When you visit a store, a restaurant, a park or someone else’s home in Brockton, you may naturally assume that the property is safe. You assume there are no dangerous or hazardous conditions that might lead to an accident or cause injuries. Unfortunately, accidents suffered by visitors to property occur all-too-often in Brockton, Greater Boston and throughout Massachusetts.
In many cases, these accidents leave victims with severe and debilitating injuries that require extensive and expensive treatment. The injuries may leave you unable to work, earn a living or participate in daily activities you enjoy. The most serious injuries may need a lifetime of care.
Under Massachusetts laws, victims injured by dangerous and defective conditions on someone else’s property may hold the owner or occupier of that property legally responsible. This type of legal action is known as a premises liability claim.
For more than three decades, The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan have protected the rights and interests of our clients who were injured by unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. We work tirelessly to hold owners and occupiers of property in Brockton accountable for our clients’ injuries.
If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact a premises liability lawyer in Brockton today. We will schedule a free case review to discuss the details of your accident with our Brockton premises liability lawyer. You will learn how you can pursue financial compensation from those responsible for your injuries.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability refers to the type of personal injury claims that arise from injuries caused by a dangerous or defective condition on someone else’s property. Examples of premises liability claims include slip and fall accidents, dog bites or injuries from criminal assaults that result from inadequate security.
Most premises liability cases are based on a theory of negligence. Under a premises liability claim, the injured victim must prove that the property or business owner ignored a duty of care and negligently maintained or operated the property.
Common Types of Premises Liability Cases We Handle in Brockton
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, our Brockton premises liability lawyers have successfully helped clients and their families recover the compensation they need and deserve.
Examples of premises liability cases our firm handles include:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Negligent security, inadequate security
- Elevator accidents
- Escalator accidents
- Accidents caused by malfunctioning electronic doors
- Falling merchandise accidents
- Collapsing balcony, porch, deck accidents
- Faulty railings or guardrails on balconies, porches or decks
What Are the Damages in a Premises Liability Claim
After you have been injured due to an unreasonably dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for damages you have incurred as a result of your injuries.
Those damages can include:
- The costs of your medical treatment, including hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, surgeries and other medical procedures, physical or occupational rehab, medication and medical equipment
- Reasonably anticipated future medical treatment expenses for your injuries
- Estimated costs of long-term care, such as home healthcare, home cleaning services, or lawn maintenance services (These costs may be available if you become disabled and can no longer care for yourself or your home.)
- Lost wages and income for time you miss from your job or your business during your recovery
- Lost earning capacity or potential, if you are disabled and cannot return to your old job and earn less than you did prior to your accident
- Loss of enjoyment or quality of life, due to physical disfigurement from your injuries, or disabilities that prevent you from participating in activities you once enjoyed
- Physical pain and emotional or mental suffering brought about by your injuries
- Loss of consortium, which is paid to your spouse for the loss of your companionship and society because of your injuries
Let our firm help you hold property and business owners accountable. Our goal is to provide you with the full financial compensation you deserve.
What Is The Statute of Limitations on Premises Liability in Massachusetts
Under Massachusetts law, you have three years from the date of your accident in which to file a lawsuit against the owner of the property or business where you were injured. If you wait too long to file your lawsuit, the court can permanently dismiss your case.
In addition to the three-year statute of limitations, if your premises liability accident took place on property owned by the state or by a municipal government, you must file a notice of claim with the government. Under Massachusetts law, you must provide the government with that notice within two years of the date of your injury. The government then has six months to respond to your claim. Only after this six-month period or after the government rejects your claim may you file a lawsuit against the government.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, your time for filing a premises liability lawsuit may run out quickly. Speak with The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan about your case as soon as possible. That will ensure we can help you preserve your rights and options.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt on Someone Else’s Property in Brockton
If you have been in an accident on someone else’s property, take these steps to help protect your legal rights:
- Report your accident to the business or property owner. After you have been injured on someone else’s property, report your accident and injury to the property owner/occupier or the business owner where your accident occurred. If your injury took place at a business or on commercial property, the property or business owner will likely prepare an accident report for the insurance company. Ask for a copy of this report for your own records. You may be asked to give a statement. Avoid assigning blame or talking about lawsuits or compensation. Instead, state the facts as you remember them.
