When a person or company owns property or rents property, they incur an obligation to maintain that property in a reasonably safe manner. If the property owner or the renter/occupier invites people onto that property and someone is harmed because the property was not maintained in a reasonable way, the person or persons injured as a result of the negligent maintenance can file a personal injury claim under a body of laws known as premises liability.
Making a premises liability claim involves establishing that you are owed a duty of care, and proving that the duty was breached in a negligent way that led to your injury or harm. Proving your case can be complicated, so it is advisable to contact an experienced Massachusetts premises liability lawyer if you have suffered an injury on property in the state of Massachusetts. The Boston personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC have represented injured clients throughout the state for more than 19 years. Contact us today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form to learn how we can put our legal experience to work for you.Massachusetts Premises Liability Laws
You can recover compensation when you suffer injury on someone else's property only if the person owed you a legal duty of care and breached that duty. The specifics of what you are owed by the property owner or renter of the property are going to vary depending upon why you were on the property in the first place:
- Customers and people invited to a property to do business are classified under Massachusetts law as invitees. They are owed the highest duty of care and property owners must regularly inspect to ensure that there are no dangers or hazards. Any dangers or hazards must be corrected or visitors must be warned about them.
- Friends, acquaintances and people invited to a property for a casual visit are classified under Massachusetts law as licensees. They are owed an intermediate duty of care. Property owners or renters in control of the property are obligated to correct any dangers they know about or reasonably should know about, or to warn their guests about those dangers. There is no requirement that these property owners perform regular inspections on the property.
- Trespassers who enter a property without permission are owed the lowest duty of care. Property owners can't create traps for them and, if they know the trespassers are there, then the property owners may be obligated to warn them of things that are very dangerous on the property. Property owners who have a swimming pool or other enticing item (called 'attractive nuisances' in legal terms) must take additional precautions to protect trespassers.
Once you have determined the type of duty owed to you, you will need to prove that the property owner or occupier/renter fell short of this duty and should thus be considered negligent in the eyes of the law and liable for your injuries. You can prove negligence by subpoenaing records of maintenance, taking pictures of the accident scene or presenting testimony from witnesses on the cause of the accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you to gather and present the evidence needed in a manner that gives you the best chance of making a successful premises liability claim.
To learn more about how a Boston premises liability lawyer can help you after an accident on someone's property, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.
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