Uneven Pavement Accidents
Massachusetts Lawyer for Premises Liability Claims
If you are injured in a premises liability accident involving uneven pavement, you may be entitled to compensation from the person or entity responsible for maintaining the area where the accident took place. Uneven payment accidents are a common type of slip and fall injury, especially for persons suffering from limited mobility like the elderly. But even people with no mobility issues can suffer from the dangers of uneven pavement, including joggers, bicyclists, and children. An experienced Massachusetts premises liability attorney at our firm can assist you in exploring whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages following an accident of this nature.
Uneven Pavement Accidents in Massachusetts
If a person trips, stumbles, or slips on uneven payment while visiting someone else’s property, it is considered a premises liability accident. In a premises liability claim, the injured victim must prove that the property owner owed him or her a duty of care and failed to act according to that duty. Whether a property owner owes the plaintiff a duty of care depends on whether the plaintiff can show that he or she falls into one of the protected classes of property entrants.
The first category is invitees, which are persons invited to the property for a business purpose. This would include shoppers at a supermarket or other retail location, or patrons at a movie theater. The next category is licensees, which include family, friends, and any person who has permission from the landowner to be on the property. This would include friends coming to your house for a social gathering, for example. Massachusetts courts often refer to these two classes of persons as legal entrants.
A landowner in this case has a duty to make a reasonable and routine inspection for dangerous conditions on the property and to provide warnings about these dangers. This applies to dangers that the owner knew about or should have discovered through a reasonable inspection. This is contrasted with the duty that property owners have toward the next category of persons, which are trespassers. In general, landowners only have a duty to refrain from engaging in intentional or reckless harm when it comes to unauthorized persons entering the land. This means that if you tripped and fell on uneven payment while trespassing, you probably won’t have a claim for damages against the landowner. A knowledgeable premises liability attorney can help you seek to prove which class of entrant you claim to have been.
After showing that you belong to the invitee or licensee class of entrants, you must show that the uneven payment was the direct cause of the damages that you sustained. If the defendant can show that some other factor was the overwhelming cause of your injury, you won’t be permitted to recover compensation from him or her. This can include examples of your own negligence at the time of the accident, such as entering areas of a restaurant that are marked “employees only” or being intoxicated while traversing a parking lot containing uneven pavement.
Another issue that commonly arises in slip and fall cases is whether the danger was open and obvious. If the defendant can show that you knew or should have known about the uneven payment, such as showing that you walk the same route to work every day, then you may be prohibited from recovering. Examples of open and obvious dangers would include cutting across a vacant lot without streetlights in the evening or stepping outside of a crosswalk while jogging to cut across the street.
Speak with a Premises Liability Attorney in Massachusetts
Premises liability accidents can result in painful and debilitating injuries, including broken bones, severe bruising, and even traumatic brain injuries. A skilled slip and fall lawyer at our firm is prepared to help you assert your right to recovery from the person or entity who caused your injury. This includes gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and ensuring that your rights are protected. We are available to serve clients in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Lowell, Newton, Quincy, Dedham, Somerville, Norwood, Waltham, Brookline, and Peabody. To schedule your free consultation call us now at (800) 262-9200 or contact us online.