Premises Liability

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Burlington Premises Liability Attorneys

Filing a Personal Injury Claim on Your Behalf

When you enter a property, be it a private residence or a public place like a park or retail store, you have a right to feel and actually be reasonably safe. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case. If you have been injured due to a condition on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for compensation in a premises liability lawsuit. To find out if you have a viable claim, call the skilled Massachusetts personal injury attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. Your initial consultation is always free.

(781) 262-3338 Burlington (978) 327-5140 Methuen

Duty of Care

Massachusetts law requires that the party that owns or controls a property keep it free of unnecessary hazards. This is known as "Duty of Care." For instance, a grocery store has a duty to clean up spills as soon as they happen. Failure to do so is considered a breach or violation of their duty of care. If their breach of duty of care causes an injury, they can be held liable for the resulting damages. Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario:

You enter a grocery store. Unbeknownst to you, a bottle of cooking oil has fallen off a shelf and shattered. You walk down the aisle, slip on the oil, and are injured. The grocery store would be liable for your injuries because they breached their duty of care to keep the premises safe.

Other examples of breach of duty of care would include: not filling a pothole in a parking lot, a homeowner who doesn’t put salt on a patch of ice on their driveway, a pool owner that leaves the gate to his pool open, etc.

Legal Entrants Vs. Trespassers

For the most part, duty of care is only an obligation to legal entrants to a property. Trespassers who are not invited into or onto a property would have a hard time winning a premises liability claim. For example, if burglar breaks a window to gain entrance into a home to rob it and cuts themselves, chances are they won’t win a premises liability claim. However, this does not entitle a property owner to set out bear traps to keep people from walking on his lawn. Massachusetts is particularly clear about this when it comes to children. The state statute reads "Any person who maintains an artificial condition upon his own land shall be liable for physical harm to children trespassing thereon." For instance, a curmudgeonly homeowner gets tired of neighbor kids sneaking into his pool on hot summer nights. If his solution was scatter broken glass around the pool, knowing that the kids would be barefoot, he could be held liable for their injuries.

Premises Liability Damages

If you, as a legal entrant to a property, have been injured by an unsafe condition on that property, you may be entitled to compensation for any of the following damages:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent injury or disability
  • Mental anguish and emotional trauma
  • Lost wages
  • Household and vehicle modifications to accommodate your injury (wheelchair ramps, etc.)
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Wrongful death in the case of a lost loved one

While we at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. sincerely hope you never need our services, rest assured we will be there for you and your family should you need us. If you or a loved one is ever injured, don’t hesitate to call us for a free, no obligation consultation.

We have offices in Burlington (781) 262-3338 and Methuen (978) 327-5140.

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