Slip & Fall
Burlington Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers
Property owners, business operators, and other responsible parties have a duty to maintain their premises to protect the safety of their visitors, patrons, clients, and even their friends. They must keep floors, sidewalks, steps, and other surfaces free of hazards that could cause injury…but they often fail to do so.
If you’ve slipped, tripped, or fallen and been injured due to the negligence of others, you might be eligible for compensation for your injuries under a theory of law known as premises liability. At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., in Methuen, Burlington, and Boston, our personal injury team has experience investigating and bringing premises liability cases to trial.
Call us today at (781) 262-3338 - we are ready to discuss your injuries and circumstances and formulate strategies to get you the compensation you may deserve.
You’re probably aware of high-profile court cases where someone sued a business because he or she slipped on a patch of ice or tripped over a broken curb. These cases grab headlines because of the hefty settlements that ensue. While such accidents are often in the news, these situations are very real and very common, and the injuries that result are often severe.
Slip, trip, and fall injuries are often caused by the following hazards:
- Uneven flooring
- Poorly secured rugs and mats
- Falling debris from roofs or ledges
- Non-existent or loose railings
- Architectural features of improper height or construction
Under Massachusetts’s premises liability law, property owners are expected to keep their properties safe for all who enter them. Homeowners, business owners, landlords, and even tenants are held to this law. Basically, property owners are responsible for accidents that occur on their property if the accident was foreseeable and they were negligent in preventing the accident from occurring.
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we handled a case where a woman on a walk with her husband and dog came across a couch that had been left on the curb for garbage pickup. The couch was not placed properly according to the city’s bylaws. The woman tripped over the portion of the couch on the sidewalk, resulting in a broken elbow that required surgery. That surgery left her with three permanent pins in her arm. In this instance, the property owner was responsible for not only placing garbage in compliance with the city’s bylaws, but also ensuring the sidewalk outside his home was safe for pedestrians. We settled her case for fair compensation just before it went to trial.
However, if the couch had been placed in accordance with city bylaws, and did not obstruct the sidewalk, the owner could not have foreseen that someone would run into it. To do that, a person would have had to leave the sidewalk and walk directly into the couch, which is not reasonable to do. If that had been the case, the homeowner likely would not have been liable for paying compensation.
Business owners and property managers have the same duty of care to their patrons as homeowners do to their visitors.
For instance, one of our clients had to walk across an uneven dirt and gravel pathway to access a restaurant. She stepped on something that protruded from the gravel and rolled her ankle. Immediately there was swelling and pain. After receiving medical treatment she found that she had broken her ankle and would be required to wear a boot for nearly three months. We helped her win her case and receive proper compensation, as the risk of injury was foreseeable given that the gravel and dirt were not reasonably safe for patrons to walk on.
But if the pathway leading up to the restaurant was paved and smooth, and the heel of the woman’s shoe broke, causing her to fall and break her ankle, the restaurant would probably not have been liable. There would be no way to foresee that accident and the restaurant would have taken all reasonable precautions to ensure no one was injured. But…that was not the case.
What happens when ice and snow result in a slip and fall? Under Massachusetts law, property owners are also required to clear their properties and sidewalks of ice and snow in order to keep everyone safe. Certain cities have additional laws. This is easy enough for homeowners to do, but who is held liable when it comes to landlords and their tenants?
In most cases, it’s the tenant: most landlords include a condition in the lease stating that the tenant is responsible for clearing ice and snow. If there is no lease, or the landlord neglects to include that condition, that property owner may be held liable for any icy slip-and-fall accidents and the injuries sustained from them.
When the property is a larger building, such as an apartment or condominium complex, the tenants will likely not be responsible for clearing ice and snow. In most cases, the landlord will hire a contractor to clear the ice and snow for the tenants. When it’s not done properly, either the landlord or snow removal company may be held responsible. But many of these contractors are certified by the city and when they are, they may be immune from liability in civil suits.
Commercial landlords often treat building and fire codes as suggestions. When they follow the rules, they act as if they’ve performed a personal favor to their tenants and visitors, but nothing could be further from the truth. Laws governing rental properties exist for the public's protection. Unscrupulous and/or negligent property owners and managers often count on people remaining ignorant of their rights and quiet about unsafe property conditions. Our firm is here to ensure that the responsible party does not get away with its actions.
If you or a loved one has been injured on an unsafe property, don’t let another minute go by before you are represented by a competent accident lawyer in Burlington. Call our experienced attorney today at (781) 262-3338 to set up a free consultation in one of our three offices in Methuen, Burlington, and Boston.
- Understanding Massachusetts Slip & Fall Premises Liability Law
- Preventing Slip And Fall Accidents
- Why Your Slip And Fall Is Not As Innocent As You Think
- Slip and Fall Accidents and Massachusetts Legal Issues
- Massachusetts Slip and Fall Accident Can Cause Severe Injuries