Causes of Slip and Fall Injuries

There are a number of different causes of slip and fall injuries including holes, protrusions, foreign substances and snow and ice. Here, we will discuss foreign substances, snow and ice, defects in public ways, and when notice is required.

FOREIGN SUBSTANCES

Many slip and fall injuries are caused by slip and falls on foreign substances. A few examples include grapes and liquid on grocery store floors. Three ways to prove liability are:

  • Evidence that the owner caused the defect or knew of it.
  • Evidence that the owner was in a place where he should have seen the defect.
  • The condition of the defect evidences that it was there for such a period of time that the owner should have seen it.

In each case, you must prove that the owner had time to remedy the defect and failed to do so.

SNOW AND ICE

In 2010, the highest court in Massachusetts changed the law on snow and ice and did away with the requirement that you have to prove that an unnatural accumulation of snow and ice caused your fall.

The court brought snow and ice cases in line with other premise liability cases that imposed liability where the person responsible for the property knew or should have known that a hazard existed and failed to take reasonable measures to make the property safe

MUNICIPALITIES

A municipality can be liable for slip and fall injuries on their property and it’s duty to lawful visitors is the same as that of an individual.

However, if a slip and fall occurs on a public way (i.e. street or walkway), the maximum amount that you can recover against the municipality is $5,000.00.

NOTICE

In certain types of slip and fall cases including slip and fall injuries on snow and ice and claims against municipalities, you must notify the landowner or person in control of the property within thirty days of the incident.