Property owners in the state of Massachusetts, whether individuals or businesses, are required to properly maintain the property to ensure the safety of others. This obligation also applies to individuals renting a property. If you were welcomed onto the property and harmed, you may be protected under premises liability if you can prove the property owner or renter is at fault. This means you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical costs and other damages you’ve incurred as a result of the injury on the property. Again, it is necessary to prove the property owner or renter was legally required to maintain a level of safety for guests on the property.
Massachusetts premises liability law carries three different levels of responsibility for property owners. The different levels are broken down by the reason(s) for individuals being on the property.
This level typically applies to businesses. If a property owner runs a business, it is expected that customers and potential customers may come on the grounds of the property to perform a business transaction. In this instance, the property owner is legally obligated to provide a high level of safety and perform regular inspections. The property should be free of hazards—and if a hazard(s) exist, there should be sufficient warning to patrons.
An intermediate level of safety is required under this category. Under premises liability law in the state of Massachusetts, licensees refer to individuals who are invited to a property in a casual manner, such as friends and family. Property owners should maintain a hazard-free property and warn guests if there are any dangerous areas or items. However, property inspections are not mandatory.
Individuals illegally entering a property are owed little safety by the property owner. However, law states the owner cannot set up any kind of trap for trespassers. If a property owner is aware of a trespasser(s) being on their grounds, it’s required for the owners to alert the trespasser(s) to any hazards or dangers that may exist. Additional safety precautions must be taken for attractive nuisances, which are items such as a swimming pool or a trampoline, where the injury risk of being on or near this item is higher.
There are common premises liability claims for both commercial properties and residential properties. Others can occur equally at both. Have you been injured or harmed on someone else’s property where you think the owner(s) was negligent in maintaining safe conditions? Below are some common incidents that have led to personal injury claims under premises liability law in the state of Massachusetts.
- Parking lot injuries
- Stairwell injuries
- Faulty handrails
- Poor lighting
- Negligent security
- Careless merchandise storage
- Swimming pool/drowning accidents
- Victim of assault on a property
- Child abuse (at school, church or daycare)
- Playground/amusement park injuries
Know your rights as a guest on a business or residential property. If you’ve been harmed as a result of a property owner’s or renter’s negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages.