Premises/Negligent Security Liability FAQs
Property owners or those occupying and renting a property have certain obligations when they invite others onto that property. If they fail in those obligations, this is considered a breach of duty that can lead to legal liability. If you have suffered an injury on someone else's land, it is very important for you to understand the laws that apply to premises liability so that you can protect your right to recover compensation from the land owner/occupier for your injuries.
To help you better understand your legal rights, the Boston personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC have prepared some premises/ negligent security liability FAQs. These questions and answers provide you with an introduction to Massachusetts premises liability and negligent security laws, but there is no substitute for proper legal advice. That's why we also offer free no-obligation consultations to people who suffer an injury on someone else's property. Contact us today using our online form or via phone at (617) 367-2900 to learn how we can help.Massachusetts Premises Liability Laws & Laws on Negligent Security
The following questions and answers should provide you with a basic introduction to premises liability laws and negligent security laws in the state of Massachusetts.
- What is premises liability?
Premises liability is a body of law that imposes legal consequences on a landowner or occupier who fails to maintain his or her property. Property owners have a duty to guests to make sure that the property is safe.
- What duty do landowners or occupiers owe to visitors?
The duty that a property owner or occupier owes to you, as a guest, is going to vary depending upon why you were at the property. If you were a customer there doing business, you are classified as an invitee and owed the highest duty of care. The landowner or occupier has to inspect the premises regularly to make sure it is safe and has to warn invitees of any dangers or correct those dangers.
People who are simply visiting a friend's house, on the other hand, are classified as licensees. Homeowners or apartment dwellers who have guests over don't have an obligation to regularly inspect the premises for potential dangers but are required to warn or make safe any dangers that they know about or reasonably should know about.
Finally, even trespassers enjoy some limited protections under the law. Landowners can't set traps for them, for instance, and they have to warn them of known dangers if they know that the trespassers are on their land or if they create an "attractive nuisance" (something that draws trespassers in, such as a swimming pool).
- What is negligent security?
Negligent security is a special type of breach of duty under premises liability law. Property owners are sometimes obligated to protect visitors to their property from dangers caused by third parties if they have reason to believe that there is a potential danger. For instance, a shopping mall that knows that people get robbed in the parking lot but who fails to properly light the parking lot or otherwise use safety measures can be considered liable for negligent security.
- What do I have to prove to make a claim against a landowner/occupier?
You will need to prove either that the owner was negligent in his security obligations and/or that the owner or occupier breached his legal duty as defined by the law and by your status as an invitee, trespasser or licensee. You also must prove that the negligent security or breach of duty was the direct cause of your harm or injury that you suffered.
- How can I make a premises liability case?
Many different types of evidence are useful in building a successful premises liability case. Maintenance records, a history of past injuries and eyewitness testimony are all useful in making a case. Your Boston premises liability lawyer will help you to build a case and to get the evidence you need.
- Who am I suing?
When you are injured on someone else's property, you typically may sue the owner or the person in control of the property. For instance, if you get hurt in the common area of an apartment building, the apartment owner should be sued. If you get hurt in your friend's unit because of clutter or debris your friend left around, then your friend is the right person to make a claim against.
Do not be afraid to make a premises liability claim because you don't want to take money from a friend or person who invited you to his or her home. Homeowners insurance typically pays the bills for defending premises liability claims and for damages that you are awarded, so the money doesn't come out of your friend's pocket. You don't want to be left holding the bag financially for the injuries, so it only makes sense to make a claim and make the insurer pay.
- Do I really need a lawyer?
You should always have legal representation in a premises liability case in order to protect your legal rights. Your lawyer may help you to settle your case outside of court for a fair sum, or may assist you in building your case so you can win in court and get the compensation you deserve.
To learn more about how a Boston premises liability/negligent security lawyer can help you if you are a victim of Massachusetts injury on someone's property, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC today at (617) 367-2900 or using our online form.