SLIP AND FALLS
Slip and Fall Lawyer in Massachusetts
Despite how common they are, slip and fall claims are one of the most complicated areas of personal injury law. Having successfully recovered for many slip and fall clients over the years, Attorney Douglas Snook knows what it takes to recover the compensation slip and fall victims deserve.
How Snook Law Office Can Help
In slip and fall cases, those responsible often try to deny responsibility by alleging that the victim should have known better. Not only is this unfair, but it is also often successful when victims do not have a slip and fall lawyer who can fight back against these unwarranted arguments.
As a slip and fall lawyer, Attorney Snook will aggressively litigate your case and meticulously research all relevant facts on your behalf. As a personal injury practitioner, Attorney Snook is well equipped to engage in informal and formal litigation to make sure his clients are compensated for their injuries.
We Will Protect Your Rights
Our office is prepared to protect our clients' rights both in and out of the courtroom. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, contact our office.
Learn More About Slip and Fall Claims
What Are Slip and Fall Claims?
When people think of slip and fall personal injury claims, they don't often think of serious injuries, but slip and falls can lead to serious and sometimes even fatal injuries. Although broken bones are most common, victims of slip and falls can also experience damage to soft tissues and organs, and even experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Slip and fall claims are a part of premises liability law. If you fell and were injured while on someone else’s property, you may have a claim for damages against the property owner. Whether you have a claim depends on the cause of the fall.
Property owners have a legal duty to maintain their property in a safe and hazard-free condition or to at least sufficiently warn those lawfully on their property of the hazard. Their liability depends on whether the injured person was an invitee, licensee, social guest, or trespasser.
Do I Have a Slip and Fall Claim?
Slip and fall claims apply general negligence principles. To show negligence, the person injured must show:
The property owner owed a duty of care to the injured person,
the duty was breached,
the person’s injuries were the proximate cause of the breach, and
Duties of Care in Slip and Fall Claims
Invitees and Business Owners
Businesses that sell products or services encourage persons, or invitees, to be on their property. The property owners have a duty in these cases to regularly inspect their property for hazards to ensure invitees are safe.
If an invitee slips and falls on an object or slippery surface, the owner’s liability depends on whether they had notice of the hazard for a period of time and should have removed the hazard or warned patrons. Notice can be direct in that it was observed by employees or someone advised an employee of the hazard, or it may be constructive. Constructive notice means that the hazard lasted long enough so that the owner or its employees in the exercise of reasonable care should have known of its existence.
In case of snow and ice, property owners must clear their parking lots, sidewalks, and entrances of this hazard after a reasonable time has passed since the storm ended. In Boston, this means within three (3) hours of the end of a storm.
Licensees or Social Guests
Licensees or social guests are either persons such as meter readers, postal workers, police or fire personnel who are implicitly invited to be on a homeowner’s or renter’s property, or persons expressly invited for a party, dinner, or other gatherings.
Homeowners owe no duty to regularly inspect their property but do have to warn licensees or social guests of known hazards such as a defective step or lack of illumination on an outside stairway.
If there was a snowstorm, homeowners have a reasonable time to clear their steps or driveway or the sidewalk in front of their home. The time to do this and the scope of responsibility often depends on local ordinances, or by the bylaws of a homeowner’s association that may dictate what areas the condo owner is responsible for maintaining.
Property owners owe a minimal duty of care to persons unlawfully on their property. However, an owner cannot intentionally release a vicious dog to attack a trespasser or to set a trap that causes serious injury or death.
Defendants in many slip and fall cases will attempt to lay all or partial responsibility on you for failing to notice an open and obvious hazard, for not noticing a warning sign or cones around a hazard, or for wearing improper footwear such as sneakers while running over an icy surface. If you are found partially at fault, your own degree of responsibility cannot exceed 50% or you will be denied any compensation.
As a slip and fall lawyer, Attorney Snook is best equipped to measure the strength of comparative fault defenses.
Damages in Slip and Fall Claims
You are entitled to damages if you prove liability and the damages that you incurred. Typical damages are:
Past and future medical expenses
Past and future income loss
Emotional distress and anguish
Pain and suffering
Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Slip and fall claims can be difficult to prove. Only a skilled and experienced slip and fall lawyer should be retained in these cases if you want to obtain reasonable compensation for your injury.