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Premises Liability Attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts

Nobody should be left footing the bill for an injury that wasn’t their fault and could have been prevented. In cases where you or someone you love has sustained an injury on someone else’s property, you may be able to bring forward a lawsuit based on the state’s law of premises liability. However, it’s essential that you learn about this law and what will be required of you should you choose to use it as the basis of your claim.  

Since 1975, our team at Law Offices of Stephen D. Walsh has dedicated our practice to helping victims achieve justice—and not punishment—for someone else’s negligence. To speak with a qualified premises liability attorney in the Essex County, Massachusetts region, reach out to us and schedule a consultation. We’re proud to help clients throughout the area, including Peabody, Danvers, Salem, and Beverly. 

Common Types of Premises Liability Claims 

There are several different types of premises liability claims: 

  • Slip and fall accidents 

  • Trip and fall accidents 

  • Dog bites 

  • Construction zone accidents 

  • Fires  

  • Swimming pool accidents 

  • Elevator accidents 

  • Ice and snow accidents  

No matter the specifics of your case, it’s important to get in touch with a personal injury attorney who will stand by your side and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. 

Understanding Premises Liability  

Premises liability is a legal term used when someone is injured while on another person’s property. Under this law, the property owner (or manager) has a legal duty of care toward visitors to ensure the property is safe and free from hazards. If there is a potential hazard that could cause harm to someone, the owner is responsible for addressing this hazard to prevent an accident from taking place. If they fail to do this, and a visitor is injured, the property owner can be held liable for their neglect, and you can file a claim against them. 

There are several parties that can be considered the “property owner” under this law. This can include the actual owner of a property (like a private home), the property manager of a rental home or apartment complex, business owner or entity, or even a government entity. In all these cases, if the property owner’s duty of care was neglected and this neglect resulted in your injury, you can likely proceed with filing a lawsuit for an injury on public property, in a store, or on private property. That said, the method by which you approach each of these claims will differ. 

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Private property vs. public property claims 

You can file a claim against any negligent property owner—whether it’s your neighbor, local grocery store, or even a government entity. The one main difference in these two types of cases will have to do with who’s considered a “visitor.” On a private residence, you can only file a claim like this if you’re an invitee or someone who’s licensed to be on the property (like a utility worker). Those who were illegally trespassing will not have grounds for a claim. On the other hand, since government property is theoretically open to anyone, the same restrictions on being an invitee or licensee may not apply. 

Property Owner Duty of Care 

When you bring forward a premises liability case, one of the most important things you’ll need to prove is that the owner had a “duty of care” to you. When you can prove this and then show that the owner neglected this duty, you may have the grounds for a lawsuit. As stated above, though, the owner is not simply responsible for the safety of just anyone who comes on to their property. Furthermore, just because a property owner has not immediately fixed the hazard doesn’t mean you can automatically cite premises liability. The property owner may have taken “reasonable care” to address it.

For instance, if an apartment complex property owner knows that the sidewalk is uneven leading to the community room, and they put up cones, caution tape, and a sign alerting people to the danger, they may have fulfilled their duty of care and can likely not be held liable for someone tripping and falling there. 

Determining Liability in Massachusetts 

Determining liability is the next step in your case. If you believe the accident was solely caused by the owner, you’ll have to prove three things: 

  1. The owner had a duty of care toward you to keep the property free from hazards  

  1. They neglected their duty of care and did not address these potential dangers 

  1. You sustained an injury due to this hazard  

There may also be cases where liability will be shared between two parties and this is known as comparative negligence. Essentially, if the owner can prove that you had some role in causing the accident, you could be held liable for some of the damages. To help protect against this, you should always work with an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Premises Liability Attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts

If you’d like to speak with a skilled premises liability attorney in Essex County, Massachusetts, contact us at Law Offices of Stephen D. Walsh today. We’re here to help you move forward.