Posts tagged with "slip and fall"

Slip and Fall Cases – The Most Misunderstood Cases

Slip and Fall (Trip and Fall) cases are some of the most misunderstood cases in the world of personal injury law. People often think that if you fall on someone’s property that the property owner is immediately responsible.  Such is definitely not the case.  For any property owner or property maintenance company to be responsible you have to be able to prove that they were negligent in causing the tripping or slipping hazard.  Very often a client will call our firm and say “I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my ankle and needed surgery.”  So you have damages.  The next question we ask is “What caused you to slip?”  If someone says “I don’t know”, there will be no case.

If you have something like this happen, and have the misfortune of slipping and becoming injured, you have to find out what you slipped on.  Often times security cameras will have caught the event.  It makes sense to request that they safeguard any surveillance video that could show the incident. But, if you read this article and can maintain presence of mind despite being injured, you will know to ask whoever you are with to go back and look immediately after the event to see what, if anything, is there.

Very often slip and fall incidents occur in supermarkets.  It would really make or break a case to know what you slipped on.  It could be something as small as a grape or something as large as a quart of milk that spilled on the floor.  In any event, determining what caused you to trip or slip will always be central to the viability of the case.  Conversely, if there was nothing identifiable that caused you to slip or trip, no case exists.

The law firm of Colucci, Colucci, Marcus & Flavin, P.C. has been recognized by as one of the Top 10 Best Law Firms for Personal Injury in the Country. Attorney Darin Colucci has also been recognized by for 3 consecutive years as one of the Top 10 Best Personal Injury Attorneys in the Country.



Slip and fall accidents continue to be a problem in Massachusetts

Many Boston residents often struggle with judging how slippery a floor or surface is. Unfortunately, sometimes such an error can lead to serious injuries. To address this problem, one insurance company recently noted some misconceptions about floor surfaces that may surprise many, especially with the high amount of slip and fall accidents every year.

For example, According to the insurance company, while some people may think a shiny floor is more slippery, a floor’s shine usually is not tied to its slip resistance. In addition, others may believe that buffing a floor can also cause a surface to be more slippery; it is, in fact, the opposite. However, just because a floor is slip resistant does not mean it’s more safe – another common misconception. Floors that feel “tacky” can also lead to slip and fall accidents.

As one may guess, the key to ensuring a safe floor appears to be proper maintenance. For its part, the insurance company recommends that property owners ensure that floors are frequently cleaned to avoid residue buildup by mopping. On the other hand, a cleaning systems company representative suggests using a contraption that not only lays down cleaner, but also picks up all liquids – and with those, any dirt or other residue that can make floors unsafe.

Whether it happens at work or at home, slip and fall accidents continue to be a problem in America. In fact, 8.9 million visits are made to the emergency room each year across the nation from slip and fall accidents. When dangerous conditions are present, such as inadequate lighting, narrow stairs, wet floor or torn carpet, one can easily find themselves in the hospital with a serious injury.

Many slip and fall accidents could be prevented with the appropriate level of maintenance and care. For that reason, any Boston resident that has suffered an injury from a slip or fall on another’s property could be entitled to compensation. An attorney may be able to help most victims seek damages to help deal with the effects of an unfortunate accident.

Source: EHS Today, “Five Common Slip and Fall Myths,” Sandy Smith, April 25, 2013

Massachusetts sidewalk swallowed by gaping sinkhole

Everyday people use sidewalks while traveling to work, stores and school. However, should someone slip and fall on a ill-maintained sidewalk, that victim may seek compensation in a court of law for their injuries.

Recently, a gaping sinkhole measuring 10 to 20 feet deep developed along a Massachusetts sidewalk. The sinkhole was formed when a sewer line collapsed, causing the sidewalk to buckle in. The broken sidewalk is located near an area high school. Fortunately, no one has yet been injured by the sinkhole.

Although no one was harmed in this incident, a broken sidewalk could pose a serious threat should someone slip and fall. When this happens, the victim may seek compensation for their injuries. In some states, cities and municipalities are immune from lawsuits. However, in other states this is not the case, and cities and municipalities are charged with the responsibility of maintaining sidewalks in good repair. The failure to repair sidewalks that are aged or broken could result in a lawsuit, should someone be injured while walking on them.

In addition, there are circumstances in which a property owner may be liable for accidents caused by broken sidewalks on their premises. For example, property owners are charged with ensuring private sidewalks on their property are kept in safe conditions. And even if the sidewalk is a public sidewalk, the property owner may be liable if the sidewalk is used almost exclusively to service the property owner, such as a sidewalk that is used primarily by customers entering a store.

People injured by inadequately maintained sidewalks may be able to bring a lawsuit against the city or property owner. Any compensation received from such a suit could provide the victim with the financial resources necessary to recover from the incident.

Source: ABC40 News WGGB “Sinkhole Opens Up Under Holyoke Sidewalk,” March 13, 2013

Icy sidewalks in Massachusetts cause injuries

Massachusetts law holds property owners liable for maintaining their buildings. Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe and injury-free environment. To ensure this, homeowners, homeowner associations and businesses are responsible for clearing ice and snow from their sidewalks.

The Inspectional Services Department oversees Boston’s snow-removal rules. According to the commissioner of the department, residents are responsible for their property. If each person helps to clear the snow, it will help prevent accidents. He cautioned residents not to push the ice or snow onto the streets, as it is illegal.

Property owners are also required to clear the area close to the sidewalk, which is at least 42 inches wide. They are required to clear ice and snow within three hours of the ending of a snowstorm. If the storm ends at night, property owners must clear the path within three hours of sunrise. The Inspectional Services Department said that it had received over 600 complaints in connection with icy sidewalks and almost 350 complaints for inadequately cleared sidewalks.

Officials also noted that icy sidewalks may pose a lot of danger to pedestrians. If a person slips on an icy sidewalk, the person may sustain serious injuries. Such accidents may also prove fatal for the victim.

A person injured in a slip-and-fall accident may need medical care and rehabilitation. The person may also undergo pain and suffering due to the fall. The injured person may file a claim against the property owners for compensation, as the liability of maintaining the property, and hence for the accident, rests on the owners. An injured fall victim may claim compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Knowledge of the applicable laws and the assistance of a legal professional may help accident victims pursue a successful claim for damages.

Source:, “Boston issues 6,900 parking tickets, tows 650 cars, hands out at least $25,650 in snow removal fines,” Matt Rocheleau, Feb. 12, 2013