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The basics of slip-and-fall accidents

Vigilance and care can keep Massachusetts residents safe from dangers most of the time, but accidents do often happen. Whether out on the street or in a store, visiting a friend or attending a doctor’s appointment, a person can suffer a slip, trip, or fall almost anywhere. Not all slip-and-fall accidents are serious. However, some can cause victims to suffer serious injuries and sustain significant financial losses.

Some slip-and-fall accidents are compensable under premises liability theories of law. This post will generally discuss slip-and-fall litigation, but this post should not be read as legal advice. A personal injury attorney can support a slip-and-fall victim and counsel them on their options.

Negligence and liability

For a slip-and-fall accident to be compensable, it generally must be the fault of someone other than the victim. That is to say, when a person stumbles over their own feet, there is no one else to blame but themselves for their injuries. However, when a person trips over a loose board on a neighbor’s porch, their suffering may be due to their neighbor’s negligence.

Negligence happens when a person fails to exercise their duty of care toward another person. If a person fails to act reasonably given the situation that they are in, they may be considered to have breached their duty to others. Negligence forms the grounds of many personal injury actions.

Negligent individuals may be held liable for the injuries and losses that their actions or inactions cause. When it comes to property-based injuries, negligence may take the form of slippery floors or uneven steps or any number of other property defects.

What to do after a slip-and-fall

When a person suffers injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, there are several steps that they can take.

  • See a doctor. Having a doctor evaluate one’s injuries can help the victim later make their case in court.
  • Document the scene of the injury. If possible, take pictures of where the slip-and-fall incident occurred.
  • Speak with an attorney. A personal injury attorney can guide a victim through the many considerations that must be made to ensure their rights are protected.


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