Dining at restaurants is one of the most popular past times for American consumers. Whether their customers are grabbing lunch during the workday or celebrating an important life event like a birthday, restaurants are some of the most highly patronized businesses in the country. Unfortunately, some restaurants cut corners and fail to take guest safety into account. This can lead to devastating and painful injury accidents that leave the victim with hefty medical bills and other expenses. A Massachusetts premises liability lawyer at our firm is available to handle cases involving injuries that happen on someone else’s property. If you think another person or entity owes you compensation for a careless and preventable slip and fall or other accident, we can answer your questions regarding your legal rights.Restaurant Liability in Massachusetts
Massachusetts recognizes a type of personal injury case called premises liability. This type of action allows an injury victim to receive compensation from a property owner who failed to exercise appropriate care and skill in making the property reasonably safe and providing warnings against known dangers.
An initial step in a restaurant liability case is to show that the owner of the restaurant owed you a duty of care. With regard to patrons, restaurant owners owe the highest level of care. As such, they must look for and identify dangerous conditions on their property and fix them, or warn customers about conditions that cannot be repaired. In practical terms, this means that restaurant owners need to make sure that the places where guests will be located are regularly inspected for possible dangers like broken floorboards, chairs with broken legs, sharp protruding objects like glass in a broken window, and faulty electrical wiring. If there are areas of the restaurant that accumulate moisture on the floor either from snow and ice or foodservice functions, then proper signage and measures should be taken to address the potential danger.Recovering Compensation for Your Damages
If you were hurt due to a restaurant owner’s failure to rectify or warn you of dangerous conditions on their property, you must also prove that your injuries were the direct and foreseeable cause of the owner’s failure to exercise adequate care. Massachusetts recognizes a doctrine called comparative negligence, which allows a defendant to provide evidence showing that the plaintiff was also negligent at the time of the accident and that his or her conduct contributed to his or her injuries. In the context of a premises liability case, a defendant may offer eyewitness testimony to show that the plaintiff was on his or her phone while walking and not keeping a proper lookout before he or she fell, for example. Another common defense under this doctrine is that the dangerous condition was properly segmented or warned against through cones and signage that the plaintiff failed to heed. A skilled premises liability attorney can help you counter arguments of this nature.
After establishing causation and overcoming any defenses, you can provide evidence showing the amount of actual and future estimated damages that you will incur as a result of the accident. This is where testimony from an expert such as a physician, lifecare planner, or professional from the industry you work in can add context to show how this injury will impact your life well into the future. Common categories of damages that plaintiffs recover in successful premises liability lawsuits include medical expenses, lost wages, reduced quality of life, and loss of consortium if a spouse is involved.Compassionate Premises Liability Lawyer Serving Massachusetts
If you were injured in a restaurant, chances are the event happened quickly and may have taken you by surprise. It can be hard to understand how the accident happened and whether the restaurant is liable for your damages. You can seek to protect your legal rights by meeting with a responsive and experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss the situation and whether you have a viable claim. We are available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody. Call our office today at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online to get started.