Massachusetts Premises Liability Lawyers
You likely enter public and private buildings on a daily basis. It might be a friend’s house, restaurant, store, museum, theater, amusement park, or hospital.
You have a right to assume that these properties and facilities will be safe and properly maintained. All property owners have a legal obligation to keep their land and buildings clean and free of hazards for those who enter.
Have you or has someone you love been injured due to a property owner’s negligence? If so, we understand that no amount of money can fully make up for your injury. Time machines have not been invented to allow us to go back to the past and undo that day. However, monetary compensation can help to provide a stable financial future for you and your family.
At Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, our Massachusetts personal injury attorneys can advise you on your legal options and fight for the financial security you need to move forward with your life.
Call the legal team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers in Massachusetts today to schedule a free consultation in person or via Skype, FaceTime, or any other method. We will review your case and explain your legal rights.
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What is Premises Liability?
This is a specific area of the law that requires owners to keep their property safe for anyone who enters. When the hazardous conditions of a property lead to an injury, the property owner could be found negligent.
However, an owner can’t automatically be held responsible just because an accident happened on his or her property. We need to prove that the owner knew—or should have known—of the hazard or unsafe condition and failed to correct it, resulting in injuries.
It can be difficult to prove liability, even when victims have suffered serious injuries. Thus, it is essential to have an experienced Massachusetts premises liability lawyer on your side.
Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?
In all personal injury cases, negligence must be proven. Premises liability is a type of case that comes under personal injury law. Other types of cases include car accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and wrongful death – to name just a few. In all types of personal injury cases, negligence has to be shown. Put simply, negligence is broader than premises liability.
Under premises liability law, property owners have the responsibility to maintain a safe environment for visitors. If a visitor is injured due to neglect, the owner could be held liable for damages. But this may not apply when a trespasser is the one injured.
Premises liability deals specifically with the condition of the property and the failure of the owner to correct or warn of potential hazards.
Premises liability law applies to all residences or businesses such as stores, restaurants, airports, hotels, offices, shopping malls, amusement parks, and even parking lots and sidewalks. A wide range of accidents could occur due to negligence on the part of the owner.
Some examples of premises liability resulting from an owner’s negligence include the following:
- Failure to repair loose/deteriorated handrails or steps
- Falling objects whether inside or outside of a building
- Poorly maintained sidewalks
- Poorly marked parking lot hazards
- Failure to remove ice, snow, and water
- Inadequate building security
- Dog bites
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
To recap, negligence is an element of any type of personal injury case. Premises liability refers to a specific type of case where a victim was injured on another person’s property due to a dangerous condition. However, if the victim was trespassing and suffered an injury, he or she would most likely be unable to file a personal injury claim.
What is a Premises Liability Cause of Action?
One type of claim that falls under personal injury law is premises liability. These cases deal directly with a person who has been injured on someone else’s property, which is the “premises.”
Premises liability cases must contain certain elements. These are:
- The property had a dangerous condition,
- There was a foreseeable risk to a visitor,
- The property owner or manager was aware of the dangerous condition,
- The owner failed or correct the hazard or warn of the danger, and;
- The visitor was injured due to the failure of the owner to act.
Looking at the elements listed, you would note that point 4 would be considered the cause of action. This is because the property owner’s actions, or lack thereof, resulted in injury to the victim.
To illustrate this, notice in the list below how the various types of premises liability cases resulted from the cause of action, or negligence, of the property owner:
- Slip-and-falls: These accidents usually result from wet and uneven floors, electrical cords in walkways, icy sidewalks, and inadequate lighting
- Dog bites: If a property owner knew a dog on the premises had bitten someone in the past, he or she would be liable if there was a failure to warn
- Inadequate security: Property owners have a duty to provide an environment that is reasonably safe from robberies and vandalism for visitors
- Inadequate maintenance: Poorly lit stairwells, broken handrails, and poorly maintained elevators and escalators could cause visitors to suffer injuries
- Swimming pool accidents: Liability can result from faulty diving boards and ladders, and improperly covered pools
- Amusement park accidents: Operating the rides in an unsafe manner, which may be due to a lack of training, and defective equipment may lead to liability
What is the Difference Between Premises Liability and General Liability?
