When you slip and fall, there are a number of Massachusetts laws and legal rules that affect your case. Slip and fall injuries can be severe, especially during winter months when roads, walkways, and parking lots are icy. When negligence or a dangerous condition is to blame, you may be entitled to financial recovery.
This article will explain two of the most important Massachusetts laws you need to be aware of as well as how to document your slip and fall incident.
The first law you need to be aware of is the slip and fall statute of limitations in Massachusetts.
According to Massachusetts General Laws, you must file a lawsuit pertaining to an injury or personal property damage in relation to a slip and fall within three years of the date of the incident. In rare cases, there may be an exception that extends the statute of limitations to provide more time to file your case. Talk to one of our attorneys for details surrounding such exceptions in Massachusetts.
The second legal rule you need to be aware of is the ‘shared fault’ rule. Under this rule, if you are responsible for an incident, it might affect your right to recover compensation. A property owner may make the following arguments to show your negligence:
- Dangerous conditions were obvious or appropriately marked.
- Your footwear was inappropriate under the circumstances.
- You were distracted or weren’t paying attention to your surroundings.
If proven, these arguments can reduce the amount of damages you receive. Furthermore, if you’re found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the incident, you aren’t eligible to recover any damages at all according to Massachusetts’s comparative negligence rule.
Because of these rules, it is essential that you make a strong case against the property owner. You can do this by properly documenting the incident.
To start, photograph the incident location as soon as you are able to do so. Be sure to include the issue that caused your fall as well as the area surrounding the incident.
Next, you want written documentation of your slip and fall. Immediately following the incident, try to write or record everything you remember about what happened. If possible, create a clear record of the incident from your perspective before listening to other’s versions of the events.
If there are witnesses, gather contact information so they can be contacted by your attorney later on. Witness testimony can be critical evidence in slip and fall cases.
You also want to document carefully how your injuries impacted your life, for example, if you miss work due to pain or you have to hire help to do things you normally would do yourself. Include dates and record any changes to your routine due to your injury.
Finally, make copies of all medical bills and receipts related to your slip and fall injury. From bandages to X-ray scans, document and save everything.
For more information about your specific incident and to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact our office today. Our staff is exceptionally knowledgeable regarding Massachusetts personal injury and slip and fall laws and rules.