If you were injured on someone else’s property in Massachusetts, you might have a premise liability claim. A premise liability claim is when a dangerous or unsafe condition on someone else’s property causes your injuries. A slip and fall accident is an example of a premise liability case, but many others exist.
If you or a loved one were injured on someone else’s property, Spada Law Group can handle all the details of your premise liability case from start to finish. Call our offices to set up a free consultation: (617) 889-5000.
What are Premise Liability Suits: Cases When a Property Owner is Responsible to People on Their Property
When a property owner’s negligence causes someone to be injured, the injured person has a premise liability claim. Public and private properties are responsible for keeping their property, or “premise,” safe for all visitors.
Property owners and managers are legally responsible for protecting visitors from anything that could hurt or injure them. Suppose a property owner knows about a specific dangerous condition or risk, but does not fix it or does not warn people about the danger. In that case, the property owner can be responsible when that condition injures someone.
Can a Massachusetts Property Owner be Responsible for Someone’s Injuries From a Trip, Slip, or Fall?
Yes, a Massachusetts property owner can be responsible if you slip, trip or fall on their property.
If you are injured from a slip and fall, here are a few steps to take (if you can):
- Take photos of what caused your fall
- Tell management about your fall
- Get contact information from any witnesses
- Seek medical treatment
- Contact a slip and fall lawyer
A property owner’s negligence in a slip and fall case can be shown if there were cracked sidewalks, bad or no handrails, ripped or torn carpeting, loose floorboards, and more. Slips and falls can happen quickly if you fall on an uneven sidewalk, trip on something in a store, or slip on a spill or piece of produce in a grocery store.
Can a Massachusetts Property Owner be Responsible for a Swimming Pool Injury?
Yes, a Massachusetts property owner can be responsible for swimming pool injuries on their property.
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. Property owners should also ensure there is reasonable supervision of the pool when it is used to avoid drownings, slip and fall injuries, head injuries, broken bones, and other serious injuries.
Can a Massachusetts Property Owner be Responsible for Someone’s Dog Bite?
Yes, a Massachusetts property owner can be responsible for any injuries their dog causes, whether it is a dog bite or any other types of injuries. All animal owners are responsible for protecting others from their animals.
Massachusetts has a strict-liability dog bite statute, which means even if it is the first time a dog has ever hurt or bit anyone, the dog’s owner is still responsible for the injuries the dog caused.
Can a Massachusetts Property Owner be Responsible for Someone’s Injury From Inadequate Security?
Yes, a Massachusetts property owner can be responsible for any injuries caused by a lack of proper security measures.
If foreseeable criminal harm occurs, the injured person can show that the property owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent this type of accident from happening. 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. Businesses, offices, and apartment buildings may be responsible for protecting patrons, employees, or residents from criminal acts.
A property owner’s negligence in a poor security case can be shown if the owner did not take reasonable measures to protect tenants or patrons. This includes not installing security cameras, not installing alarm systems, not replacing locks between tenants, poor lighting in common areas or parking lots, or not hiring doormen or security guards.
If someone became a victim of a sexual assault, rape, assault and battery, robbery, or any other crime; the 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.
Property Owners Can be Held Responsible for Many Types of Injuries
Property owners can also be responsible for injuries from the following events:
- A fire
- A flood
- Potholes or other divots
- Broken glass
- A swimming pool accident at a hotel
- An accident with ice or snow
- Injuries at a gym or fitness center
- A physical assault due to negligent security
- A sexual assault due to lax security
- Toxic or harmful substances
- A broken elevator or escalator
- A dangerous stairway (such as no handrail)
- A balcony defect
- A building defect
- Roof cave-ins
What are Common Premise Liability Injuries in Massachusetts?
Premise liability injuries can be severe and even life-altering at times.
Common injuries include:
- Slip and Falls
- Concussions or other Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Spinal Injuries
- Broken bones
- Bruises, cuts, and scrapes
- Illness from exposure to toxic chemicals
In some cases, premise liability injuries can lead to death. If that is the case, the type of claim you will bring on behalf of your loved one is called a wrongful death claim.
Where do Premise Liability Injuries Happen in Massachusetts?
Premise liability injuries can happen anywhere. Dangerous conditions can exist in almost every building or open space.
Private Properties can be commercial or residential and include almost everything except for property owned by a government. Whether a person owns residential properties or commercial properties, they owe a duty of care to people who are lawfully on their property.
- Apartment buildings
- Residential complexes
- Retail stores
- Sports Facilities
- Amusement Parks
- Commercial buildings
- Government buildings
Like private property owners, a local government can be responsible for your injuries if someone is injured on a property such as a city park. A claim against a government entity is much more complicated as there are special protections in place for the government, so you will want an experienced legal team like Spada Law on your side.
Determining If a Massachusetts Property Owner is Responsible for Injuries on Their Property
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.
One of the main elements in determining if a property owner is responsible for your injuries is proving you were welcome on the property when you were injured. If you were invited over, for example, or it was a public place you had a right to be, then you were allowed to be on the property and the owner owes you a duty of reasonable safety.
Spada Law Group will learn all the details of your case, where you were injured, and how you were injured, to find out what your status was on the property and the level of care the property owner owed you at the time you were injured.
Typically, claims and lawsuits are filed against whoever owns a property, however, it’s not always that simple. Often, someone may be injured in a store that leases the property from someone else, and sometimes even that person leases the property from someone else. Or, someone is injured visiting a friend at their apartment, but she is injured in a common area. Someone is still liable for your injuries, but exactly who is responsible can depend on the ownership of the property and any rental or property use agreements between the parties involved.
