Under Mass General Laws Ch. 258, §4, a person who would like to proceed under the tort claims act must present their claim to the executive officer of the state agency involved within two years from the date on which the cause of action arose. Although exceptions do apply, this rule means that you have two years to let the property owner know about the fall and injury resulting from the fall.
A person injured as a result of a slip and fall due to snow and ice must provide the property owner with notice within thirty days of the incident under Mass General Laws Ch. 84, § 21.
At the Law Offices of Lungo-Koehn & Collins we know the importance of not only providing timely notice of your claim but also the importance of investigating and collecting the evidence from the moment the slip and fall takes place. It is highly important to begin building your case from the onset by obtaining photographs of the area in which the fall occurred, obtaining witness statements, Ariel views, diagrams, Massachusetts building and codes, state sanitary codes, etc.
Duties of a Property Owner
A Property Owner has a duty to use reasonable care toward lawful visitors. A landowner must act as a reasonable person in maintaining his property in a reasonably safe condition in view of the circumstances, including the likelihood of injuries to others, the seriousness of the injury and the burden of avoiding the risk. The foreseeability of the invitees’ presence and the time, manner, place and circumstances surrounding the invitees’ entry are all relevant factors in determining the likelihood of injury and in determining the extent to which the landlord must prevent such injury.
Burden of Proof
The injured party has a burden to prove that the property owner knew or should have known that there was a dangerous condition that existed at for example the grocery store, an apartment complex, a workplace, a stairway, driveway, mall, etc.
You have to prove that the owner of person in control of the property negligently caused or allowed a defective condition to exist on their property, which resulted in an injury.
At the Law Offices of Lungo-Koehn & Collins we know how complex and difficult slip and fall cases can be. Having settled hundreds of personal injury cases, we have the knowledge and experience to handle your or your loved ones’ slip and fall case.
Ice and Snow
The rules governing whether or not a property owner is liable to one who has slipped and fell on snow or ice are extremely complex. The law does not regard the natural accumulation of snow and ice as an actionable property defect, if it regards such weather conditions as a defect at all. Liability will result only in certain circumstances where some act or failure to act has changed the condition of naturally accumulated snow and ice, and the elements alone or in connection with the land become a hazard to lawful visitors.
In most cases, it is important to prove that an unnatural condition or accumulation occurred as a result of the natural pattern of ice and snow was altered by the channeling of water or snow by artificial means (e.g., drains, gutters), the ice and snow were cleared in an unreasonable manner, or the ice and snow were not cleared and were allowed to change to an unnatural condition by various traveler, and this new condition was known or should have been known by the property owner.
My name is Breanna Lungo-Koehn, co-founder of the Law Offices of Lungo-Koehn & Collins. I personally make sure that every client of ours receives personalized service and aggressive, effective advocacy.
Feel free to contact me personally by phone or e-mail to schedule a free consultation.