Slip and Fall Lawyer, Salem MA
Slipping and falling is one of the most common injuries that people experience. Fortunately, most people who fall suffer no serious injuries, but others break bones, injure their spines, or face a variety of other complications. These injuries can be debilitating and lead to lifelong disabilities or even death. If you have suffered physical or emotional trauma as the result of this type of injury, we may be able to help.
Causes of Slip-and-Fall Injuries
Slip and fall injuries can occur both inside and outside. People suffer these injuries at work, while shopping, and in a variety of other environments. Some of the most common causes of slip and falls include the following:
- Uneven Floors or Sidewalks
- Loose Flooring or Mats
- Puddles Due to Mopping or Weather Conditions
- Oily or Greasy Patches on the Floor
- Trash or Other Debris
- Tripping Hazards
- Poor Lighting
- Unmarked Steps
- Lack of Handrails on Stairs
While anyone can fall, people in certain occupations are more likely to experience these injuries. That includes construction workers, housekeepers, custodians, chefs, and factory workers. Elders are also more likely to suffer falls than younger people, and in fact, falls are the number one cause of injuries for senior citizens in the United States.
Note that if you fall at work, the legal side of the issue is different than if you fall in a public place or on a private property. Your lawyer can help you understand the best way forward in both situations.
What to Do After a Slip-and-Fall Injury
If you ever suffer this type of injury, you should follow these steps.
1. Seek Medical Treatment
If you fall, seek medical treatment immediately. This is especially important if you hit your head. You may have a concussion or internal bleeding and swelling. If untreated, those issues can lead to serious complications including permanent brain damage or even death.
2. Report the Injury
You should also report the injury. If the fall occurred at work, talk with your employer. If it happened in a public place, report the incident to the owner, the manager on duty, a city official, or anyone who is responsible for the area where the injury took place. Typically, if you fall at home, you don’t need to report the fall to anyone, but the exception is if you are a renter and you believe that the fall occurred due to the negligence of your landlord.
3. Keep Records
If someone else is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to make a claim for your damages. Medical records, receipts, documents showing that you missed work, and similar information can be essential for that process.
4. Avoid Communicating with the Responsible Party
Ideally, you should avoid communicating with the responsible party. They may offer you a low-ball settlement, or they may trick you into admitting culpability. If possible, you should direct communication through an attorney.
5. Contact an Attorney
Attorneys understand the legalities of these situations. They can answer your questions and get you the justice you deserve after an injury. After a slip and fall, always consult with an attorney to learn about your options.
Liability for Falls
In Massachusetts, people have an obligation to keep their property in a reasonable state, and as a general rule of thumb, there are three situations that constitute owner negligence:
- The property owner created the dangerous situation.
- The owner knows about the situation and failed to address it.
- The condition was present for a significant amount of time, and the owner should have detected it.
Additionally, the fall must have been created by an unreasonable situation that the victim could not have anticipated or avoided.
Massachusetts is a comparative negligence state. Generally, if you fall and you try to make a claim against the owner of a property, they will respond by saying that you are partially to blame. If the courts agree with that assessment, they will assign you a fraction of the responsibility, and your settlement will be reduced by that amount. For instance, if the fall was 25% your fault, your settlement gets reduced by 25%.
Statute of Limitations for Injuries in Massachusetts
Massachusetts gives you three years to report slip and falls or other personal injuries. If someone dies as a result of these injuries, the executor or administrator of their estate also has three years to make a claim. In most cases, the clock starts ticking on the date that the injury occurs, but when someone dies, the timeline starts on the day of their death. However, there can be exceptions to these rules. To be on the safe side, you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
If you slip and fall, you have to pay medical bills, deal with lost time at work, and potentially suffer other damages. To get compensation, you need a slip-and-fall attorney. For a free consultation, contact Tinti, Quinn, Grover & Frey, P.C. today.