Premises Liability: Rights and Responsibilities

Snow removersBig companies often intimidate people; but big companies, just like individuals, can and do get sued for a wide variety of reasons. One of the main ways a company or entity can be held responsible to the general public is through the legal concept of premises liability. All restaurants, bars, and stores that hold themselves open for public use have a legal obligation to keep their property reasonably safe and in working order. If a company fails to fulfill this legal duty and someone is injured, the company may be required to compensate the injured individual for his or her injuries.

Premises Liability in Massachusetts

Winter is a common time of year for premises liability claims arising due to slip and fall incidents on ice and other weather conditions existing on a restaurant or store’s property. An entity may be held liable if an individual sustains injury due to a failure to keep the premises clear of ice, snow, standing water, or other dangers that may lead to injury. These types of accidents may also occur inside places such as grocery stores due to store personnel failing to clean up spills, leaks, or other dangers that may pose a threat to patrons.

Store and restaurant owners have heightened legal duties in comparison to homeowners or other private residences or properties that are not open to the general public. These public entities have a duty to keep the premises reasonably free of danger, warn the public of known dangerous conditions and inspect the premises regularly to ascertain whether any new dangers may be present that could affect or harm their patrons. The rationale behind this heightened standard stems from the fact that these locales have opened themselves up for public use and in serving the public, must keep the public reasonably safe from harm when the public is utilizing a service provided by the premises.

These legal obligations go beyond the physical cleanliness and aesthetics of the premises and extend to the level of security required at a given property, the availability of staff, cleaning personnel, and the structural integrity of the building or premises including floors, escalators, guard rails, and other structural aspects of the property. The presence of these types of hazards and the failure to address them may also lead to successful liability claims against a property or the person(s) responsible for the upkeep of said property.

Boston Premises Liability Attorney

Given the amount of individuals and entities responsible for the upkeep of a premises, including owners, managers, supervisors, employees, maintenance staff, and many others, deciding when and against whom to file a legal claim can be difficult. Boston premises liability attorney John J. Sheehan knows how to approach a premises liability lawsuit in order to ensure you receive the greatest amount of compensation possible. He will walk you through the legal process so you understand both your rights and obligations under the law, and assist you in making strategic decisions to ensure the best possible outcome.Contact his Boston office today toll free at 877-762-9510.