What is a Property Owner’s Responsibility When an Invitee is Injured?
An invitee is anyone the property owner invited to their property for their own benefit. If a property owner invited you over to conduct business to benefit themselves (the owner), you are an invitee. When you tour an apartment or go to the grocery store or a restaurant, you are an invitee because you are going to those places for the benefit of the business and property owner.
Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. This is a heightened standard from most personal injury claims, which means the property owner has more of a responsibility to keep invitees safe and to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. If there is any danger related to the premise, the owner must fix it or warn the invitee.
What is a Property Owner’s Responsibility When a Licensee is Injured?
A property owner is also responsible for the safety of licensees. Licensees are people who have an owner’s permission to be on the property, but there is no benefit to the owner from your presence. For example, if you are at a friend or family member’s house, you are a licensee. You are also a licensee when in public areas such as a city park or a library.
A property owner owes licensees a duty of care to keep them safe, but it is lower than the duty of care owed to an invitee. If a property owner knows, or should know, about a dangerous condition, they must warn you. Examples of this could be a broken handrail or a broken step.
What is a Property Owner’s Responsibility When a Trespasser is Injured?
A trespasser is someone who does not have permission to be on the owner’s property. Property owners do not have a duty to keep trespassers safe. Generally, a property owner is not responsible for anyone who was injured while trespassing on their property. Sometimes, there are exceptions such as if the property owner somehow intentionally injured a trespasser.
How Can a Lawyer Help With a Massachusetts Premise Liability Case?
A premise liability attorney will help you pursue all the medical treatment you need to recover fully from your injuries. Your number one priority should be healing, which can take time. Spada Law works to support you and alleviate the stress of dealing with insurance companies. We manage your claim to seek the compensation you deserve so you can focus on getting better.
Attorneys at Spada Law will also investigate to collect evidence for your claim. Your case will likely start with an insurance claim. If the insurance company does not reach a favorable settlement, an attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
If the Case Does Not Settle, a Premesis Liability Attorney Can File a Lawsuit
In an ideal scenario, the goal is to settle your premise liability case without having to file a lawsuit. This means Spada Law will file an insurance claim, conduct an investigation to get the evidence we need to prove you are owed compensation and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
Evidence for your claim can include the following:
- Accident or Police reports
- Eyewitness interviews
- Expert testimony
- Surveillance video
- A property manager’s incident report
- Photos of the place you were injured in
- Photos: of injuries and the accident scene
- Medical records
- Medical bills
Accurate medical records are vital to prove the cause of your injuries and any lasting effects. You will want to be candid with your doctors about what you experience so property owner’s insurance companies can’t minimize your injuries or claim they were not a result of your accident.
We can represent your case in trial if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement.
When a premises liability case goes to trial, it is often up to a jury to determine whether the person acted reasonably, considering all the circumstances that led to the accident. A jury may consider, for example, the likelihood that an unsafe condition and the severity of the potential injuries would hurt someone. A jury might also consider whether the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and how difficult it would have been to correct it. Because many types of situations give rise to premises liability, these cases require careful analysis by an experienced premises liability attorney.
What is The Statute of Limitations for a Premise Liability Claim in Massachusetts?
A statute of limitations is a time limit the state gives you to file a lawsuit. Under the Massachusetts state law statute of limitations for premises liability cases, you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. To have any type of claim, you must file it within three years from the accident date.
What Damages Can I Expect After an Injury on Someone Else’s Property?
There are various types of damages you can recover after a premise liability accident. Your settlement or trial verdict for damages will depend on the severity of your injuries, the extent of your medical treatment, and the future medical treatment you’ll need.
- Medical Expenses: You can be compensated for any ambulance transport, emergency room or hospital care, doctor's office visits, medical treatment by specialists, rehab, physical therapy, and any other medical treatment costs.
- Pain and Suffering: Your pain and suffering is worth something. You can be compensated for your chronic pain and suffering including anxiety, depression, trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life after the accident.
- Damaged Property: If your incident also resulted in property damage, such as to your car, cell phone, jewelry, or anything damaged in a slip and fall or even fire or flood, you are entitled to compensation to fix or replace your items.
- Lost Wages: If you had to take time off from work due to your accident and injuries, you can be compensated for your loss of income.
How We Help People After Premise Liability Accidents in Massachusetts
- Learn how Spada Law helped a man get a $5 Million trial verdict after being severely burned in his condo’s shower.
- Learn how Spada Law helped a man recover $250,000 after a table saw accident at someone’s home.
Injured in a Premise Liability Accident in Boston or Massachusetts? Reach out for a FREE Consultation with a Massachusetts Premises Liability Injury Lawyer
Effectively handling 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.
Selecting a law firm with extensive experience handling these cases is vital to achieving the best results. At Spada Law Group, our Massachusetts premises liability attorneys use the full force of our firm’s vast resources and expertise to help injured victims receive the compensation they deserve.
If you or a loved one were injured on someone else’s property in Massachusetts, you have rights and may be able to get compensation for your medical bills, time lost from work, pain and suffering, and more.
Over the last three decades, we’ve helped thousands of people in Massachusetts get the recovery they need after a premise liability accident. Recently, Boston Magazine named Attorney Spada one of Boston’s Top Personal Injury Lawyers. As Massachusetts personal injury lawyers, you never pay us a penny until we win your case. We’re here and ready to help.
We have three offices but proudly serve the entire state with the ability to meet with you remotely from the comfort of your own home. Contact us for a free consultation so we can learn more about your pedestrian accident and injuries and see how we can help you get the recovery you deserve after your situation occurs.