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Being Injured on Someone Else’s Property

Property owners have a duty to keep their property safe so that people who enter it are not put into unnecessarily dangerous situations. When an accident occurs because of dangerous or poorly maintained property, it is called a premise liability accident, and victims have a right to sue for monetary compensation. The general rule in Massachusetts is that a landowner owes a duty of responsible care to all those lawfully on the premises. This is the statement of Massachusetts law in this field since 1973, Mounsey v. Ellard, 363 Mass. 393.

Such accidents are no joke for example, most traumatic brain injuries are the result of avoidable slip or trip and fall occurrences.  In addition, close to 2.8 million children visit U.S. emergency rooms each year for treatment of fall-related injuries.

However, not all responsibility rests solely on the property owner. If a person enters a property and acts in a manner that is unreasonable or dangerous, and suffers injury as a result, then that person most likely will not be able to file a personal injury claim.

Some common examples of premises that are dangerous include:

  • Poorly constructed or maintained buildings
  • Broken or raised sidewalks
  • Crumbling walls
  • Sites with dangerous clutter or work materials lying around
  • Open sewers
  • Inadequate lighting inside a building
  • Broken handrails or staircases
  • Broken playground equipment (swing sets, slides, trampolines)

What about public property?

The government is responsible for ensuring that roads, walkways, city buildings and other government-run properties are well maintained and safe. If you are injured on a property that is government owned or run, it is important to contact a lawyer right away. Suing the government when you have been wronged is possible, but not easy.

If you or a loved one believes you were injured because of the failure of another person or the government to maintain safe property, contact a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can help you determine if you have a case.

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