Shopping is one way to acquire the things you need. These days, stores stock almost anything you might need. Arriving home after finding great deals is a wonderful feeling. However, a slip-and-fall accident can turn a pleasant consumer experience into a miserable one. Some victims are hurt so badly that they need emergency medical attention.
If that happened to you, it is only natural to want to know what comes next. At Kiley Law Group, we realize that the answer to this question depends on how well the injured parties know their rights. Once you understand your legal options, you too can make sound decisions that benefit yourself and your family.
Our experienced lawyers can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call our 24-hour hotline at (888) 435-1321 to schedule your free consultation today. Our representatives will let you know if you have a case within 2 hours.
The Responsibility That Business Owners Owe You
Store owners may draw customers in with signs promoting their products and sales. Perhaps you once only wondered if they held any responsibility to the public once you slipped and fell in a store. Now, you need to know who is liable for your injuries.
One reason victims hire personal injury attorneys is that determining liability is a complex task. Our lawyers often start out by establishing what made the premises unsafe for you.
Many buildings begin as an idea in someone’s mind. Professional designers must interpret their clients’ vision into a blueprint. Most importantly, they must ensure that the final product is safe.
Some design falls lead to trip and fall hazards, including:
- Cracked or unstable foundations
- Sloping floors
- Water leaks
- Slippery floors
Safety begins with the design. Planners like architects and engineers could lose their professional licenses when their creations fall short of safety standards. Our lawyers, though, can ensure the liable parties are held financially liable for slip-and-fall accidents caused by their poor-quality work.
Supervisors must arrange proper storage for materials and equipment during the construction process. Cords, boxes, and other tripping hazards should never be left unattended in high-traffic areas. Unfinished floors are another source of concern that managers would need to consider.
Some slip and fall hazards are not the fault of the design but rather how companies execute the construction. For example, if a stairway does not meet specific height and width measurements, uneven stairs could become hazardous for customers. In other cases, companies try to save money by using inferior materials.
If shoddy construction caused your slip-and-fall accident, our lawyers can pursue compensation on your behalf. However, Massachusetts allows legal action for a limited time from the building completion date or the day the defect was discovered. For this reason, it is essential to contact us without delay.
All buildings require regular maintenance. Responsible owners avoid accidents by taking preventative measures, including performing regular inspections of:
- Carpets and rugs: Loose, unsecured, or damaged carpets or rugs are a recognized tripping hazard. Curled edges can also pose a danger.
- Stairways: Stairs and ramps must meet current building codes. Non-slip surfaces and sturdy handrails will decrease the chance of accidents. Contrasting colors and matte finishes, for example, improve visibility.
- Lighting: Illumination in corridors, exits, and stairs should meet OSHA standards. Blown bulbs need to be changed immediately.
- Equipment: Some machines like refrigerators, water heaters, and toilets can leak. Electrical cords and other floor-level obstructions should be taped down or kept out of walkways.
- Elevators: Misaligned elevators are a tripping hazard. If an elevator does not level, supervisors can consult with a technician to resolve the issue.
- Grounds: The outside area around a store should be free of trash and natural debris (e.g. branches, wet leaves, grass clippings). Entryways and pathways need to be clear of mud, snow, and other slipping hazards. Drainage systems (i.e. gutters) and outdoor furniture must be thoughtfully placed.
- Interiors: Employees should clean up spills right away. Maintenance workers often warn customers of wet floors with bright, easy-to-read signage.
To keep a property in a reasonably safe state, building managers must fix problems as they arise. They might block off dangerous areas or post signs to warn others until repairs are made. Failure to make prompt repairs can be considered negligence.
Understanding Premises Liability
Premises liability is the responsibility that the property owner or occupant holds for injuries that occur due to unsafe conditions.
Our dedicated team of lawyers has won over $1 billion for our clients. In premises liability cases, we establish liability by proving that the defendant:
- Owned or occupied the property at the time of the accident
- Broke a safety regulation or displayed negligence in care or maintenance practices
Why were you on the property? The following roles carry differing rights:
- Guests: You respond to an invitation. Invitations might be formal and specific, such as if you receive a request to attend a store opening or fashion show. On the other hand, a general invitation extends to the public when a store opens its doors during business hours.
- Licensees: Licensees are one-time or regular visitors who enter the property for a specific reason. For instance, a maintenance specialist might stop by at a designated time to fix a broken machine, or a city worker might perform an inspection.
- Trespassers: Other people enter the premises without permission. A trespasser still has rights, but these differ from a typical visitor’s. Anyone on the property illegally might face criminal charges for his or her actions.
- Children: Since minors might not understand the consequences of their actions, their rights are different from those of adults.
Massachusetts laws make it possible for victims to pursue compensation for their losses.
Winning Damages for a Premises Liability Claim
To win compensation, our lawyers must provide evidence of the victim’s physical and psychological injuries, including pain and suffering. Our legal team will collect evidence, namely:
- Hospital records
- Doctor statements
- Testimony from medical experts and psychologists
Next, our lawyers will demonstrate how the defendant’s negligence contributed to the victim’s injuries. We will focus on factors like:
- The visitor’s reason for entering the property
- The visitor’s behavior at the accident site
- The type of store
- The reasonableness of the defendant’s attempts to maintain safe conditions, promptness in repair issues, and attempts to others of hazards
- The predictableness of the accident
Once we have built a strong case, we seek damages for losses. Have you experienced any of the following damages due to your slip-and-fall accident?
An effective slip and fall lawyer will capitalize on personal injury laws to maximize your compensation for:
- Medical expenses: Some victims tend to focus on the most prominent and pressing medical costs – emergency room fees and hospital bills. Kiley Law Group cares about your continued well-being, so we fight to recover enough money to cover your future treatment and rehabilitation. When calculating your payout, we also consider medical devices, prescription drugs, and transportation costs.
- Change of life expenditures: After a store accident, you might find yourself unable to perform activities as you did before your injury. You can seek reimbursement for your new monthly expenses if you need to hire someone to watch your child or take care of the lawn.
- Lost wages: Recuperating from an injury takes time. Missing work or losing your ability to do specific tasks could severely impact your income. Many of our satisfied clients have recovered their missed wages and compensation for loss of future earning potential.
What about losses that are not financial?
Without legal counsel, personal injury victims would likely miss out on collecting fair non-economic damages for their losses.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering: Physical conditions that cause pain, discomfort, and hardship
- Emotional anguish and mental distress: Agonizing feelings, troubling thoughts, and trauma-related mental conditions (e.g. depression, anxiety, stress)
- Loss of life enjoyment: Reduced interest or pleasure in activities due to an inability to participate in certain activities enjoyed before the accident
Our law firm can help you pursue monetary compensation for the economic and non-economic losses that changed your life after your accident.
Massachusetts premises liability laws ensure the potential to collect damages, but it is up to you to take action before it is too late. You must file a claim before deadlines prevent you from getting your just compensation.
You Control What Happens Next
A slip-and-fall accident can make it seem like you have lost authority over your future. Yet, our competent team of attorneys can help you take back control.
We have a long record of success, but we know it requires more than hard work and determination. Our attorneys have the training and resources to achieve remarkable outcomes for our clients, and we charge no fees until we win.
At the same time, we want you to be confident in our abilities before hiring us. Let us show you what we can do to protect your legal rights. Call us at (888) 435-1321 with your questions and concerns.
Our phone lines are always open, so don’t hesitate to contact us anytime. We look forward to hearing from you soon.