Click to Chat Now
877-WIN-WIN1

Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Boston

Our Premises Liability Attorneys Proudly Serve Boston, Springfield, Worcester, Holyoke and Communities Throughout Massachusetts

Slip and fall accident attorneys in Boston know that at fault individuals and businesses often will downplay or dismiss such injuries.  Our experience handling these “premises liability claims” has shown us, however, that injuries from falling or tripping can be severe.  If you strike the back or your head, you might sustain a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis.  Some serious fall down accidents can lead to the death of the victim.

Whatever type of slip and fall injury you are dealing with, we are here to help protect your rights.  At the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone, we know that slip and fall accidents can have devastating consequences on Massachusetts individuals and their families.  That’s why we work so hard for clients who simply want to be treated fairly and get the compensation for their slip and fall accident. Call us today for a free consultation: 1-800-WIN-WIN-1.

What Is a Slip and Fall Accident and a Premises Liability Claim?

“Slip and fall” is a term used for a personal injury case in which a person slips or trips and falls, and is injured on someone else’s property. These cases usually come under the broader category of cases known as “premises liability” claims, because slip and fall accidents usually occur on the property (or, premises) owned or maintained by someone else. This person may be held legally responsible for your accident.

Learn more about slip and fall accidents and injury victims’ rights in Massachusetts by clicking on the links below:

Compensation For Your Slip and Fall Accident

Stair Accidents: Proving Fault

Slip and Fall Accidents: Proving Fault

Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

If you were injured in your apartment, we can examine whether the landlord was negligent. He might have failed to make necessary repairs. In other cases, a lawsuit might be filed against a company, such as a retail store, a shopping mall or a restaurant. The owners and managers of these businesses must be constantly on the lookout for premises liability hazards.

The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone is experienced in handling all types of slip and fall and premises liability claims, such as:

  • Dangerous conditions of a restaurant, supermarket, store or private home, such as torn carpeting, changes in flooring, poor lighting or a wet floor
  • Negligent care of a sidewalk or publicly owned area, such as a pothole in the ground
  • Unsafe or narrow stairways
  • Safety code violations
  • Hazardous weather conditions such rain, ice or snow

Compensation For Your Slip and Fall Accident

The laws are complicated for slip and falls due to a property owner’s negligence. You need an experienced slip and fall attorney on your side—one that will fight for the compensation that you deserve.

These types of cases need immediate investigation to document the condition that caused your injury before the property owner fixes, repairs or cleans the condition.

A slip and fall accident lawyer with the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone may be able to help you recover:

  • Lost wages
  • Compensation for medical expenses
  • Physical and financial hardships related to your injury
  • Payment for pain and suffering

Return to Top

Stair Accidents: Proving Fault

If you’ve had an accident on stairs, here’s how to determine if the property owner is at fault.

Thousands of people trip, slip, or fall on stairs every year. Property owners are liable for stair accidents in the same way they are liable for slip and fall accidents. But stairs present a number of additional dangers — some hidden and some obvious — that merit special consideration. If you’ve had a stair accident, here’s how to determine if the property owner is at fault.

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

To be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping or tripping and falling on someone else’s property, one of the following must be true:

  • The owner of the premises or an employee caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item, to be underfoot.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee knew of the dangerous surface but did nothing about it.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.

In addition, in almost every slip or trip and fall case, the insurance company or court will consider whether your carelessness contributed to the accident. The rules of “comparative negligence” help measure your own carelessness or reasonableness in going where you did, in the way you did, just before the accident happened.

In many stair accidents — for example, when something has been spilled or dropped on the stairs — the owner’s liability will depend on the above inquiry. For a more detailed discussion of this inquiry, read Nolo’s article Slip and Fall Accidents: Proving Fault.

But in addition to the normal considerations of slip and fall cases, stair accidents are often more complicated. Stairs come with inherent dangers not usually present on level surfaces. And some defects in stairs may remain hidden even after an accident. You may have to make an effort to figure out what happened and how the stairs should have been constructed or maintained.

