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Slip and Fall FAQ
  1. If I have a slip and fall accident on my own property can I make a claim under my homeowner insurance?
    In most cases you cannot make a claim under your homeowner policy for injuries you may have sustained. Most homeowner insurance policies have an exclusion for people who actually live on the property.

  2. If I have a slip and fall accident at work can I sue my employer for injuries that I have sustained?
    No. You cannot sue your employer if you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. However, if there is another entity or party who owned or was responsible for maintaining the area where you fell, you may have a claim against that party.

  3. What types of legal defenses are there to slip and fall accidents?
    Generally, insurance companies will claim you were not paying attention, you were carrying things, your clothing or footwear contributed to your fall or you assumed the risk of entering into an unsafe situation.

  4. If you are partly at fault for your slip and fall accident can you still make a claim for injuries?
    Yes, in Rhode Island you may collect damages from another party even if you were found to be 99% at fault and the other party is found to be 1% at fault. In Massachusetts you must prove that the Defendant was more then 50% at fault before you can collect damages.

  5. What types of incidents are commonly classified as slip and fall accidents?
    Besides actually slipping on a material or substance other claims that are generally classified as slip and fall accidents are trip and falls, twisting motions or an incident where you move suddenly but don’t fall.

  6. How much time do I have to file a claim or lawsuit in court if I am involved in a slip and fall accident?
    In both Rhode Island and Massachusetts there is three year statue limitations to file a lawsuit for a slip and fall claim. However, if a municipality is involved there are certain statutory notice requirements that must be met before a lawsuit can proceed.

  7. What should I do if I am involved in a slip and fall accident?
    You should seek medical attention immediately making sure to tell the health provider where you fell and what caused you to fall. At your earliest convenience contact an attorney so that your rights may be protected. Additionally, you should take photographs of the area where the incident happened as soon as possible.

  8. Can I file a claim against a property owner if I slip and fall on ice or snow resulting from a storm?
    Yes. However, under Rhode Island law a landowner is given a reasonable amount of time to clear ice or snow from his property after a storm. Under Massachusetts law the landowner has no duty to clear a natural accumulation of ice or snow on their property.

  9. If I slip and fall on a public sidewalk due to some type of defect with it can I make a claim against the municipality or State?
    Yes you can. However, the standard to show fault is much more difficult then proving a claim against a private landowner. Additionally, there are certain notice requirements that must be met when filing a claim against a City or Town. Failure to meet those requirements would bar your claim from going forward in court.

  10. If I have a slip and fall accident on a City or Town sidewalk how much time do I have to notify the City or Town of the incident.
    Under Rhode Island law you have 60 days to notify the City or Town in writing that you have been involved in a slip and fall accident on their sidewalk. Additionally, you must specify where the incident happened. Stricter notice requirements exist if the fall occurred on a public sidewalk or street due to ice or snow.

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  • East Providence Office
    989 Waterman Avenue
    East Providence, Rhode Island 02914
    Phone: 401-437-3000
    Fax: 401-437-3037