Who Can Be Held Accountable After A Slip-And-Fall Injury In Massachusetts?

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Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claims in Boston. They can happen in businesses, at restaurants, in homes and on public streets. When negligence is involved, one or more parties can be held accountable, including business owners, landlords, homeowners and government agencies.

Property owners are responsible for inspecting and maintaining their property and identifying and preventing hazards. They must provide warnings or remove dangers in a reasonable amount of time to provide a safe environment for visitors. Those who violate this duty of care can face a personal injury lawsuit.

Hazards That Can Lead To Fall Injuries

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), falls account for 8 million emergency room (ER) visits annually in the United States. Slip-and-fall injuries account for more than 1 million ER visits. Some of these mishaps are accidental, such as someone tripping over their own two feet. But most are preventable and result from negligence by property owners. Some common hazards in Boston include:

  • Wet or slick floors
  • Uneven pavement or flooring
  • Snow and ice
  • Loose floor mats and carpeting
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Loose wires, cables, boxes or other obstacles
  • Broken staircases or missing handrails
  • Malfunctioning escalators

Massachusetts premises liability laws require property owners to make repairs promptly when any of these hazards exist.

Slip-And-Fall Accidents Can Cause Devastating Injuries

While a slip, trip or fall may only cause embarrassment for some or a stubbed toe for others, many lead to serious, life-threatening or life-altering injuries. The most common are:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Hip fractures
  • Chest injuries
  • Bruising and lacerations

Older adults are especially vulnerable to slip-and-falls. The NSC says falls resulting in broken hips are the second-leading cause of death for those 65 to 84 years old and the main cause for those over 85.

Proving A Premises Liability Claim

Proving negligence in a slip-and-fall accident can be challenging. If you submit a claim to the property owner’s insurance company and they reject it, you might think there’s nothing you can do. But insurers routinely deny claims to protect their bottom lines, and some might even try to blame you for the accident. That’s why it can be crucial to contact an attorney specializing in these types of cases before filing an insurance claim.

The best thing to do is fully document the scene by taking pictures and writing down everything you remember, gathering names and contact details for any witnesses and promptly notifying the property owner or their representative. If your injuries are serious, call 911! Even if you believe them to be minor, get checked by a doctor as soon as possible. Then, contact an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer.

Massachusetts follows a modified comparative negligence law, which means more than one party can be found responsible for your injuries. You can pursue compensation as long as you aren’t deemed 51% or more responsible for the accident. The best way to determine your chances is to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.

A Quick Note About Personal Injury Claims

Some people may be confused about the term, but personal injury is an umbrella of sorts for claims when you or a loved one is killed or injured due to the negligence of others. Slip-and-falls are one type of claim under premises liability. Others include:

  • Car, truck, bus, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice, including birth injuries
  • Construction accidents
  • Product liability
  • Wrongful death

Massachusetts imposes a three-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit, with some exceptions. But it’s advisable to contact a lawyer immediately to assess your case and build a strategy to recover the compensation you deserve. Also, if you are injured on government property, you must notify the city of Boston within 30 days that you seek damages.

Types Of Compensation Awarded In Slip-And-Falls

Medical expenses mount quickly after a serious injury. Those costs may be ongoing for weeks, months or years, and you may have to miss work for an extended period or no longer be able to perform your job duties. Knowledgeable lawyers know how to calculate economic and noneconomic damages, which include:

  • Current and future medical bills
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost earnings
  • Lost future earning potential
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life

If a loved one dies due to negligence, we can also help recover damages for wrongful death. We understand that money will never make up for losing a beloved family member or catastrophic injuries leading to lifelong challenges.

Experienced Guidance Matters

Our caring attorneys, paralegals and office staff have successfully guided clients in the greater Boston area for over a decade in personal injury cases. Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience and have helped victims recover millions of dollars from negligent parties.

The first step is scheduling a free consultation to assess your situation. We work on a contingent fee basis, meaning you pay us only if we successfully settle or litigate your case in court. We aim to help ease your financial burdens so you can focus on your family’s emotional and physical well-being.


The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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