Premises liability is strictly connected with ownership of a property, or premises. Property owners have the responsibility to maintain a potentially safe environment for all visitors (but this may not apply to trespassers). If an injury occurs because the owner or manager has been negligent regarding a foreseeable hazard on the property, he or she could be held liable.
Premises liability applies to private homes as well as commercial properties. Some of these include restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, beauty salons, offices, banks, amusement parks, parking lots, and sidewalks.
When an accident on a property is the owner’s fault
Some examples of neglect by property owners that could result in a premises liability claim include:
- Failure to remove snow or ice from walkways
- Failure to repair loose or broken steps and handrails
- Poorly marked parking lots
- Poorly maintained sidewalks
Massachusetts has adopted the law of “comparative negligence.” How does this affect premises liability cases? The victim must show that the owner was mostly at fault for the incident in order to receive compensation.
In some personal injury cases, you may be able to receive punitive damages for the harm caused.
When general liability applies to the accident on the property
General liability is different from premises liability in that it has a much broader application, although it can apply to premises liability cases. General liability insurance can cover several kinds of “personal injuries” that may have been inflicted on someone else’s property but are not related to a failure of maintenance on the part of the property owner.
Some examples may include:
- When an employee of the business (on the property) inflicts the damage
- When a visitor is physically injured by another property visitor
- When a visitor’s property is damaged
- When copyright infringement, slander, or libel has been committed
In these examples, it can clearly be seen that the harm caused to the victim was not due to any negligence on the part of the property’s owner but was beyond his or her control. However, the injured party would still be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
General liability insurance does not cover punitive damages, though.
What type of premesis liability cases do we handle?
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers in Massachusetts has been representing anyone who has been injured on someone else’s property through no fault of their own since 2004. These type of incidents have many names, including:
Slip-and-falls. This is one of the most common types of premises liability cases. Slips and falls can take place inside or outside a property.
Snow and ice are a common culprit of slips and falls that occur outside. Property owners are required to maintain their parking lots and sidewalks. However, they are allowed a “reasonable” amount of time to remove snow and ice. For example, if you fall in the middle of a blizzard, the property owner may not be found liable since the injury took place during a storm.
Some common causes of indoor slip-and-fall accidents are wet floors, loose or torn carpeting, uneven stairs, missing railings, poor lighting, or malfunctioning elevators. Slip-and-falls can lead to serious, life-altering injuries or death. If it can be proven that the owner did not show reasonable care in property maintenance, then he or she could be found liable for your injury and damages.
Dog bites. Victims of dog bites often suffer from not only physical but also emotional trauma. Dog owners can be thus held responsible when their animal attacks someone. Our legal team can help gather the evidence needed to get you compensation for your recovery.
Premises liability cases can take many different forms. These are just some of the many different types of cases that we handle. We understand that each victim has his or her own unique situation. We want to help you receive justice and the compensation you deserve.
Negligent security. This is when a person is a victim of a violent attack such as a shooting, robbery, fight, or rape while on someone else’s property. Crime victims shouldn’t just assume that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Property owners are required to protect visitors from criminal activity on their premises.
Depending on the type of building, this includes providing such things as:
Property owners also need to be aware of what’s going on in the surrounding community. If violent crimes have recently taken place in the vicinity of their property, then it’s their duty to take added steps to secure the premises. Perhaps additional lighting or security guards could help.
If you were the victim of a violent crime on someone’s property, contact us today about your available legal options.
Swimming pool injuries or drownings. Those who own pools or hot tubs are required to take safety measures to prevent drowning. This is true whether the pool is public or in a backyard.
Swimming pool injuries may include:
Owners of public pools need to have gates or fences to keep unattended children from entering. These locks and gates are to be maintained and kept in good working order. There must be posted warning signs, lifeguards on duty, and life-saving equipment on-site. If the property has beach access, the owner has a responsibility to warn guests of rip tides and undertows.
How to Find a Premises Liability Lawyer Near Me
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, experienced premises liability lawyers can help you pursue a case against the negligent parties. They will investigate your case, file a claim, and help you recover compensation.