- Get contact and insurance information from the business or property owner. If you need to later make a claim for compensation, you will have contact information.
- Document the accident scene. If possible, take photos and videos of the scene of your accident and injuries. Document whatever you believe may have caused your accident and injuries. Take note of warning signs or nearby safety equipment. Also note the lighting conditions and the outside weather conditions, if applicable.
- Have a doctor examine you. Even if you do not feel seriously injured, schedule an exam with a doctor. Pain and other symptoms of injuries may take days or even weeks to develop. Injuries can be diagnosed through an exam even before you notice them. Promptly identifying your injuries allows you to argue that your injuries were caused by your accident and not by a pre-existing condition or other cause.
- Talk to a Brockton premises liability lawyer. A premises liability lawyer can help you investigate your accident and injuries, collect evidence and prepare your claim for compensation. A lawyer can advise you on each step of the process and protect your rights when you deal with insurance companies or defense lawyers.
Common Places Where Accidents Happen in MA
Most premises liability accidents in Brockton and surrounding areas of Massachusetts occur in these locations or areas:
- Supermarkets and grocery stores
- Department stores
- Hardware and home improvement stores
- Malls and shopping centers
- Parking lots, parking garages and driveways
- Sidewalks and walkways
- Bars and restaurants
- Recreational parks
- Amusement parks, carnivals and fairs
- Swimming pools
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Office buildings and office parks
- Condominiums, apartment buildings or complexes
Most Common Causes of Accidents
Common causes of premises liability accidents in Massachusetts include:
- Foreign substances on the floor
- Wet, slippery or sticky floors
- Unnatural accumulation of snow or ice
- Faulty lighting
- Faulty railings or guardrails
- Faulty staircases
- Loose floorboards
- Potholes and sinkholes
- Uneven sidewalks
- Inadequate security from a lack of secure access, surveillance cameras or security guards
Residential Landlords’ Duty to Tenants and Visitors in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, residential landlords owe their tenants or property visitors a duty to keep common areas, or other areas within the landlord’s control, free of dangerous hazards. Hazards can include broken steps, missing handrails or inadequate lighting. Landlords must conduct regular inspections of common areas and provide warnings of hazards to tenants and visitors or take reasonable steps to remedy or repair a dangerous condition.
Residential landlords in Massachusetts must also perform snow and ice removal from common areas and points of common entry and exit. Landlords cannot delegate snow and ice removal to a tenant, unless the area is exclusive to the tenant’s unit. If an entryway, walkway or driveway is shared by two or more tenants, the landlord cannot delegate snow and ice removal responsibility to the tenants.
Most municipalities in Massachusetts also require property owners, including residential landlords, to keep their property free of snow and ice and to conduct snow and ice removal within a certain period after a snow or ice storm.
Generally speaking, residential landlords do not owe duties to tenants or their visitors for dangerous or hazardous property conditions that are within a tenant’s exclusive control. For example, a visitor of a tenant in an apartment building may not hold the landlord responsible for injuries they suffered due to a hazard inside the tenant’s apartment unit. However, a landlord may be held responsible for injuries caused by hazards inside a tenant’s unit if the hazard arises from a condition of the property – for example, a broken floorboard – that the tenant has made the landlord aware of.
How a Brockton Premises Liability Attorney Can Help You
If you or a loved one have been injured on someone else’s commercial or residential property, our Brockton premises liability lawyer can help you and your family hold the property or business owner accountable for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered.
At The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve in your premises liability case by:
- Thoroughly investigating your accident and injuries to determine what happened and to recover relevant evidence
- Identifying potentially liable parties (including business owners, landlords, property maintenance companies, etc.)
- Identifying available sources of compensation (for example, insurance coverage)
- Working with engineering experts to build an effective legal argument for your case
- Filing claims for compensation with the insurance companies and aggressively negotiating for a settlement
- Preparing to take your case to trial, if necessary, when the insurance companies will not offer a fair and full settlement
Contact The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Brockton premises liability lawyer. You will learn more about your legal rights and options following your accident. You will also learn how our firm can help you and your family seek the financial recovery you need and deserve.