Massachusetts residents may be injured in a slip-and-fall accident for all kinds of reasons. In many cases, these types of accidents are the fault of business owners who do not properly maintain their premises to ensure that their customers are protected from hazards. Others happen because people simply lose their footing or trip over a hazard that they created themselves. It may be important for people who have been seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident to determine who was at fault for their accident.
If an accident was caused by a property owner’s negligence, the property owner may be sued under the theory of premises liability. In cases where the injured victim and the property owner both contributed to the cause of a slip-and-fall accident, the injured victim may still be able to pursue some compensation for damages from the property owner.
Claims are often seen against supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, apartment buildings or other commercial property owners, as well as claims against a municipality or homeowner. Contact us immediately if you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall involving:
- Spilled liquid, squished food or freshly mopped floors
- Torn carpet, boxes or other tripping hazard
- Broken steps, loose handrails or stairway defects
- Snow or ice not removed or treated in timely fashion
- A parking lot accident or other unsafe property condition
Laws about shared liability for slip-and-fall accidents vary by state. In the few states that follow contributory negligence, even the slightest degree of responsibility on the part of the injured victim will bar recovery. Other states have some form of comparative negligence statutes which provide that a victim can recover damages as long as his or her share of fault is no more than 50 percent, with the amount of damages being reduced by the plaintiff’s share of responsibility. Premises liability lawsuits are grounded in negligence just like most other personal injury claims.
An attorney for an injured victim will attempt to demonstrate that the property owner was or should have been aware of a dangerous property condition but failed to correct it or failed to warn guests of the hazard.