When a person is hurt as a result of unsafe conditions on another person’s or business’s property the resulting legal action it is generally known as a premises liability case.
The different types of accidents that can result in a premises liability accident are almost inexhaustible and include, but are not limited to:
- Inadequate security. There are safety measures that the owners and managers of apartments, shopping malls, ATMs, schools, and all other premises must take to prevent crimes from occurring on their properties. Failure to install or properly maintain surveillance cameras, security guards, proper lighting, secured entrances and exits, locks on doors or windows, or other necessary safety measures can be grounds for an inadequate security lawsuit if someone becomes a victim of sexual assault, rape, assault and battery, robbery, or any other crime.
- Slip and fall accidents. Property owners and managers must make sure that there are no conditions on their premises that can lead to a slip or trip and fall accident. This kind of premises liability accident can lead to serious physical injuries.
- Falling merchandise. Retail shops, warehouse stores, supermarkets, and other stores are supposed to properly secure any products placed on high shelves so that they don’t fall on customers. Head injuries, back injuries, and broken bones can happen when someone is struck by falling merchandise.
- Swimming pool accidents. Property owners should use reasonable care to make sure that the pool is only used with their knowledge and permission. Typically this requires fencing and adequate lighting in the pool area. Additionally, property owners should make sure that there is reasonable supervision when the pool is being used to avoid drownings, slip and fall injuries, head injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries.
- Animal attacks. Animal owners are responsible for protecting others from their animal. A dog owner, for example, may be liable for any injuries that result from a dog bite.
- Fires. Property owners are responsible for taking reasonable precautions to prevent fires and for having smoke alarms and fire extinguishing equipment as required by law for their type of property.
- Potholes or other divots. These types of property issues can cause motor vehicle crashes or slip and fall accidents. Property owners should use reasonable care to identify the problems, to warn people of the problems until they can be fixed, and to fix the issues as soon as possible.
- Roof cave-ins. A roof collapse may be caused by a failure to maintain a building properly. These types of accidents can result in serious injuries and fatalities.
- Broken glass. Broken glass can result in painful injuries. While property owners may not be able to prevent all broken glass, property owners and operators should promptly warn people of the danger and clean the broken glass up promptly.
Dangerous conditions can potentially exist in just about every type of building or open space. Below is a list of the most common places where safety hazards may be present:
- Apartment complexes
- Sports facilities
- Amusement parks
- Government buildings
- Commercial buildings
In all of these places—and on other types of property—property owners and operators have a duty to use reasonable care to keep their properties, homes, and businesses safe.
MA Property Owners and Operators May Be Liable for Accidents on Their Premises
Massachusetts property owners are legally obligated to maintain and secure their properties so that unsafe conditions do not hurt residents, patrons, or guests. While this duty falls on the property owner, other persons, such as a tenant, the manager of a property, and contractors working on the premises may also be responsible for maintaining it in a safe condition and also could be liable for injuries that occur on the property. Premises liability law holds residential and business owners and managers legally responsible when they neglect to fulfill this duty of care and someone gets hurt or dies.
MA Property Owners and Tenants Owe Others a Duty of Care
An owner or occupier of property must use reasonable care to inspect the property and discover any unsafe conditions. The owner or occupier has a duty to repair, replace or otherwise correct and give adequate warning of any condition that could be reasonably potentially harmful to others. For example, a store owner has a legal responsibility to make reasonable inspections of the store because of the danger of merchandise falling on the floor. Merchandise on the floor of a shopping aisle creates tripping and slipping hazards. The same store owner has a duty to inspect other walkways and entryways to ensure that no hazards exist that could lead to a fall. The failure to make reasonable inspections may subject the owner or occupier to liability for injuries caused as the result of the failure to inspect.
Merely owning or occupying a property does not automatically make the owner or occupier of the property liable for injuries sustained by someone on the property. There must be actual fault or negligence on behalf of the owner or occupier. Negligence means the person who owned or occupied the property failed to keep the premises in a reasonably safe state.
In some premises liability cases, it is often up to a jury to determine whether the person acted reasonably, considering all the circumstances which led to the injury. A jury may consider, for example, the likelihood that someone would be hurt by an unsafe condition and the severity of the potential injuries. A jury might also consider whether the owner knew or should have known about the unsafe condition and how difficult it would have been to correct that condition. Because there are many types of situations that give rise to premises liability, these cases require careful analysis by an experienced premises liability attorney.
How a Massachusetts Premises Liability Injury Lawyer May Help You
Effective handling of premises liability cases requires a thorough investigation and knowledge of the law and the facts and circumstances which caused the accident. It is essential to hire a well-established law firm with significant resources to retain investigators and accident reconstruction experts to help determine the cause of the accident.
It is also vital to select a law firm with extensive experience in handling these cases in order to achieve optimum results.
At Spada Law Group, LLC our Massachusetts premises liability attorneys use the full force of our firm’s extensive resources and expertise to help injured victims receive the compensation they deserve.
Our offices are conveniently located in Chelsea and Salem, Massachusetts. We offer free or validated parking and free, no-obligation consultations. Contact us via this website or by phone today to discuss your potential case.