How long do you have to report a claim after a slip and fall in a parking ?

Diana (Guest) on Sunday, November 25 2012, 08:03 AM
I was going into a package store and their was a small metal rod sticking out of the ground. I fell over it and hurt myself
5 responses Add Yours
  • Replied by Attorney Stephen Morte on Monday, November 26 2012, 10:30 AM · Hide · #1
    Generally the claim should be presented within thirty days. However that is not to say that all claims have to be reported within that time. It is advisable to speak to a lawyer who can assist you in preserving the evidence by taking pictures of the defective condition and preserving your rights and properly notifying the correct entity or owner of your claim.
  • Replied by Attorney Liam Floyd on Monday, November 26 2012, 10:50 AM · Hide · #2
    Assuming the parking lot is private property, you have three years to bring a claim. It is good practice however, to report the slip and fall as soon as possible so that the property owner is put on notice of the defect and so that their insurer can do an investigation before the defect has been altered or repaired.
  • Replied by Attorney Steven Boris on Monday, November 26 2012, 11:07 AM · Hide · #3
    As a practical matter, the sooner you give notice to the store that you were injured while upon their property, the better. Although the Massachusetts statute of limitations is three years (meaning you have three years from the date of the accident to file a law suit in court), it is important to fact gather as soon as possible after an accident. For example, in this case, the store might be leasing space from another company who actually has responsibility for the parking lot. The quicker the store knows about your claim, the quicker the responsible party can be identified, Remember to document your notice that you were injured: put it in writing and keep a copy.
  • Replied by Attorney Austin Joyce on Monday, November 26 2012, 11:31 AM · Hide · #4
    The statute of limitations for tort actions, such as your slip and fall, is three years from the date of injury. Additionally, if a public entity owns or maintains the parking lot, you must make written presentment to the entity’s executive officer within two years of the date of injury. Finally, if the parking lot is a public way, you must make written notification of your name and residential address, the time and place of your injury, and the cause of your injury to the public entity responsible for maintaining the parking lot within thirty days of the date of your injury.
    Replied by Attorney David Rubin on Monday, November 26 2012, 12:01 PM · Hide · #5
    The injured party must report the defective condition to the property owner within 30 days of the accident. If the injured party reports the defective condition that led to the accident more than 30 days after the accident, he or she may still bring the action, as long as the property owner cannot demonstrate that he or she was prejudiced by the late notice. This assumes that the property in question is privately owned, which this property probably was, since the metal rod was in the parking lot of a package store.

    The 30 day rule is strictly enforced, however, with respect to publicly owned property. If the injured party does not notify the city or town of the defect, then that may preclude recovery.

    The property owner always has a duty to keep the property safe for the use of "invitees" which in this case, would be the customers of the package store. Sometimes the property owner can argue that if the defect was "open and obvious" that there is no liability for negligence. Each slip and fall case is fact specific so whether there is liability depends upon the circumstances of each situation.
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