Suffering an injury resulting from an accident on someone’s property may require costly, long-term care that depletes your finances. Regardless of your situation, Massachusetts’ premises liability rules allow you to seek compensation for your losses.
A Massachusetts premises liability lawyer from GED Lawyers can assist you with pursuing compensation from those liable for your accident on another party’s property. First, let us look into the laws affecting your case.
Massachusetts Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care
Like in many US states, individuals and entities throughout Massachusetts have a duty of care to keep their guests safe, within reason, on any property they own or have jurisdiction over. Failure to do so is negligence on their part. This also means that depending on who currently has control of the property, you can either be up against the owner or their tenant.
If the responsible party cannot remove the dangerous condition, they should warn visitors of the hazard. For example, if a landlord currently has a construction project in their apartment complex, they should ideally block off the area to prevent unauthorized access. If they cannot, they must ensure residents and guests are informed, such as through highly visible signages.
The Massachusetts premises liability lawyer from GED Lawyers can assist with investigating further into the accident to determine the liable party. We can also help collect proof of negligence, such as surveillance camera footage and witness statements.
How Liability Works in Cases with Trespassers
Massachusetts property owners and tenants are typically not liable for accidents involving trespassers. This is particularly so if the trespasser was uninvited and had no excuse to be on the premises, such as someone about to commit a crime.
If the trespasser wants to recover damages, they must prove the liable party created the hazard on the premises to harm others.
For a free legal consultation with a premises liability lawyer serving Massachusetts, call (561) 995-1966
What Actions Can You Take for Compensation?
The following are the different legal avenues one can take when pursuing compensation.
Massachusetts does not require liability coverage for businesses and homeowners. However, they may still opt for this in their insurance policy to protect them from directly compensating victims if they are liable for accidents on their property.
Your premises liability lawyer can help you file your claim with the liability insurance provider. If you do not accept their first settlement offers, your attorney can also negotiate on your behalf for a fairer amount.
Premises Liability Lawsuits
There are instances where a claim will not work, such as when the Massachusetts property owner does not have liability coverage. In such cases, you would have to take matters to court instead. Insurance policy limits do not restrict the civil court, so your settlement amount in a lawsuit can very well exceed them should the case go favorably for you.
However, it can take longer to reach a verdict if your case needs multiple proceedings. Fortunately, your premises liability lawyer can represent you for the whole duration. You can bring your lawsuit to the county courthouse that presides over the area where you suffered the accident.
You Could Also Settle Privately
However, the liable party may also propose settling the premises liability dispute outside of court. One such method is a process called arbitration, where you can negotiate with the other side while a neutral party mediates. The lawyer can also guide and speak for you if you decide to go through this option.
Massachusetts Premises Liability Lawyer Near Me (561) 995-1966
Premises Liability Case Filing Deadlines in Massachusetts
Premises liability cases follow the statute of limitations for personal injury cases as specified in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 260 Section 2A. This gives you three years from the accident date to build and file your case.
Filing on time is a must to avoid getting your case dismissed automatically. You will want to start working on it while you still have plenty of time left. Doing so can help reduce the risk of missing your deadline. Your premises liability lawyer can also monitor your progress to see if you are on schedule.
Premises Liability Damages in Massachusetts
To determine how much you could recover in a premises liability settlement, our premises liability lawyer can help you estimate your total damages. This involves compiling your expenses and assessing the extent of your injuries. You could recover both economic and non-economic damages. Some examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as hospitalizations, surgical procedures, medications, and rehabilitation
- Income lost while injured
- Replacement services hired, such as housekeeping, childcare, and caregiving
Meanwhile, non-economic damages generally depend on your injury’s severity. For example, permanent paralysis would likely have a greater value than a dislocated shoulder. The argument is you would have probably suffered more due to your permanent condition. Some non-economic damages include:
- Chronic pain
- Mental trauma
Massachusetts’ Comparative Fault Laws Still Apply
Like other personal injury case types, premises liability actions in Massachusetts still follow the state’s comparative negligence rules in Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 231 Section 85. The laws states you may only recover a partial amount of the total settlement if you are partly responsible for your injury. You also cannot recover anything if you are more liable than the party you file against.
For example, let us say you suffered a slip and fall accident due to a shop’s broken tiles. Evidence reveals the shop had broken tiles for a long enough time that they should have addressed the problem already. However, you were walking briskly at the time, increasing your risk of slipping. The jury then decides you are 20 percent liable, which means you may only recover 80 percent of the settlement value.
The other party can use weak points in your claim against you, so it would be safer to have a premises liability lawyer review everything before filing. Then, they can watch out for discrepancies and see that you can support your claim effectively.
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A Premises Liability Lawyer in MA Wants to Advocate for You
If you were injured in an accident in someone’s establishment or property here in Massachusetts, consider consulting first with our Massachusetts premises liability lawyer from GED Lawyers. Our attorneys have served injury clients throughout the state since 1995 and can use their decades’ worth of legal knowledge to assist with your dispute.
You can get started today by calling for a free consultation. A team member will listen to the details of your case and determine your best course of action.