When you visit someone else’s property, you are trusting the owner or operator to have made sure that the premises are safe or to provide warnings about conditions that could cause you to suffer injuries. Unfortunately, a large number of premises liability accidents are the result of property owners’ failure to maintain their properties. This can include everything from fixing a cracked sidewalk, cleaning up a spill, or installing security cameras if the property is in a high-crime area. Although nothing can truly compensate you for the pain and suffering that you experience if you are hurt as the result of someone’s failure to conduct proper maintenance of their property, asserting your right to damages with the help of a Massachusetts premises liability attorney can help you obtain enough support to address your medical bills and other expenses. At the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein and Affiliates PC, our lead counsel and his team of legal professionals have represented victims in a broad range of premises liability accidents.Identifying Dangers that Result from Inadequate Maintenance
Although most property owners are aware that they must keep their premises relatively safe for shoppers and social guests, many of them fail to make the routine inspections or necessary repairs to meet this standard. Dangerous property conditions exist all around us, from a broken staircase at the entrance to a restaurant or a faulty electrical switch in a nightclub bathroom. Even falling merchandise that was not properly secured or stacked can create a serious risk for shoppers. Other common dangers that result from inadequate maintenance include overgrown shrubs and vegetation, loose handrails, cracked glass or windows, broken swimming pool gates, and large cabinets or other items that are not secured to a wall properly.
In some instances, inadequate maintenance can involve protecting patrons and guests from third parties. A common example involves a property owner who fails to install parking lot lights or security cameras to keep patrons and visitors safe despite knowing of ongoing crime in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, oftentimes it’s only after someone is attacked that the owner makes the necessary upgrades.
In a state like Massachusetts where weather can be severe, property owners must take precautions to identify areas where ice and snow may accumulate rendering the walkway slippery. There are special rules in Massachusetts that apply to injuries involving accumulations of snow and ice, which an experienced premises liability attorney can help you analyze.Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Property Owner
Each property owner has a duty to maintain his or her premises in a reasonably safe condition, including businesses. The extent to which the owner must identify and repair potential dangers depends on the owner’s relationship to the person who may be harmed, however. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to persons who are invited to the property for a business purpose, such as shoppers at a supermarket or patients at a doctor’s office. These property owners have a duty to make routine inspections to identify and address dangerous conditions. Property owners owe a slightly reduced duty of care to social guests such as friends and family. In this category, the property owner has a duty to provide warnings about any known dangerous conditions or to repair them.
There may be multiple parties who are liable for your injuries, especially if the property is owned by corporations or holding companies. If the owner hired a third party to perform maintenance and upkeep on the property, that third party may also be liable if the dangerous condition was something that it should have identified in the reasonable performance of its job duties.
It can be difficult to find evidence to support your claim after suffering an injury on someone else’s property. If it involved a broken staircase or handrail, you may be able to take photographs to show the damage, but they won’t show the condition of the dangerous item prior to the accident. In many instances, it is necessary to consult with an expert witness who can review the evidence and provide an expert opinion on how the dangerous property condition was the direct cause of your injuries.
If you are successful in proving that the property owner failed to act according to the duty that you were owed, you can recover compensation for a number of items including past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity if your injuries have resulted in permanent disabilities.Tenacious Premises Liability Attorney Serving Massachusetts
There are many different questions that people often have after they suffer injuries in an accident. Most of the time, they want to know whether they have a cause of action against the person who may be responsible for their injuries. In order to help you better understand your legal rights following an unfortunate slip and fall accident in Massachusetts, we offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and how an experienced lawyer at our office may be able to help you. We handle all aspects of the claim, including gathering evidence, dealing with insurance companies, and protecting your right to recovery. We are available to help clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Waltham, Somerville, Dedham, Norwood, Quincy, Brookline, and Peabody. To set up your appointment, call us at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.