Slip, Trips, Falls: What is Premises liability?

If you’ve slipped, tripped, fallen or been injured in any way while on someone else’s property, you should know about your legal rights. You may be able to pursue a premises liability case against the owner or other parties.

What is premises liability? Massachusetts statutes require property owners to use  “a reasonable standard of care” when it comes to protecting lawful visitors from injury on their premises. Failure to do so may render the owner legally liable for any resultant injuries on their premises.

A “lawful visitor”

If you were on someone’s premises as an invited guest; or you were under a reasonable assumption that you were permitted on the premises– such as a mailman delivering the mail– you were a lawful visitor. If you were on a business premises as a customer, supplier, or in any other legitimate capacity related to the business, you were considered lawful.

How do you prove the owner was negligent?

Assuming you were a lawful visitor when you slipped, tripped or fell down, you or your legal representative must be able to show that there was a negligent condition on the premises, that the condition contributed to the incident that caused your injuries, and that your injuries were a direct result. The damages you claim, medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other economic losses, must also be a direct consequence of the incident.

Like any situation where a person is injured, things can get complicated when you try to prove who did what. Negligence might be difficult to confirm if you rely on the property owner admitting that he did something wrong. A fall caused by poorly maintained steps, worn sidewalks or a buildup of ice and snow may be proven with timely photos. Therefore, it is important to contact any attorney experienced with premises liability as soon as possible after the injury.  We can help document the hazardous or unsafe condition promptly, before it can be corrected, establish negligence, and preserve evidence in a timely fashion.

There may also be separate coverage for payment of your medical bills.

If you have been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s  property, call our law office today for a free consultation.