Massachusetts Slip and Fall Injury
If you were injured in a Massachusetts slip-and-fall accident on someone else's property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Slip-and-fall accidents are among the most common kind of personal injury lawsuits.
Just as it sounds, a slip-and-fall accident occurs when you trip over or slip on something on the floor, then fall down and injure yourself. A slip-and-fall accident may also be known as a:
- Trip-and-fall accident, when you trip over a foreign object
- Step-and-fall accident, when you encounter an unexpected failure or hole while walking
- Stump-and-fall accident, when you trip over an impediment while walking
Slip-, trip-, stump-, and step-and-fall accidents can occur from problems such as water, grease, ice, or food on a walking surface. They can also occur from a poorly maintained walking surface, including broken floorboards or crumbling steps, and in poorly lit areas.
Who Is Responsible for Your Massachusetts Slip-and-Fall Accident?
When there is a potentially dangerous walking surface, the Massachusetts property owner (or tenant) and the person who is walking on the surface bear some responsibility for preventing the slip-and-fall and avoiding injuries. The Massachusetts property owner must keep the property safe. Anyone who encounters a slippery or otherwise dangerous walking surface in Massachusetts must also exercise reasonable care to avoid hurting themselves.
In a slip-and-fall lawsuit, each party has some degree of responsibility. The injured party has to show that he or she exercised reasonable care when walking on the dangerous surface, and the property owner has to show that he or she took reasonable care to keep the property safe.
Massachusetts courts will look at the comparative liability of each party (in other words, how much responsibility the injured party bears and how much responsibility the property owner bears for the injury). This percentage of liability is then used to calculate how much the property owner must pay in damages or compensation to the injured party and how much of the cost the injured party will have to bear. If it is determined that you are at least 51 percent responsible for your accident, you cannot recover any money from the other party.
Whether you live in Worcester, Brockton, Newton, Haverhill, or elsewhere in Massachusetts, your Massachusetts slip-and-fall attorney can help you understand your legal options.
Slip-and-Fall Injuries at Work in Massachusetts
If you are involved in a slip-and-fall injury at work, you normally cannot sue your employer under Massachusetts personal injury laws. Work-related injuries instead would be covered under Massachusetts workers' compensation laws.
Compensation for a Massachusetts Slip-and-Fall Injury
If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- All of your medical bills for treatment related to your slip-and-fall injuries
- Any future earning ability lost due to your injury
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores that you're unable to do because of your injury
- The repair or replacement of any property (such as eyeglasses) that was damaged or destroyed when you fell
- Lost wages for time off from work (including time spent going to doctor's appointments and physical therapy)
- Permanent disability and disfigurement stemming from the Massachusetts slip-and-fall accident
- Emotional distress stemming from the accident
- Any other costs you've incurred because of the accident
How Long Do You Have to File a Massachusetts Slip-and-Fall Claim?
Massachusetts law gives you three years from the date of your Massachusetts slip-and-fall injury to file a claim against the party at fault. (This is known as the statute of limitations.)
If you and your Massachusetts personal injury lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the property's owner or tenant (or with their insurance company), you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. If you wait more than three years to file a lawsuit, you will give up your right to sue the property owner or tenant for damages.
Where Do You File a Massachusetts Slip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
For Massachusetts slip-and-fall injury claims worth more than $2,000, you would file your lawsuit in the appropriate Massachusetts District Court.
If your Massachusetts slip-and-fall accident claim is for less than $2,000, you would file your personal injury lawsuit in the Massachusetts Small Claims Court that has jurisdiction.
Your Massachusetts slip-and-fall lawyer can tell you which specific court is the appropriate court to resolve your dispute.
Additional Massachusetts Slip-and-Fall Resources
Lawyers.com information about Massachusetts personal injury laws
Lawyers.com slip-and-fall basics