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Did you know that tens of thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents every year in the United States?  In some cases, injured parties may be entitled to compensation if they are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence – if have been injured in a slip and fall in Boston, be sure to call Jeffrey Glassman to find out your rights.

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What is a “slip and fall”?

A slip and fall injury can occur for any number of reasons.  The most common causes of slip and fall accidents outside of the workplace happen as a result of poorly maintained sidewalks with cracks, uneven surfaces or potholes.  Other accidents are caused when property owners fail to remove debris like slippery leaves or children’s toys, or who don’t clear their sidewalks of snow and ice.  In buildings, people often slip as a result of wet areas on the floors as a result of spills and cleaning.

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Sometimes, falls are caused by circumstances that are completely accidental.  However, at other times, they are caused by things that someone – a property owner, a building maintenance crew, a city – should reasonably have prevented.  In this instance, an injury may consider a “personal injury” and victims would be eligible for compensation.

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What is a “personal injury”?

In order to be considered a “personal injury” an injury must have been caused a third party’s failure to act responsibly or by their negligence.  In legal terms, this is referred to as a third party’s “liability” for the injury.  A personal injury is also defined by the fact that there must be some form of actual injury sustained.

This means that if you fell as a result of a person´s failure to clear the street, but only tore your pants or broke your smartphone or injured nothing more than your pride, you would not be eligible for compensation because you did not injure your person.  In order to qualify for compensation, you must have out of pocket expenses related to the treatment of the injury.

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Who is liable for my injury?

The challenge of determining liability for a slip and fall accident can sometimes be tricky.  This is because the test is determining whether the accident was caused by someone’s failure to act reasonably or as a result of negligence.  In general, it is important to understand that it has been considered unreasonable, for example, for municipalities to be constantly patrolling every city sidewalk to look for cracks, potholes or other potential hazards.

For this reason, there may not be a finding of liability for an accident that was caused by an unreported pothole. However, it would be considered reasonable that a municipality should repair a reported pothole within a certain amount of time, in which case a city may be found liable for an accident caused by a failure to repair a reported hazard.

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Because there is room for interpretation in the determination of liability for slip and fall accidents, you should immediately consult a personal injury lawyer if you have been injured in a fall.  Working with a lawyer with experience in this kind of personal injury case will offer the best chance of securing the compensation to which you may be entitled.