Accidents happen all the time. Sometimes through your own carelessness and inattention, you trip on a step or get your hand caught in a closing door. No matter how serious your injury is, you have no one to blame but yourself. Other times, however, an unexpected danger or hazard is the cause of your injury. In this case, the property owner may be held liable. These are complicated cases, and not every personal injury attorney accepts them. At Brooks & Crowley LLP, we are happy to offer a free legal evaluation of your potential premises liability case.
What Is Premises Liability?
Property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for visitors or to warn of potential dangers. If they fail to do so, and a person is injured on their property, they may be liable for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering experienced by the victim. Examples of these kinds of claims include:
- Slip and falls
- Snow and ice accidents
- Dog bites
- Unsecured swimming pool accidents
- Elevator and escalator injuries
- Theme park rides
- Non-employee construction site accidents
- Inadequate security
If you suffer one of these accidents as a lawful visitor to a private home, movie theater, restaurant, grocery store, hotel, park, government building, hospital, or sports arena, or while walking in a parking lot or down a sidewalk, you might have a premises liability claim against the owner. Potentially liable parties include private property owners, landlords, corporations, construction contractors, and municipalities.
What We Will Look for to Determine If You Have a Case
To win a premises liability claim, you will have to meet several legal standards. First, you will have to prove that the accident happened on the property and that the accident caused your injuries. Your attorney will gather evidence such as witness testimony, surveillance video, photographs of the scene, and medical records to build your case. In addition, you will have to address the following legal points:
- Duty of care. You must show that the property owner owed you a duty of care. This is not difficult to do because all businesses owe their patrons a duty of care, and private property owners are responsible for the safety of invited guests. Licensees such as mail carriers, emergency responders, and police officers are also owed a duty of care. Business owners are held to a higher standard of care than private homeowners, but both must keep their premises free of hazards or provide adequate notice.
- Issue of notice. You must also show that the liable party knew or should have known about the hazard. You might have evidence of actual notice, meaning that the property owner was informed of the hazard and failed to act. Alternatively, you may be able to prove constructive notice by showing that the hazard existed long enough or was so obvious that the property owner should have been aware of it.
- Inadequate security. If you are assaulted in a bar, parking structure, or hotel where such assaults have occurred in the past and measures such as lighting, security guards, or surveillance cameras have not been implemented, you might have a premises liability claim based on inadequate security.
Premises liability claims are not easy to win. Property owners may claim that you were a trespasser on the property or that you were injured by an open and obvious hazard—absolving them of responsibility. Without an experienced and diligent personal injury attorney on your side, your chances of getting an insurance settlement or winning a lawsuit are slim.
Discuss Your Premises Liability Claim With Our Massachusetts Legal Team
When you need advice after a serious accident on someone’s property, you want an attorney who is committed to your success. The attorneys at Brooks & Crowley LLP are friendly and engaging, yet persistent and determined in pursuing the legal outcome you deserve.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation in one of our three Boston-area offices or a location more convenient for you. We will be direct and honest about your case so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family. Our service area in eastern Massachusetts includes Brookline, Weston, Wellesey, Newton, Dover and South Boston, along with their surrounding areas.