However, if it is your first time seeking the help of a premises liability lawyer, you may be unsure how to find one in your area. A quick internet search will likely yield dozens of results. With so many options, how do you know which law firm to choose?
This article will discuss how to find a premises liability in your area and how to find the right one for you personally.
Tips on finding a premises liability lawyer in your area
If you are looking to find a premises liability lawyer, consider the following tips on how to find one near you.
Ask for recommendations
Close friends or family members are often a great source of reliable information. We may ask them for recommendations, suggestions, and life advice. Has someone you trust previously hired a premises liability lawyer in your area?
If so, why not ask that person if he or she was happy with the legal services? Would that person be willing to share the attorney’s contact information with you? Word-of-mouth recommendations can be a great way to find an experienced premises liability lawyer.
Whether you are looking for anything from a doctor in your area to a place to eat lunch, you can find contact information and reviews for almost everything online nowadays. The same goes for finding a premises liability lawyer near you.
Type “premises liability lawyer” into Google or whatever search engine you use and you will get a list of the nearest personal injury law firms in your area. You will also find the most recently posted reviews for each law firm and a map of the ones nearest you.
How to choose the premises liability lawyer right for you
After you have compiled a list of some of the premises liability lawyers in your area, how do you know which one you should choose?
Consider the following suggestions:
- Choose one in your state: If you live in a city bordering another state, some law firms in the adjacent state may have appeared in your internet search. A lawyer in Massachusetts may not be able to practice law in New York. Before choosing a lawyer, make sure you select one who can legally practice law in your state.
- Read the reviews: Do some research to find reviews for the lawyers you are interested in hiring. This will give you an idea of what others have thought of the law firm in question.
- Schedule a consultation: Take advantage of the free consultations offered by most personal injury law firms. This will give you an opportunity to get a feel for whether or not the lawyer is a good fit for you. Ask any questions you may have and see what options the attorneys can offer you.
What damages are recoverable in a premises liability claim?
The Massachusetts premises liability attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers have secured financial settlements for countless premises liability claims.
The following are some of the damages we will seek compensation for on your behalf:
Gather Evidence Immediately After Your Accident
In our years of experience in handling premises liability claims, we’ve learned that businesses will often deny that any accident happened on their property or that they are at fault for anything. This means the more evidence you can gather as soon as possible after your accident, the better it is for your case.
There are a few vital steps to take, especially in the case of slip-and-fall accidents.
Try to determine what caused your accident before leaving the scene.
For example, did you trip on a missing tile, or was there something spilled on the floor that caused you to slip? Take note of even minor details as these can be helpful later on.
Save whatever item caused your fall.
This may seem a little silly, but it can be an essential step. For example, if you slipped on an item, pick it up and put it in a plastic bag when you get home. Your shoes are also important evidence. Try to preserve any leftover matter on your shoes by putting them in an airtight container and holding off on wearing them again until after your case is settled.
Take pictures of where the incident occurred.
The building may have video footage, but the owner might not release it.
Speak to any witnesses of the accident.
If possible, get their contact information, including email address and phone number so that they can provide a statement later on.
File an accident report with the manager or whoever is in charge of the premises.
He or she will document your version of what happened.
Call Jason Stone Injury Lawyer’s Massachusetts Premises Liability Attorneys
If you’ve sustained an injury on public or private property, we at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers in Massachusetts are here to help. Let us be your voice in this difficult and traumatic time. We will gather evidence, assist with your medical treatment, speak to witnesses, file claims, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
Call us today to schedule a free, online or face-to-face, no-obligation case evaluation. Remember, we only get paid if we get money for you—never reaching into your own pocket—that’s the Stone Cold Guarantee.®
Jason Stone is truly the best! They did such a wonderful job with my case and communicated really well with me. I was amazed by their work and amazed by how much they really care about their clients. Whenever I called them about a concern or for any other reason they made sure they answered every question! They also try their best to make things go quickly as possible! I would highly recommend people to chose Jason Stone Injury Lawyer. They are honest with you; they take their time to listen to you and make sure everything is resolved! They did a great job with my case that I have recommended them to others. Thanks so much Jason Stone, I really appreciate it all!
VICTORIA PIERRE-LOUIS | FORMER CLIENT