Premises Liability – What is it and Who is at fault?

Winter is coming, and there will be snow and ice. In fact, if it’s anything like last year, there may be a lot of snow and ice.

Injuries due to snow and ice may be cause for damages in a premises liability case. Premises liability in Massachusetts, however, describes many types of injuries and accidents, not just those caused by our weather.

The term “premises liability” covers any kind of accident that arises from a condition on a property, such as snow or ice, an obstruction, defective workmanship, inadequate maintenance, a slippery floor, broken stairs, or anything else that causes one to fall, slip, or trip. The range of potential conditions covered by premises liability is very wide; because of the numerous conditions potentially covered and the complexity of the law, it is highly advisable to consult an experienced attorney.

In general, owners of property or a business renting the property may be liable for accidents or injuries stemming from negligent maintenance. The same liability rules apply in residential situations to the landlord and the tenant.

Because premises liability cases stem from a specific condition, a successful suit will show that the responsible party either knew or should have known about the condition before the accident or that he negligently created the condition. In addition, premises liability cases require that you notify the property owner and the tenant of your accident. In some cases, the notice must be immediate. In the case of snow and ice, you have 30 days to provide your notice of injuries.

Premises Liability is a very complex area of law; if you are contemplating a case, then you should consult an attorney highly experienced in premises liability. Contact us directly, if you have been injured in what may be a premises liability claim.

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