Here are some additional things to look for when you’ve had a stair accident.

Slippery Surfaces

A common hidden stair danger is worn-down carpet or wood that makes the “run” part of a stair — the part your foot lands on — dangerous. Often a slightly worn stair or carpet is more perilous than obviously worn stairs because people are not likely to notice the danger.

Some stairs are made of tile or highly polished wood that is more slippery than stone, carpet, or painted wood. If you fall on one of these stairs, the property owner might be liable for sacrificing safety for beauty.

Wet or Icy Outdoor Stairs

Rain, snow, or ice collecting on outdoor stairs increases the risk of accidents. Although people are required to use extra caution in these weather conditions, this duty does not end the question of the owner’s negligence.

Outdoor stairs must be built and maintained to avoid excessive buildup of water or ice and must have surfaces that don’t become extra-slippery when wet. If you slip on a stair with excessive buildup, the owner should be liable for your injuries. And if you fall on a stair without an anti-slip surface, the owner may likewise be liable for your injuries.

Building Code Violations

Every state and virtually every county has a building code that must be followed by builders and property owners. These codes include requirements for stairs. Here are some of the areas that building codes typically regulate when it comes to stairs:

Handrails

Many building codes require handrails for certain types of stairs. If you fall on stairs that should have a handrail, but don’t, and the lack of a handrail contributed to your fall, the owner is likely liable for your injuries. In addition, most building codes require that one or more stair handrails be of a certain width or height and that they be installed properly. Reaching for a handrail that is at the wrong height can cause you to fall even when nothing else is wrong with the stairs.

Improper Stair Height or Depth

The vertical and horizontal part of each step are called the “riser” and the “run,” respectively. Building codes prescribe a maximum and minimum measurement for the riser height and run depth. Measure the stair’s risers and runs and compare the numbers with the building code. If either the riser or run violates the code, the stairs are defective.

Once you have shown that the stair is defective, you must still show that the defect caused your fall. But unless the building owner’s insurance company can show clearly that you fell because of your own carelessness, the building code violation will likely be enough to get a favorable settlement for you.

Uneven Stair Height or Depth

Building codes also prescribe the maximum variance from one step to another — that is, the differences permitted in the height or depth of any one step from another.

The variance standard is important because when we go up or down stairs, our brains remember how far the last step was and automatically tell our legs to move the same distance the next time. If the leg moves the same distance but the step isn’t in the same place — even if the difference is only slight — we may lose our balance and fall.

Researching the Building Code

To find your city or county building code, visit your local library, law library, or county building department. You can find your state building code within your state’s laws. To search your state’s laws, use Nolo’s Legal Research area.

Check the building code’s stair requirements to see if the stairs that caused your accident fail to meet any specifications. If your fall occurred on, or was made worse by, a stair or part of a stair that failed to meet the building code rules, you have a strong argument that the stairs were dangerous. This is true even if the violation is a matter of a quarter inch — a very small differential can make a set of stairs dangerous.

by: Joseph Matthews, Attorney

Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Nolo, Copyright 2010, Nolo.com

Return to Top

Slip and Fall Accidents: Proving Fault

Who is responsible for an injury resulting from a slip and fall accident? Many thousands of people are injured each year — some very seriously — when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs, or a rough patch of ground. Sometimes the property owner is responsible for the accident, and sometimes he or she is not.

If you have been injured in this way, first consider that it is a normal part of living for things to fall on or to drip onto a floor or the ground, and for smooth surfaces to become uneven. Also, some things put in the ground — drainage grates, for example — serve a useful purpose there. So a property owner (or occupier) cannot always be held responsible for immediately picking up or cleaning every slippery substance on a floor. Nor is a property owner always responsible for someone slipping or tripping on something that an ordinary person should expect to find there or should see and avoid. We all have an obligation to watch where we’re going.

