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, applies to 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. This can include snow or ice, an obstruction, defective workmanship, inadequate maintenance, a slippery floor, broken stairs, or any other environment 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 personal injury attorney if you have questions.
In general, owners of property or a business renting the property are responsible for accidents or injuries stemming from negligent maintenance. In residential situations, the landlord and the tenant might be responsible.
Because premises liability cases stem from a specific condition, a suit must prove that the responsible party either knew or should have known about it. In addition, notice must be given for premises liability cases. In some cases, notice must be given immediately. In the case of snow and ice, notice of injuries should be given within 30 days, however if the notice is not given within that period of time it may not bar recovery if the defendant has not been damaged in his defense by the late notice.
This is a very complex area of law; an attorney highly experienced in premises liability should be consulted if you are contemplating a case. Contact us directly if you have been injured in what may be a premises liability claim.