Boston Premises Liability Lawyers
Aggressive representation when you’re injured on dangerous property in Massachusetts
Premises liability refers to any type of accident caused by a hazardous condition on somebody's property. This could include a foreign substance, such as oil, a foreign object, an obstruction, snow or ice, defective construction, improper maintenance, a slippery floor, broken stairs, and other defects on the property which cause you to slip, trip or fall. Here in Massachusetts, a property owner or the person controlling or using the property may be responsible for personal injuries you suffer while visiting or using their property.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, of Boston, our lawyers have over 100 years combined experience handling premises liability cases in Massachusetts. We understand the specific laws involving property owners and the duty of care they owe their visitors. When you’re injured through no fault of your own, you shouldn’t have to worry about medical bills and other expenses. And that’s where we come in – our Boston attorneys file your claim, handle the insurance companies, and deal with the headaches so you don’t have to. We work to secure the compensation to which you’re entitled so you can focus on healing.
Common questions from injury clients
- What is a premises liability case?
- What types of premises liability cases do your Boston attorneys handle?
- How can your Boston premises liability attorneys help?
- Who is liable for my injuries caused by premises liability accidents?
- How do you prove a Boston premises liability case?
- Do you have a premises liability attorney near me?
What is a premises liability case?
Premises liability cases are a type of negligence case resulting in a personal injury claim. They typically involve incidents where a negligent party (like a property owner) causes another to suffer an injury. In a premises liability claim, this means the property owner knew of – or should have reasonably known – of a dangerous condition on the property and failed to do anything about it, resulting in your injury. Put another way, the property owner failed to use reasonable care to maintain the property in a safe manner.
In addition, on residential rental property, the landlord might be responsible under a theory of breach of warranty of habitability if the property does not conform to the building code or the housing code. Breach of warranty applies to tenants and their guests; both can recover. If the landlord's conduct is extremely outrageous, the landlord might be liable for multiple damages under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, M.G.L. c. 93A.
What types of premises liability cases do your Boston attorneys handle?
Our premises liability lawyers handle all types of cases arising from accidents on personal, commercial, or public property. Common types of accident cases include:
- Swimming pool accidents
- Dog bites and animal attacks
- Defective stairways and stair collapse
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Porch collapse and porch railing failures
- Tripping or falling due to uneven surfaces
- Balcony and deck defects
- Floor or building collapse
- Accidents caused by snow and ice
- Falls on short, unmarked flights of stairs or steps
- Fire and smoke injuries
- Injuries, assaults and wrongful death from negligent security
- Defects at commercial properties causing slips, trips or falls
- Injuries from flooding or water leaks or spills
- Slips and falls from cleaning agents
- Slips and falls caused by spilled food or drinks
- Inadequate lighting
- Exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals
- Building code or housing code violations
- Failure to repair or maintain premises
- Improper commercial displays
- Falling merchandise in stores
- Unprotected holes and uneven surfaces
- Unmarked stairs or steps
- Rapes and sexual assault
How can your Boston premises liability attorneys help?
Your legal rights need to be protected after an accident arising from premises liability. The injury attorneys at with Breakstone, White & Gluck understand the law and complex regulations governing premises in Massachusetts. In some cases, immediate notice may be required to preserve all of your rights. In addition, personal injury actions in Massachusetts are governed by a statute of limitations of three years. However, as mentioned above, some accidents have shorter notice provisions which may be very strict.
Our record of successful results
Here are a few of the premises liability cases our Boston lawyers have successfully handled:
- $2.5 Million plus $500,000 previously paid directly to the plaintiff - Burn Injury. Our client sustained severe burn injuries caused by someone throwing gasoline onto a fire pit.
- $900,000 – Fall Injury. Our clients sustained skull fractures when a balcony rail collapsed.
- $900,000 – Stair Collapse. Our client sustained multiple fractures when a poorly maintained stair collapsed.
- $825,000 – Slip and Fall. Our client fell on an icy ramp, sustaining a trimalleolar fracture with ankle fusion.
- $525,000 – Dog Bite. Our client was bitten on her arm by her neighbor’s pit bull, leading to permanent scars. She also suffered PTSD from the attack and the neighbor’s bullying.
Check out some kind words from our clients on our Testimonials page.
"I knew that Ron had my best interests at heart, and that I could trust him to help me make the right decision."
Who is liable for my injuries caused by premises liability accidents?
Typically, the owner of the property is the person responsible for injuries caused by negligent maintenance of the property. However, many commercial properties are leased to business tenants, and the property owner might not control the property. In that case the business renting the property becomes responsible for the maintenance of the property. In residential properties, the tenant and the landlord might share responsibility in certain situations. A contractor working on the premises might also share in the liability. In most of these cases, the responsible party will have liability insurance. There may also be medical payments insurance coverage.
Some premises liability cases involve failure to maintain the property. It is easy to understand that building materials, such as wood staircases or brick walkways, will wear out; they need regular inspection and maintenance. The failure by a building owner to regularly inspect and to regularly maintain the premises may lead to liability.
In some cases, the landlord or the business might create the condition. For example, a store owner might wash a floor, leaving it wet and slippery. The owner has a duty to put up warning signs to prevent a slip and fall accident.
In some cases there is limited or no liability. In Massachusetts, if an accident occurs as a result of a defect in a public way, then liability is limited to $5,000, and one must be completely without fault in order to recover. Notice to the municipality is required within thirty days.
Massachusetts also has a strict law which prevents liability for recreational use if no fee is charged for using the property. This law frequently prevents injured victims from recovering for injuries in parks, public properties, and sometimes even shopping malls. However, the use must be a recreational one for the statute to apply.
How do you prove a Boston premises liability case?
Since premises liability cases typically involve a dangerous or hazardous condition, in order to prove the case, your lawyer needs to demonstrate that the owner knew or reasonably should have known about the condition. For example, if the condition was caused by a spill, the owner is entitled to a reasonable amount of time to discover the spill and clean it up. How long? It depends. If it is a busy public space, such as the entrance to a store, then it is usually a fairly brief period of time.
Snow and ice accidents also require proof of the condition and how long it was likely present. Fortunately, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court modified the common law in July 2010, allowing people who are injured on any type of accumulation of snow or ice to present their claims. Injuries from snow and ice require notice to the property owner within thirty days.
For more details, please see our page on Choosing a Massachusetts Snow and Ice Accident Attorney. The state of Massachusetts also maintains its own compilation of laws regarding snow and ice.
Do you have a premises liability attorney near me?
Breakstone, White & Gluck has an office in Boston at 2 Center Plaza #530 in Government Center. Our offices are within walking distance of the John Adams Courthouse and Suffolk County Superior Court, and there’s a parking garage in the building. The MBTA Green Line and Blue Line are right across the street at the Government Center T station, and there’s a bus stop almost in front of our office. If you are unable to travel because of your injuries, however, we can arrange a phone or video conference, or a hospital visit.
Boston premises liability attorneys fighting for the people of Massachusetts
If you were hurt in an accident on someone else’s property, talk to the lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck. We know how to hold property owners, managers, landlords, and other parties responsible when their negligence leads to accidents and serious injuries. We’ll fight for the compensation to which you’re entitled and work to ensure your medical bills get paid. To schedule a free consultation, call our attorneys or use our contact form.