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Property owners or renters/occupiers have a responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. When they invite individuals onto the property and someone sustains injuries due to an unsafe condition (such as negligent maintenance), the injured party may file a personal injury claim under the legal framework of Massachusetts' premises liability law. This body of laws holds property owners or renters/occupiers accountable for any harm caused by their failure to adequately maintain the property in question.
When seeking a Boston personal injury attorney, consider enlisting the expertise of the attorneys at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. Their experienced legal team is dedicated to providing exceptional representation and helping you to recover compensation for your injuries. Call us for a free case evaluation.Types of Premises Liability Claims
In Massachusetts, various types of premises liability claims can be filed against property owners or occupiers for injuries or damages sustained on their property due to negligence. Here are some examples of different types of premises liability claims:Slip and Fall Cases
These claims can include slip and fall accidents, where an individual slips on a property due to a hazardous condition like a wet floor or uneven pavement.Trip and Fall Cases
Trip and fall cases occur when someone trips on a property because of a dangerous condition such as a raised sidewalk or poorly lit stairwell.Negligent Security Cases
Negligent security cases result from a property owner or occupier's failure to provide adequate security measures, like sufficient lighting or functional locks.Inadequate Maintenance Cases
Inadequate maintenance cases happen when a property owner or occupier neglects to maintain their property in a safe condition, for example, by not repairing broken steps or leaking pipes.Elevator Accidents
Elevator or escalator accidents emerge when an individual suffers an injury due to a malfunction or lack of maintenance in an elevator or escalator.
If you have a personal injury claim, call an experienced personal injury lawyer from Bellotti Law Group, P.C. to ensure the highest chance of success for your case. Call for a free consultation.Massachusetts Premises Liability Laws Overview
In Massachusetts, compensation can be recovered for injuries sustained on another person's property only if that person had a legal duty of care and failed to uphold it. The specific duties owed by the property owner or tenant vary based on the reason you were on the property:Invitees
Individuals visiting a property for business purposes, such as customers, are considered invitees under Massachusetts law. They are owed the highest duty of care, requiring property owners to regularly inspect for potential dangers or hazards. These risks must be rectified or visitors must be warned about them.Licensees
Friends, acquaintances, or casual visitors to a property are considered licensees under Massachusetts law. They are owed a moderate duty of care. Property owners or tenants controlling the property must exercise reasonable care, by addressing any known or discoverable dangers, as well as warning guests about such hazards. There is no mandate for regular property inspections in these cases.Trespassers
Trespassers, those who enter someone else's property without permission, are owed the lowest duty of care. Property owners cannot set traps for them and, if aware of their presence, may need to warn trespassers about highly dangerous elements on the property. Owners with features like swimming pools or other enticing items (termed 'attractive nuisances') must implement additional precautions to safeguard trespassers.
Consulting an attorney experienced in premises liability cases, such as one from Bellotti Law Group, P.C., can help determine the validity of a claim and guide you through the legal process. Call us today for a free case evaluation.How To Successfully Advocate for Premises Liability Claim
To prevail in a premises liability case, the plaintiff (injured person) needs to prove that the property owner or occupier owed them a duty of care, that this duty was not fulfilled, and that the failure to fulfill this duty resulted in the plaintiff's injuries.
Additionally, it is essential to recognize that, in some circumstances, more than one responsible party may be held accountable for injuries caused by property damage. Consulting an attorney with expertise in premises liability cases can assist in identifying the potentially liable parties for your injuries and navigating the legal process.
To prevail in a premises liability claim in Massachusetts, the plaintiff (the person initiating the civil lawsuit) must establish the following key components:Duty of care
The plaintiff is required to show that the property owner or occupier had a legal obligation to ensure a safe environment and take reasonable actions to address or warn of any hazardous conditions present on the property.Violation of duty of care
The plaintiff must demonstrate that the property owner or occupier neglected their duty of care by not taking adequate measures to rectify or caution about any dangerous conditions on the property.Causation
The plaintiff needs to establish a direct connection between the defendant's negligence and the breach of duty of care and their sustained injuries.Damages
The plaintiff has to provide evidence of actual damages incurred, such as medical bills, lost earnings, or emotional distress resulting from their injuries.
After determining the duty of care owed to you, it's necessary to demonstrate that the property owner or occupier/tenant failed to fulfill this duty, rendering them negligent and liable for your injuries. Establishing negligence can involve subpoenaing maintenance records, photographing the accident site, or presenting witness testimonies regarding the accident victims or incident's cause.
It is essential to acknowledge that Massachusetts law mandates property owners and occupiers to reasonably protect invitees from known or reasonably foreseeable hazards.What Damages Can I Receive From a Premises Liability Case?
In a premises liability case, the types of damages you may potentially recover include both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages encompass financial losses, such as medical expenses for hospitalization, medications, and rehabilitation, as well as lost income or earnings. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, cover compensation for mental anguish such as pain and suffering, as well as damages for emotional distress experienced due to the injury.
In cases involving a wrongful death lawsuit, punitive damages may be awarded to the injured parties when someone's gross negligence or willful misconduct is a factor in the event that an incident leads to an individual's wrongful death.Who Can Be Held Liable for My Premises Liability Lawsuit?
In Massachusetts, when injuries or damages occur on a property due to negligence, a premises liability lawsuit can be brought against the property owner or the individual occupying the property.
Liability may fall on a property owner if they were aware or should have been aware of a hazardous condition on their property and did not take appropriate measures to address it or provide adequate warning.
Similarly, an individual who occupies a property, such as a tenant or store owner, can be held responsible for injuries or damages if they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take necessary steps to remedy the situation or give proper warning.How Long Do I Have To File A Premises Liability Claim?
In the majority of cases, Massachusetts grants a three-year window to initiate a premises liability claim. However, it is advisable to promptly consult with your insurance company and a premises liability lawyer following your injury in order to safeguard your rights and ensure critical evidence is preserved.Contact An Attorney
Various types of premises liability personal injury claims can be filed in Massachusetts against property owners or occupiers for injuries or damages sustained due to negligence. Hire an attorney with expertise in premises liability and personal injury cases, such as one from Bellotti Law Group, P.C., can help assess the validity of your claim and navigate the legal process. We cover a variety of personal injury cases, such as car accidents, construction accidents, dog bites, etc. We represent clients throughout Massachusetts, and we will work tirelessly to make sure that you receive claim damages for you injury under Massachusetts state laws.