A Premises liability case generally refers to injuries that occur to victims as a result of unsafe conditions on another person’s or company’s property. The variations of these types of cases can be almost limitless. They include but are not limited to accidents involving slip and falls, animal attacks, swimming pools, fires, pot holes or other types of divots, explosions, roof cave-ins, broken glass, faulty store displays and inadequate security. Massachusetts landlords, business owners, restaurant owners, store owners, parking lot owners, and the owners other public and private premises are legally obligated to maintain and secure their properties so that there are no unsafe or hazardous conditions that could cause injury or harm to 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 could be liable for injuries that occur on the property as well.
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 —especially when they knew or should have known about the unsafe condition and did nothing to remedy the situation. Negligent premises 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
- Ball parks
- Amusement parks
- Government buildings
- Commercial buildings
- Property Owner’s Duty to Inspect
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 create a tripping and/or slipping hazard. 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 different types of situations that give rise to premises liability, these cases require careful analysis by an experienced premises liability attorney.
There are many situations where an injured person should considering pursuing a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner or manager:
- 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/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.
Contact a Premises Liability Law Firm
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, 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.
With offices in Chelsea and Salem, MA, Spada Law Group provides Boston quality legal representation without the commute into the city with free on-premises or validated parking. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Spada Law Group today at 617-889-5000 to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is absolutely no obligation to hire us. We are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
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