At this particular time of year, the weather experienced here in Quincy can bring with it certain safety hazards. Home and property owners are required to be cognizant of the threats that the aftereffects of rain and snow can produce on their premises. However, in many cases, if one does not expect to do much walking around his or her property or to receive visitors, the temptation may be there to simply ignore cleaning up after a storm or prolonged period of bad weather. However, the need to keep sidewalks, steps, and walkways clear is as much to accommodate unexpected visitors as anything.
Quincy residents who slip, fall, or suffer any form of an injury-sustaining accident on another person’s property likely know that if they believe negligence contributed to their plight, they may choose to bring a civil action against the property owner. However, such accidents do not always happen on private property. What if one injures him or herself on public or government land? Given that either the federal or state government is the property owner, can one still sue for compensation?
Some of the saddest cases that we have dealt with here at Giarrusso Norton Cooley and McGlone, P.C. are accidents involving children. If your child has been seriously injured or killed on another’s property or while in another’s care, you may wonder what sort of legal recourse you have to help compensate for your family’s suffering. In cases involving accidents on other people’s property, many often assume that if your child did not have permission to be near the hazard that ultimately caused his or her injuries, then the property owner is not responsible. However, that is not always the case.
Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 700,000 people are hospitalized across the country because they were injured in a fall. Now that autumn is here and winter is approaching, slip-and-fall conditions will start to become hazardous for Massachusetts residents.
Breaking down a premises liability case in Massachusetts usually involves identifying how the injured party ended up on the property. If the plaintiff is trespassing, the state gives very little legal protection. However, if the person had been legally on the property, there could be grounds for a lawsuit as long as there is some type of hazardous defect involved.
Massachusetts natives may not be familiar with the legal phrase 'res ipsa loquitur," which is Latin for 'the thing speaks for itself." The term refers to the plaintiff's right to provide a rebuttal to a defendant by using circumstantial evidence to refute the presumption of negligence. In other words, the burden of proof is placed on the defendant through res ipsa loquitur to prove they were not acting in a negligent manner. When an accident occurs that causes injury, negligence must be proven in order for a person to be held legally liable. Proof can be provided with either direct evidence or circumstantial evidence.
The term 'slip-and-fall" is often used to describe a common type of personal injury case in which a person has been injured after slipping or tripping on another person's property. Slip-and-fall accidents can occur indoors or outdoors, and they can happen on commercial property, residential property or government property.
Most civil lawsuits filed in Massachusetts hinge on establishing that injury, loss or damage was caused by negligence. The law approaches this issue from the perspective of reasonable behavior. An individual may be considered to have acted negligently if they did not behave in a manner that a reasonable person would have.
Massachusetts has established clear guidelines that pertain to when an owner of property will be held legally responsible for lead poisoning of another individual, especially children. The legislature hopes to make property owners more careful in using lead paint and other products that pose a hazard to these children by imposing strict regulations.
Many readers in Massachusetts have likely enjoyed the attractions at Six Flags New England and emerged from the park unharmed. Four individuals at the amusement park giant's Magic Mountain in California were somewhat less fortunate on July 7 when the Ninja, a suspended roller coaster with a top speed of 55 mph, struck a fallen pine tree, derailing the front car in which they were riding and causing them to suffer minor injuries.