Many people will tell you that winter in Massachusetts is the best time of the year; when you can pull out your favorite sweaters, enjoy evenings sitting in front of the fireplace, wear your favorite boots, enjoy freshly roasted chestnuts and drink lots of hot cocoa.
Along with the many joys of winter, though, also comes the danger of slip-and-fall injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 million people were treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal falls in 2013, and 25,500 seniors lost their lives as a result of accidental falls.
How you can protect yourself at home
Millions of people are injured in their homes each year because of a fall. Some of the causes include, uneven flooring, medications that cause, poor lighting and ill-fitting footwear. There are some things you can do to help protect yourself from falling in your home, including:
- Wiping up melted snow and water spills
- Keeping your sidewalks and exterior stairways free of snow and ice
- Applying non-slip adhesive strips to stairs
- Making sure carpeting and rugs are secured to your floors
- Arranging the furnishings in your home so there is plenty of room to walk
A slip-and-fall accident in a store or public place
Retail store and any other type of business welcoming patrons is obligated by law to maintain a reasonably safe environment. This provision of the law applies to all businesses no matter the size. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident on a business property, dealing with the legal issues for fair financial compensation is not as cut and dried as you might think. Although the law is fairly clear in terms of what a store’s obligation is, there is one huge obstacle known to complicate matters when it comes to these types of cases: evidence of property owner negligence.
Proof is everything
In order to hold a business liable for a slip-and-fall accident, you must prove several things. Most important, you must provide is evidence showing your accident did not occur as a result of an act or condition caused by you. For example, if it is raining outside and you choose to enter a store wearing high heels, the property owner’s insurance company may argue your choice of footwear was inappropriate for the winter conditions.
You will also have to demonstrate that you were alert and actively tried to avoid the dangerous condition, such as an icy patch on the sidewalk or melted snow in the entryway. Many slip-and-fall accidents occur while texting or talking on a cell phone, for example. Insurance companies know that jurors are unlikely to show much sympathy for your injuries, in the event your case goes to trial.
You must also prove the business was negligent and ultimately responsible in slip and fall cases. This will involve proving the property owner (or manager/employee) was aware of the known hazardous condition and removed it or warned the public to remain clear. and take action to resolve it.
You Need To Protect Yourself
Slip-and-fall accident cases are complex, and if you have been injured or have had an elderly loved one die as a result of one, you need to secure the services of a personal injury litigation lawyer who has experience dealing with these types of cases.
And that starts with the right lawyer
At the Law Offices if Bailey & Burke, in Worcester, Massachusetts, we have successfully represented many people throughout Massachusetts who been injured due to property owners’ negligence. With more than 40 combined years of experience and success rate over 99.5 percent, our attorneys have the knowledge and the skills needed to help you reach a just and full settlement in your personal injury case.