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Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

Boston Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys

Accidental falls are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States. Around 8.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in a recent year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although many falls are random mishaps, there are times when the accident could have been prevented if someone else had been more careful. In those circumstances, the injured person could file a slip and fall claim against the reckless party.

Were you hurt after a fall on someone else’s property in Boston? If so, you could be entitled to compensation to help with the medical costs, missed wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you have endured. Learning your legal options is important — and that’s how Kelly & Associates can help.

Our experienced Boston slip and fall attorneys provide high-quality and compassionate legal services that put clients’ needs first. We’ll listen to your story and advise you of all possible avenues for compensation. You can count on us to fight for the best possible results in your slip and fall case.

Call 1-800-LAW-GUYS (1-800-528-4897) or contact us online for a free consultation.

What is a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents occur when an individual slips or trips due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. If such an incident results in an injury, the victim could have a valid slip and fall claim.

A slip and fall accident can occur anywhere. Whether you’re at a grocery store, public swimming pool, or restaurant, there may be grounds for a legal claim if it can be shown that the person or entity in control of the property did not take reasonable steps to prevent the accident from occurring.

Specific hazards that could result in a slip and fall accident case include:

  • Uneven flooring
  • Loose tiles, mats, or floorboards
  • Torn carpeting
  • Cracked sidewalks
  • Recently mopped or waxed floors (with no warning signs)
  • Poor lighting
  • Broken handrails
  • Narrow staircases
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Debris or objects in a path where people walk
  • Icy pavement or walkways

The key to obtaining compensation is proving that someone else’s carelessness contributed to your injury. Conducting a thorough investigation will be a crucial part of proving your case. The accomplished slip and fall lawyers at Kelly & Associates know what it takes to build a successful claim and will put every effort into gathering evidence that shows why you deserve maximum compensation.

Common Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents

Whether you fall from a significant height, slip on a wet surface, or stumble down the stairs, the severity of your slip and fall injuries could range from minor to life-threatening.

The most common types of slip and fall injuries include:

It’s important to remember that some injuries don’t show up right away. That’s why you should always seek medical treatment after a slip and fall accident. Even serious injuries may not appear on X-ray until hours or days after an accident.

Seeing a doctor right away also protects any future legal claim that you may have. Failure to seek timely medical treatment is a common excuse that insurance companies use to reduce or deny payouts to accident victims. They may argue that you weren’t as seriously injured as you claim to be because you didn’t get swift medical care.

Sadly, falls are also the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S. today. Family members of victims who died in a slip and fall accident in Boston may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for compensation against the negligent party. If you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, Kelly & Associates will help you fight for justice so that you can begin the painful process of moving forward in life.

Slip and Fall Injury Statistics

A deeper look at slip and fall statistics show just how dangerous these types of accidents can be:

  • One out of every five falls results in a serious injury.
  • Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
  • 95 percent of hip fractures are caused by falling.
  • Over 800,000 people are hospitalized for slip and fall injuries every year, usually due to broken hips or head trauma.
  • Slip and fall injuries are the primary cause of lost days off work.
  • Slips, trips, and falls are the No. 2 cause of occupational deaths, second only to motor vehicle accidents.
  • Dangerous falls aren’t always from elevated areas. An estimated 60 percent of falls occur from a height of fewer than 10 feet.
  • Older people are at the greatest risk of injury and death from a slip and fall accident.
  • If current rates continue to rise, you can expect there to be 7 slip and fall deaths every hour by 2030.

Average Settlement Amounts for Slip and Fall Injuries

There’s no way to predict how much a person will receive in an injury claim. The amount of any settlement will depend on several factors, such as:

  • The severity of the injury
  • How much medical treatment was necessary
  • How long that treatment is expected to last
  • Long-term impact of the injury(s)
  • The victim’s age
  • Any pre-existing conditions
  • Previous results in similar legal cases

Every slip and fall accident case will have different facts. When you work with Kelly & Associates, our skilled lawyers will review the specifics of your case and place an estimated value on it. Keep in mind that it is an estimate only — any number of factors could arise that could affect the ultimate outcome of your case.

What to Do After a Boston Slip and Fall Accident

There are several steps you can to take to protect your right to financial compensation after your injury occurs:

  • Seek medical treatment for your slip and fall injuries.
  • Determine who the property owner is and request a copy of their liability insurance policy.
  • Take photos of the accident scene, including what caused you to fall and pictures of your injuries.
  • Notify the at-fault party’s insurance company of the accident, but do not give a formal or recorded statement.
  • Contact a trusted slip and fall attorney. A lawyer can help file an insurance claim, gather the documents needed to prove your claim, and represent you during settlement discussions.

