Boston Premises Liability Lawyers

Finkelstein & Partners LLP – Boston Office
15 Court Square #800a,
Boston, MA 02108

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Finkelstein & Partners, LLP – Winning Serious Injury Lawsuits Since 1959

Boston is home to more than 250 high rises, including more than 30 that are over 400 feet tall. While this makes for a trademark skyline, it also means many staircases, one of the most common locations for slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability claim.

If you were injured on a residential, commercial, or public property in Boston due to a hazard that the owner or possessor of the property should have repaired, you can seek compensation for your injuries.

An experienced Boston premises liability attorney from Finkelstein & Partners can explain this process and also provide details about the services our firm can provide to help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation available in your case.

We have helped the injured throughout the Northeast states for more than 60 years; while these are only past results and no guarantee of outcome in every case, we have garnered for our clients:

  • A $2 million settlement from a school district on behalf of a seventh-grader who lost an eye during a school science exhibition because negligent school officials failed to mitigate a hazardous situation where students stood too close to the platform where the exhibition took place.
  • A $1.625 million settlement for a client who suffered injuries to his legs when he fell through a hole at the train station that the Port Authority knew about and failed to repair properly.
  • A $1.6 million jury verdict for a 12-year-old client who suffered serious injuries from a dog bite.

What Is Premises Liability?

finkelstein-and-partners_60th-anniversary_helping-the-injuredProperty owners and possessors must regularly inspect their property for hazards that could injure guests, promptly repair known hazards, and place prominent warning signs to inform guests of known but unrepaired hazards.

Not all injuries you receive due to a property hazard are the liability of the property owner or possessor. To prove a premises liability complaint, you must be able to show that you had entered the property as either an invited social guest or to do business with the owner or possessor.

Property owners cannot intentionally lure trespassers onto the property to cause injury. Otherwise, they do not owe trespassers a duty of care, unless the trespasser is a child who wandered onto the property, curious about a property feature such as a swimming pool, an abandoned appliance, or other attractive nuisance that could cause harm.

Additionally, if the property owner did not know and had no reason to know that the hazard existed, he or she likely cannot face liability for failing to mitigate it.

Types of Premises Liability Accidents in Boston

Many property hazards can injure guests. In Boston, premises liability accidents often involve slip and fall accidents caused by icy or wet walkways or staircases because of many multi-level buildings and inclement winter weather.

Here is an overview of some of the most common types of premises liability accents.

Slip and Fall/ Trip and Fall

Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability complaint. These accidents occur when a hazardous condition causes a visitor to slip and fall while on the property.

Slip and fall accidents account for around one million visits to hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. each year and are a major cause of injury, death, and disability for elderly adults.

Some of the property hazards that can cause this type of accident include:

  • Wet or icy walkways. Boston sees more than 50 inches of snow each year, which keeps property owners busy shoveling and salting walkways to protect visitors.
  • Loose or damaged flooring materials.
  • Clutter or debris on the floor.
  • Poorly lit stairwells.
  • Damaged or improperly constructed staircases, or missing handrails.
  • Electrical cords, cabinet doors, and other objects that extend into the walkway.
  • Cracked pavement in outdoor areas or potholes in parking lots.

Dog Bites

Dog owners are responsible for the damages caused when their dogs bite someone. As with most premises liability claims, the owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy generally covers this type of claim.

Dog owners are strictly liable in Massachusetts, meaning the victim does not have to prove negligence on the part of the dog owner. Liability exists even if the owner had no reason to believe that the dog was prone to aggressive behavior.

Negligent Security

Known criminal activity is another hazard that the property owner or possessor can face liability for.

The law requires property owners to prevent criminal activity from injuring their guests through:

  • The provision of security guards and security patrol on the premises.
  • Equipping apartments, rental homes, and hotel rooms with locking doors and windows and alarm systems.
  • Installing lighting and motion sensors to deter criminal behavior.
  • Failing to develop adequate policies and procedures for activities such as summer camps and public pools to prevent injury to attendees.

Elevator/Escalator Accidents

Most of the high-rise buildings in Boston have elevators or escalators for the convenience of the building’s occupants. While these devices help, failing to properly maintain them and address known hazards can cause injury to those who use the device.

Injuries involving elevators or escalators can occur in the following circumstances:

  • The elevator malfunctioned, causing it to surge upward or downward or to land hard.
  • The door of the elevator malfunctioned, causing it to close on a guest’s body.
  • The elevator experienced a power failure that resulted in individuals becoming trapped inside.
  • Malfunctioning escalators that reverse directions unexpectedly, causing riders to fall.
  • Elevator panels giving way, resulting in people falling off the sides of the apparatus.
  • Broken or missing elevator steps.

Swimming Pool Accidents

More than 3,500 people die each year in private residential, hotel, or public pools.

The notion of swimming pool accidents causes many people to think of accidents involving a small child wandering into the pool and drowning. In truth, this is a major cause of death and injury across multiple age groups.

Near-drowning can result in an anoxic brain injury, which is a serious condition caused by oxygen deprivation to the brain. It typically results in extreme and permanent deficits.

