PREMISES LIABILITY & FORESEEABLE HARM
July 21, 2021
According to a recent study from the National Safety Council, more than 8 million individuals were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2019 alone. Property owners in Massachusetts have a legal duty of care to keep their property in reasonably safe conditions for lawful visitors and guests. This may involve carrying out regular inspections, routine maintenance, timely repairs, and setting up warnings to alert visitors about any unsafe conditions on the premises. If you have been hurt in an accident on someone else's property, you have the right to hold the property owner liable and pursue fair compensation for your injuries.
Here at my firm, the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I have the resources and necessary experience to assist and represent individuals pursuing a premises liability claim. As an experienced Massachusetts personal injury attorney, I will fight vigorously to protect your rights and help you seek rightful compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, future medical treatment, and any additional pain and suffering.
My firm proudly serves clients in Shrewsbury, Southborough, Webster, Westborough, Northborough, Boylston, and Oxford, Massachusetts — so call today to schedule your own free case consultation.
PREMISES LIABILITY LAWS
Premises liability is a legal concept that is used in personal injury cases where a person becomes injured in an accident on someone else's property due to a dangerous, defective, or unsafe condition on the property. Under Massachusetts premises liability laws, an injured person can make legal claims to seek financial compensation if their injuries occurred due to a hazardous defect or unsafe condition on the property.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 260 Section 2A, an injured person has up to three years from the date of the accident or injury to commence a premises liability action against the at-fault party in civil court.
Foreseeable harm is a legal concept that is used to describe potential harm, accident, or injury, whereby a reasonable person may be able to predict or anticipate the harmful consequences of their actions. Under negligence law, every person has the duty to act reasonably to avoid foreseeable risks of physical injury to other people.
HOW IT APPLIES TO PREMISES LIABILITY
As mentioned earlier, property owners owe a legal duty of care to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. In considering whether a duty is owed, certain harms may be regarded as "foreseeable."
For instance, if a staircase is broken, it is foreseeable that a guest entering the house could fall and harm themselves. Therefore, it is the property owner's responsibility to keep the premises safe and repair the broken staircase. A person who causes foreseeable harm to another person is usually liable for the full magnitude of the victim's injuries.
FORESEEABLE VS. UNFORESEEABLE
Some things that might be deemed foreseeable include:
Accidents caused by a person's negligence
Ordinary negligence of health care providers
Harm caused by rescuers
Some things that might not be deemed foreseeable include:
Acts of God
Criminal acts of third persons
Intentional torts of third persons
PRIVATE PROPERTY VS.
PUBLIC PROPERTY CLAIMS
Premises-related injuries are not limited to private properties alone. A person may also sustain an injury in an accident on public property as well. Private properties include residential apartments and commercial buildings, such as retail stores, local supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants. Public properties include public libraries, public schools, theme parks, public playgrounds, parking lots, sidewalks, roadways, oilfields, and other government-owned establishments.
In premises liability cases, private and public property negligence are considered to be the same. Just like an injured person can pursue compensation for getting hurt on private property, victims who suffer injuries on public property can also seek compensation from the government for any premises-related injuries. You can file a premises liability claim against a negligent property owner or manager, be it your neighbor, a retail store, or even a local government entity.
The following damages may be recovered through a premises liability claim:
Medical bills, including future medical treatments
Lost income and other benefits
Lost earning capacity
Scarring or disfigurement
Pain and suffering
HOW AN EXPERIENCED PERSONAL
INJURY ATTORNEY CAN HELP
Determining the responsible party for your premises-related injuries may be difficult. You must show that the negligent property owner had knowledge of the unsafe or defective conditions of the property but failed to repair it or warn you. Therefore, if you’ve been injured on another person's property, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to help protect your rights and pursue deserved compensation for your injuries.
At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I am committed to providing comprehensive legal guidance and compassionate representation to premises liability victims and their families. As your legal counsel, I will review every detail of your case, carry out a thorough investigation, and seek to establish liability. I will also work hard to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, and if necessary, file a civil suit to pursue the compensation you need and deserve.
If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s premises, contact my firm — the Law Office of James A. Maniatis — today to schedule a free one-on-one case assessment. I can fight diligently to protect your rights and help you seek deserved compensation for your injuries.
My firm proudly serves clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including Shrewsbury, Southborough, Webster, Westborough, Northborough, Boylston, and Oxford. Call or reach out today to learn more about how I can help you with your case!