However, property owners do need to be careful in keeping up their property. While there is no precise way to determine when someone else is legally responsible for something on which you slip or trip, cases turn on whether the property owner acted carefully so that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen — and whether you were careless in not seeing or avoiding the thing you fell on. Here are some general rules to help you decide whether someone else was at fault for your slip or trip and fall injury.

Determining Liability

To be legally responsible for the injuries you suffered from slipping or tripping and falling on someone else’s property, one of the following must be true:

  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have caused the spill, worn or torn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item to be underfoot.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee must have known of the dangerous surface but done nothing about it.
  • The owner of the premises or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have discovered and removed or repaired it.

The third situation is the most common, but is also less clear-cut than the first two because of those pesky words “should have known.” Liability in these cases is often decided by common sense. Judges and juries determine whether the owner or occupier of property was careful by deciding if the steps the owner or occupier took to keep the property safe were reasonable.

What Is “Reasonable”?

In determining a property owner’s “reasonableness,” the law concentrates on whether the owner makes regular and thorough efforts to keep the property safe and clean. Here are some initial questions you can ask to determine whether a property or business owner may be liable for your slip or trip and fall injuries:

  • If you tripped over a torn, broken, or bulging area of carpet, floor, or ground, or slipped on a wet or loose area, had the dangerous spot been there long enough that the owner should have known about it?
  • Does the property owner have a regular procedure for examining and cleaning or repairing the premises? If so, what proof does the owner have of this regular maintenance?
  • If you tripped over or slipped on an object someone had placed or left on or in the floor or ground, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there?
  • If there once had been a good reason for the object to be there but that reason no longer exists, could the object have been removed or covered or otherwise made safe?
  • Was there a safer place the object could have been located, or could it have been placed in a safer manner, without much greater inconvenience or expense to the property owner or operator?
  • Could a simple barrier have been created or a warning been given to prevent people from slipping or tripping?
  • Did poor or broken lighting contribute to the accident?

If the answers to one or more of these questions come out in your favor, you may have a good claim for compensation. However, you must still think about whether your own carelessness contributed in any significant way to your accident.

Your Own Carelessness

In almost every slip or trip and fall case, you must decide whether your carelessness contributed to the accident. The rules of “comparative negligence” help measure your own reasonableness in going where you did, in the way you did, just before the accident happened. There are some questions you should ask yourself about your own conduct — an insurance adjuster will almost certainly ask them after you file your claim.

  • Did you have a legitimate reason — a reason the owner should have anticipated — for being where the dangerous area was?
  • Would a careful person have noticed the dangerous spot and avoided it, or walked carefully enough not to slip or trip?
  • Were there any warnings that the spot might be dangerous?
  • Were you doing anything that distracted you from paying attention to where you were going, or were you running, jumping, or fooling around in a way that made falling more likely?

You don’t have to “prove” to an insurance adjuster that you were careful, but think about what you were doing and describe it clearly so that an insurance adjuster will understand that you were not careless.

To learn more about how your carelessness will affect the outcome of your claim, see “How Your Own Carelessness Affects Your Claim” in Proving Fault in Personal Injury Accidents: General Rules.

Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Nolo, Copyright 2010, Nolo.com

Return to Top

Types of Slip and Fall Injuries

Most injuries caused by slip and fall accidents are minor. The most common types of slip and fall injuries are cuts, scrapes, bruises, and the occasional sprained ankle or broken bone. But no injury is too small to seek compensation for the irresponsibility of the owner of the property.

However, more serious accidents can occur that may cause severe injury. An accident resulting in traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries may require successive surgeries to repair the damage caused by the fall.

In extreme cases, death may be the result of a slip and fall accident caused by a property owner’s negligent maintenance.

It’s important for you to get medical treatment and legal representation by attorneys who mean business—and get the compensation due to you.

Return to Top

Free Consultation