A slip and fall accident is considered a type of premises liability case. These accidents can occur when a private property owner or commercial property owner is negligent in keeping their property in a safe condition. When a fall occurs on a hard surface, the injuries sustained can be serious. It is not uncommon to see victims suffer from broken bones as well as facial or skull fractures.
If you were the victim of a serious slip and fall injury due to hazardous conditions on another’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. A trusted Boston slip and fall lawyer could fight to help you recover maximum compensation and hold the property owner accountable for their actions. En Español.
The Role of Negligence in Slip and Fall Accidents
If a slip and fall case makes it to civil court, Massachusetts’ modified comparative negligence rule would be used to determine if the injured plaintiff was at all negligent in connection with the accident. Under the state’s modified comparative negligence system, the plaintiff’s percentage of fault can reduce any damages awarded to them.
For instance, if the jury finds the victim 30 percent responsible for their slip and fall, the property owner may only be on the hook for 70 percent of total damages. Moreover, under Massachusetts law, injured plaintiffs can not recover damages from a property owner if they are deemed more than 50 percent at fault for their own accident.
In cases where claims do not make it to trial or a lawsuit is not filed, the comparative negligence rule can still be a factor. During settlement negotiations, the defendant’s insurance company may look to offer a settlement that reflects the property owner’s view of the accident, including the part the injured plaintiff played in contributing to the slip and fall.
Either way, an injured person must notify the property owner if a serious injury occurred from ice or snow on their premises within 30 days of the accident, or they would forfeit the right to file a claim, according to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 84 §18-20. A Boston slip and fall attorney could help a potential client ensure they do not miss this or any other relevant deadline in their case.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Accidents
A statute of limitations is a time limit to have a lawsuit heard in the civil court system. If this deadline has passed, the property owner being sued may bring that fact to the court’s attention, and the case would likely be dismissed.
The statute of limitations for a slip and fall lawsuit in Boston is the same as that for all personal injury cases in Massachusetts. Anyone who is injured in a slip and fall accident, or who suffered personal property damages as a result of the accident, has three years within the date of the accident to file a lawsuit, according to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260 §2A.
In cases where a slip and fall accident leads to a fatal injury, plaintiffs also have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit, with or without assistance from a slip and fall lawyer in Boston. However, the “clock” starts on the date of the death, which may be different from the date of the accident.
Speak with a Boston Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common types of premises liability claims. However, not every slip and fall injury is compensable. Consulting with an experienced Boston slip and fall lawyer could help you ascertain some key facts that may determine whether your claim is worth pursuing. Call today to learn more.