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Is the property owner at fault in a slip and fall accident?

Many people in Massachusetts are injured each year as a result of a fall. Some of the injuries suffered are serious, creating extensive pain and suffering. Because of the financial impact of their injuries, some question whether the property owner could have taken additional, reasonable actions that would have prevented or rectified the dangerous property condition that led to a slip and fall accident.

While a person has a responsibility to be aware of his or her surroundings, property owners also have a responsibility to take reasonable action to ensure that others are safe. To prove that the owner -- or his or her employee -- is at fault, one of three conditions must be met. First, it must be proved that the owner or employee should have known of the condition and failed to take reasonable action. Alternatively, an owner could be considered at fault if he or she actually knew of the condition and did not take appropriate action or that the employee or owner created the dangerous condition.

When most victims pursue legal action as a result of an injury suffered in a fall, they do so under the premise that the owner should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable action. To be successful in this argument, a plaintiff must address certain questions. For example, the issues of how long the defect has been present prior to the accident must be addressed. If the owner knew -- or should have known -- about the condition for several months, it might be a reasonable expectation that a repair would have been completed.

The issues regarding proving fault in a slip and fall accident in Massachusetts can be complex. However, there are experienced professionals who can discuss the merits of a case with victims. A successfully presented case could not only hold a negligent property owner accountable, but could also help a victim better manage the financial consequences of his or her injuries.

Source: FindLaw, "Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents", Accessed on Nov. 22, 2015

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