Snow and ice accumulation is a part of living in New England. While it can provide fun for those of us who ski or snowboard, it can also present dangers when property owners do not properly treat snow and ice on their property. If you have been injured in a slip and fall on ice or snow, it is important to understand what to do as well as the laws regarding premise liability to determine if you have a potential case.
How do I recover money after a slip and fall on ice or snow
In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, you must prove your case in order to make a monetary recovery after slipping and falling on ice or snow.
The first item you must establish is that another party (i.e., a property owner, landlord, or snow removal company) owed you a legal duty to keep its property in a safe condition or to safely remove snow and ice.
Once a duty is established, the next element for you to prove is that the fall caused you damages. The term “damages” refers to your injuries as well as lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Whether the fall “caused” your injuries is complex question and will likely be disputed by the Defendant. For example, if you injured your ankle while you fell, the injury company may argue that the injury is related natural conditions or caused by a separate incident. As such, you will have to establish that the injury is new or is an aggravation of a pre-existing injury.
What you do right after your slip and fall can play a critical role in proving your case and maximizing your recovery. If possible, you should use your phone to take pictures of the accident scene. This should include the ice or snow which caused you to fall. Since these conditions can disappear quickly, it is important to document what caused you to fall as soon as possible. Furthermore, you should take pictures of your injuries and gather the contact information of any witnesses.
You should also report the accident to the store or property owner in a timely manner. Make sure your communications with the store or property owner are minimal and refrain from posting details about your accident on social media.
Lastly, you should seek medical care even if your injuries appear to be minor in nature. You may not realize the severity of your injuries until weeks or even months after the accident. By obtaining medical treatment, you are also documenting that your injuries were caused by the slip-and-fall accident. Well-documented medical evidence is crucial to proving your case.
It is imperative that you meet with a personal injury attorney specializing in ice and snow premises liability as soon as possible. These cases are time-sensitive, and quick work is required to maximize your recovery. Call or email Ed at Mazzaferro Law today for a free consultation to discuss the merits of your case.