Compensation for Slip and Fall Accident Victims

If you’re successful in your injury claim, you could receive compensation for part or all of your accident expenses and related losses. These are called damages.

When an insurance adjuster examines your slip and fall claim, he or she will take your damages into account to determine a settlement amount. In Massachusetts, you could receive compensation for:

  • Medical bills: Expenses necessary to treat your injuries, including surgery, physical therapy, adaptive medical equipment, and prescription medications.
  • Lost income: Wages you missed as a result of your injuries.
  • Lost earning capacity: Future income that you will lose due to your injury, if you cannot return to the same level of employment you had before the accident.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation for significant pain that you have endured.
  • Emotional distress: Accounts for the psychological or mental effects of the accident on your life (e.g., PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.).
  • Permanent disability: Awarded when the injury prevents you from participating in the lifestyle you enjoyed before the incident occurred.

Can I Sue for My Slip and Fall Injury?

If you’re considering filing an insurance claim or suing for slip and fall injuries, there are several factors you must consider first.

Settlements don’t get awarded just because you fell on someone’s property. There are critical pieces of information that are relevant to the outcome of a slip and fall accident case, such as:

  • Identifying the person or entity that is liable for the accident
  • Evidence of negligence
  • The victim’s role (if any) in causing the fall
  • Deadlines to file a claim

Liability: If you seek to hold a person or entity liable for your fall, they must hold the legal responsibility for anything that happens on the property where your accident occurred. At a place of business, the business owner or property owner would assume responsibility. At someone’s private residence, the homeowner or rental management company would assume the responsibility for the guest’s injuries.

Negligence: Proving negligence requires evidence that the property owner knew about the existing hazards and had plenty of time or opportunities to fix them, but didn’t. You also need to show that there’s no way you could have noticed the hazard or identified them as being dangerous.

Fault: If you’re able to prove the negligent party solely created the conditions leading to your accident, you could seek a full settlement. However, compensation is still possible even if you share a portion of the blame. However, the ultimate amount you receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault you are assigned by the court.

Deadlines: There are time limits governing your right to file slip and fall lawsuits. Those deadlines are known as statutes of limitations. In Massachusetts, you have three years from the date of the slip and fall accident to sue the liable party for negligence.

When Should I Contact A Boston Slip and Fall Lawyer?

If you’ve suffered a serious slip and fall injury, it’s smart to contact a lawyer for advice as soon as possible. Many people try to handle their claims without legal representation. In minor injury situations, that may be acceptable. But when someone is seriously or catastrophically harmed, the stakes are higher. Having an attorney who can stand up for your rights can help ensure that you present a strong case for full and fair compensation.

With the assistance of an experienced lawyer at Kelly & Associates, you can focus on your recovery while we handle all of the legal legwork for you. When you hire us, we can immediately begin work on your case. This is important, as crucial evidence can get lost, destroyed, or lose value over time. The sooner your lawyer can begin an investigation, the better.

Hiring a slip and fall lawyer is also useful if you already filed an insurance claim and were denied. Just because an insurer denies your claim doesn’t mean your case is over. An attorney can review the details of the insurance company’s decision and determine if he or she can dispute the decision.

Your lawyer will look for strong evidence that supports the events that led to your injury and shows that someone else’s negligence caused it to happen. They will gather documents that you didn’t initially submit and find additional information showing why you deserve compensation.

How Can Kelly & Associates Law Help Me?

The legal team at Kelly & Associates handles slip and fall accident cases just like yours. When you work with us, we will create an individualized approach to your case that is customized to meet your needs and wishes.

Quality client service is of the utmost importance to us. We believe in providing legal services that are convenient and efficient. You’ll never feel ignored or unimportant as a client at our firm.

At Kelly & Associates Injury Lawyers, we believe that injury victims deserve legal representation regardless of their ability to pay. That’s why we take cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you pay no upfront costs for us to work on your case. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.

The benefit of a contingency fee agreement is twofold. First, you don’t pay anything out of pocket to get started. Second, all of the risk is on your lawyer. When Kelly & Associates accepts your claim, you can have confidence that we believe it’s a strong one.

Ready to get started? Our legal team is standing by to help. Call or contact us right away to schedule your free consultation.

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MEET YOUR LAW GUY MICHAEL D. KELLY, ESQ.

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