In Massachusetts, when you legally step onto someone else’s property, whether it’s a commercial property, municipal building, or private residence, you expect a reasonably safe environment in reasonably safe condition. However, unsafe conditions due to negligent property owners can lead to severe injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Accidents occur when property owners fail to take reasonable steps to maintain their premises or fail to warn patrons about dangerous condition on their property. Property owners and other responsible entities can be held responsible for accidents that occur by the injured party. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and legal support you need to navigate these challenging times.
Understanding Premises Liability in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts law, property owners and business owners have a responsibility to lawful visitors on their premises to take reasonable precautions to maintain their property and prevent dangerous conditions. The highest duty is owned to lawful visitors who have express or implied permission to be on that property. Types of commercial properties where this duty arises include, a grocery store or supermarket, restaurant, shopping mall, retail stores, hospital, hotel, parking lot, office building, construction site, or your place of work. Common types of premises liability claims include slip and fall accidents. Victims of accidents due to negligent maintenance or unsafe conditions may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and more. Common causes of such personal injury cases include:
- Icy walkways and snow buildup
- Defective stairs, uneven stairway, or missing handrails
- ceiling disrepair
- Inadequate lighting
- Uneven walkway
- Obstructions or debris left on walking paths
- Slippery floor
- Liquid spills or a wet floor
- Falling objects due to not being properly secured
- Improper maintenance
- Negligent security
- Accidents due to lack of adequate warnings
- Electrocution injury or electrical shock
In many premises liability cases, not only will the property owner be responsible, but third party contractors may also be responsible for making sure the premises are safe for visitors, tenants, and customers. These can include a maintenance company, janitorial service, property manager, or snow removal contractor. At Gavagan Law, we’ll collect the necessary evidence including incident reports, photographs, and witness statements. We’ll inspect the site of your accident and work with experienced building and construction experts to identify the defective condition that caused your accident and get you compensated for your serious injuries.
Your Legal Rights and Options
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, it’s crucial to understand your rights and the steps you need to take:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Getting the care you need to recover from your injuries and documentation from healthcare professionals can also serve as critical evidence.
- Report the Accident: Notify the property owner or manager and ensure a report is made.
- Gather Evidence: Take photos of the accident scene and collect contact information from any witnesses.
- Consult with an Experienced Attorney: An attorney can help you understand your rights, assess the situation, and guide you through the legal process to seek the compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries and Compensations
Premise liability accidents can lead to various injuries, from sprains and bruises to more severe conditions like spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or wrongful death. Understanding the full scope of your injuries is crucial in determining the compensation you may be eligible for, which can cover:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Massachusetts Statute of Limitations for Premises liability and Fall Injury Claims
In Massachusetts, individuals who have suffered injuries due to fall accidents or other types of premises liability incidents generally have three (3) years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit against the property owner or responsible party. However, if the premises is a municipal property, controlled by a city, town, or government entity, like the MBTA, there may be certain notice requirements. In these instances, under G.L. c. 258, § 4, written Presentment must be made to the government entity within two (2) years of the accident occurring.
Why Choose Gavagan Law?
Given the complexities and time-sensitive nature of these cases, consulting with an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney promptly after an accident can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you are taking the appropriate steps within the legal deadlines.
With a commitment to our clients and a deep understanding of Massachusetts premises liability laws, Gavagan Law stands ready to advocate for your rights. We bring years of experience, a personalized approach to each case, and a dedication to securing the best possible outcome for our clients. Call or reach out using our contact form and speak with us for a free consultation.