business owners have a duty to all lawful visitors to keep the property in reasonably safe condition to prevent falls and other accidents. When a property is not adequately maintained or does not have warning signs of dangers, accidents can cause costly injuries. In some instance, a company contracted to maintain a property or remove snow and ice may also be liable.

WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON SLIP AND FALL CLAIMS?

Time Limits to file a claim: The ‘Statute of Limitations’, any lawsuit arising from an accident or injury must be filed within a certain time limit or the injured person’s legal claim will be barred and his or her right to sue a property owner will be lost forever.

The Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 260, Section 2A provides a finite window of time to research and file premise liability claims. We have at most three years so it is imperative we start the process as soon as possible. Preserving evidence that could increase the success of your case such as security footage, gathering witness statements and collecting photos of evidence are just a few items that need to be completed in the first few days or weeks so they are not lost.

DID THE PROPERTY OWNER KNOW ABOUT THE DANGER AND NEGLECT TO FIX IT?

If a slip and fall lawyer in Boston can show that the property owner was aware or should have known of the unsafe condition and failed to fix it or post an adequate warning, then the property owner may be held liable for the injuries caused.

SLIP, TRIP AND FALL INJURY OCCURRED ON COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

When our law firm is investigating premises liability accidents on commercial property in Boston, our premises liability attorneys look for prior accident reports of injuries occurring at the same location and surveillance camera tape that can help reveal how long a hazard has been present. This evidence can be used to show that the property owner should have been aware of the hazard and had time to correct it or post an adequate warning.

The owner of a commercial building like a department store or parking lot that has a code violation is liable for any injuries sustained as a result of the defective property condition. The failure of a building owner to inspect the property regularly and correct hazards may be the basis of a Massachusetts slip and fall injury claim.

Boston receives significant amounts of snow each year, which can create slippery conditions for accidents. A property owner or the person controlling the property is responsible for removing accumulations of ice and snow and keeping the property reasonably safe. In some instances, companies contracted for snow and ice removal may be liable if they failed to uphold their duty.

SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY

Slip and fall claims involving accidents on a publicly owned property are more complicated to pursue. The City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the federal government are protected from serious injury lawsuits by sovereign immunity.

The Massachusetts Torts Claim Acts spells out the circumstances in which a civil lawsuit may be filed against the City of Boston or Commonwealth of Massachusetts, seeking compensation for injuries caused by negligence by a government or a government employee. You generally have to give notice to the government agency of a pending legal claim within a certain short period of time. These notification deadlines are often quite tight, making it important to contact a slip and fall attorney in Boston immediately to review your injury and offer guidance.

SLIP, TRIP AND FALL ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY

Homeowners and owners of private property have a legal duty to maintain their property in reasonably safe condition to prevent injuries to guests and visitors. Private property owners also have a duty to warn of dangers on the property. The extent of the duty of care that a private property owner owes depends on the status of the visitor that comes onto the property. For example, a private property owner would have a greater responsibility to ensure the safety of an invited guest than a trespasser. Private property owners also have an obligation to secure their property so that swimming pools and structures that would pose an attractive nuisance to children do not pose a hazard.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE INVOLVED IN A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

If you sustain an injury while on another person’s property, there are certain steps that you should take to ensure a successful Boston slip and fall lawsuit.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE INVOLVED IN A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries.
  • Use your phone camera to take photos of the condition that caused your fall.
  • Write down the names of witnesses to your fall.
  • Record the name of the supervisor or owner of the location of your fall.
  • Report the incident to the property owner, landlord or property manager.
  • Do not speak to the property owner’s insurance company until you have consulted a slip and fall attorney.

You should report the accident to the property manager or property owner. It is a good idea to follow with a certified letter to the property owner or property manager briefly describing the accident. Keep a copy of the letter. Informing the property owner promptly of your injury will strengthen your position if you eventually file a slip and fall claim.

According to MGL c. 84, Section 18-20, an injured person has to notify the property owner of the injury or damage from snow or ice on their premises within 30 days of the injuries occurred or they will forfeit the right to file a claim at all.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU WERE INVOLVED IN A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT

If you believe that your fall injury was preventable and was caused by someone else’s carelessness or disregard for safety, talk to a knowledgeable slip and fall lawyer in Boston who can evaluate the accident. Our premises liability attorneys at Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers are experienced in handling slip and fall accident claims and trip and fall accident cases in Boston and the surrounding towns.

After a brief discussion with you regarding the facts and details surrounding your accident, we will be able to provide you a better idea concerning the likelihood of success of your Boston slip and fall lawsuit as well as the projected value of your case.

Read our blog post about Slip and Fall Accidents:

Avoid a Slip and Fall Injury this Winter