Injury on Another’s Property
A slip and fall or a trip and fall is often not thought of as resulting in serious injury, but the opposite is true. Falls are painful, traumatic experiences that can result in severe injury, including hip and wrist fractures, concussions, back injuries, facial lacerations and muscle tears. Falls are always a top leading cause of death in the country, usually right after motor vehicle accidents. For adults 65 and over, falls are often the number one cause of death. They are also often the most common cause of death among construction workers.
Slip and falls not only cause severe injuries; they also present complicated cases when it comes to making a claim against the property owner for damages. Property owners and their insurers will allege that they had no notice of the hazard or defect that caused the fall. They also often dispute the severe nature of the injury, or they try to put as much of the blame on the victim as possible, saying they were not watching where they were going. In Massachusetts, if you are considered to be more than 50% at-fault in causing an accident, then you cannot recover against another negligent party.
Slip and Fall Premises Liability
Massachusetts property owners are required by law to act with reasonable care toward lawful visitors on their property. This duty includes maintaining the public area of their premises in a safe condition, either cleaning up spills or repairing dangers, or warning about any hazards that are not immediately apparent and even many that are obvious.
To hold a property owner liable for slip and fall injuries, the victim has to prove that the owner knew or should have known of the hazard yet failed to fix it or put up a warning in a reasonable time. Should have known is also called constructive notice and means that the owner should have known about the condition had they been diligent in inspecting the property, even if they did not actually know. When the danger is temporary, such as tracked-in rain or a liquid spill, property owners claim they could not have known about the danger and fixed it in time. If the hazard is long-term, such as a burnt-out light bulb, torn carpeting or broken step, then property owners claim the danger was obvious and should have been avoided by the accident victim. At Scalli Murphy, our seasoned Massachusetts premises liability lawyers know how to counter these arguments and build a strong case that proves the property owner’s liability. We handle cases involving any dangerous condition leading to a slip and fall or trip and fall, including:
- Defective Stairs/Steps/Ramps
- Snow & Ice
- Code Violations
- Dangerous Mode of Operation
- Falling Debris/Dangerous Conditions
- Poor Lighting/Failure to Warn
Negligent Security Injuries
Property owners can also be liable for assaults or attacks that occur on their property, including sexual assaults, robberies and fights. Property owners could be liable if they did not provide adequate security, such as guards, bouncers, security cameras, gates, locks, alarms, etc. Property owners who do not maintain adequate lighting in parking garages, hallways or stairwells may likely be exposed to liability as well. Owners of nightclubs and bars might also be liable for assaults committed by their own workers who are inadequately trained or negligently supervised.
Dram Shop Liability
Dram shop liability or liquor liability is the name given to the liability of a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or other establishments that serve alcohol. These businesses can be liable for assaults or motor vehicle accidents caused by drunken patrons whom they overserved. Massachusetts law plainly states that “No alcoholic beverage shall be sold or delivered… to an intoxicated person.”
Massachusetts also recognizes social host liability, so an accident victim can seek recovery from a private person who over-served someone at a party, when that person later caused a crash or other injury.
Dram shop cases are often difficult to prove, but our dedicated team of personal injury lawyers will invest the time and effort necessary to hold all responsible parties accountable to the people they have harmed, including drunk drivers and the establishments that served them, when appropriate.
Dedicated Massachusetts Premises Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone’s property in Massachusetts or anywhere in the United States, call Scalli Murphy Law for a free consultation. We’ll take the time to gather the facts and let you know if we think you have a premises liability claim, and we’ll dedicate ourselves to recovering compensation for all that you have suffered and lost.