There are many other ways that a person can be injured in a swimming pool as well, including:

  • Circulation injuries, where drain suction traps someone. This accident can disembowel people.
  • Slip and fall accidents resulting from wet surfaces around the pool.
  • Diving board accidents.
  • Electrocution from the pool’s lighting or other electrical components.

Seeking Compensation After a Boston Premises Liability Accident

Boston Premises Liability AccidentIf a dangerous property feature on a public, residential, or commercial property injured you, you can seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

While many individuals feel tempted to file a lawsuit without an attorney, an experienced premises liability attorney can provide:

  • A free case evaluation, which allows you time to obtain answers to your legal questions and to receive guidance into the legal process of pursuing compensation in a premises liability matter.
  • A case value that is based on the expenses and impacts you have incurred due to your injury, as well as those you will likely incur in the future.
  • Determination of liability in your case and associated insurance policies that can be accessed to provide your compensation.
  • Skilled negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to obtain a fair settlement offer on your behalf.
  • The timely filing of your court-required paperwork. You must file most personal injury cases in Boston within three years of the accident. Claims against government agencies for injuries occurring on public property require a shorter time limit and process.
  • The collection and organization of evidence and witness testimony to prove your case in court.
  • In lieu of a fair settlement offer, litigation. Your attorney’s services during litigation include delivering opening and closing arguments, presenting evidence, and examining witnesses.
  • Collect your settlement or award.
  • A convenient contingent-pay scheme, which means you do not have to pay for the services of your attorney until there is a positive outcome in your case.

The Damages You Can Recover Through a Boston Premises Liability Claim

Massachusetts allows personal injury claimants to seek the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages after being injured because of a property owner’s careless or reckless actions.

In legal claims, “recovering damages” means you obtain compensation in payment for harm. Economic damages refer to compensation for the expenses of your injury, while non-economic damages refer to compensation that provides for the impacts your injury has had on your life.

Some expenses and impacts that are commonly found in damage claims after Boston premises liability accidents include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Wage loss
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

How to Prove Liability in a Premises Liability Claim in Boston

To prove that the property owner or possessor is liable for the expenses and impacts of the injury you incurred as a result of a premises hazard, you must show:

  • The property owner knew, or had reason to know, that a hazard existed.
  • Despite knowing the condition, the property owner failed to mitigate the risk to guests by repairing or replacing the hazardous feature.
  • The property owner’s failure led to an accident that caused your injury while you were legally on the property as a social or business guest, and resulted in expenses and impacts to your quality of life.

Defense attorneys and insurance providers use a few common defenses in premises liability claims. Your attorney should fully anticipate these defenses and will work to counter them on your behalf.

Common defenses include:

  • The property owner claims to have had no knowledge or reason to know that the hazard existed.
  • The hazard is open and obvious, meaning it could have easily been seen and avoided by the claimant.
  • The claimant was at fault for the injuries.
  • The defendant does not control the property.
  • There was no way for the defendant to foresee third-party conduct that would result in a negligent security complaint.

Boston Premises liability FAQ

Although head injuries are one of the more common premises liability accident injuries, the trauma that can result from these accidents is generally wide-ranging and can include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones, which often result from falls due to icy conditions that typically arise in Boston from December through March
  • Facial trauma and eye injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal organ damage and bleeding
  • Toxic chemical exposure illnesses
  • Electric shock
  • Chemical burns
  • Drownings

According to Massachusetts laws, property owners are responsible for keeping their premises reasonably safe for invited visitors and guests. If these owners do not maintain their property and another individual is harmed on it, these victims can hold the property owner responsible for their sustained injuries and losses. However, the scope of the property owner’s legal duty will often depend on why a person is on their property.

Take, for instance, the following scenarios:

An Invitee

People invited to a property to do business, such as store customers, are classified as invitees under the state’s laws. These individuals deserve the highest duty of care, and property owners must regularly inspect their premises to eliminate hazards or dangers. If these hazards or dangers are present, the property owners must correct them or warn the visitors of them.

You are typically an invitee in Boston if you are:

  • Eating at a restaurant, such as Dakzen or No.9 Park
  • Shopping in a Boston grocery store such as Roche Bros. Downtown Crossing
  • Attending a meeting in a Boston office building


Licensees refer to those invited to another person’s property for a casual visit, such as family, friends, and acquaintances. In these situations, property owners must warn these individuals about any known dangers or correct any hazards they know about or reasonably should know about. However, there is no requirement for these property owners to perform regular property inspections.


Trespassers are those who enter another person’s property without permission. Owners owe these individuals the lowest duty of care, which means that most property owners are not responsible when a trespasser is hurt on their property and do not have to take steps to keep these trespassers safe. Rather, the only way to hold these owners at fault for a trespasser’s injuries is if the property owner created traps or intentionally harmed the trespasser.

However, there is an exception to this trespasser rule when it comes to children. For instance, if a child wandered onto the property because of an “attractive nuisance” and was injured on the property, the property owner owes compensation for their injuries. Boston property owners need to take steps to prevent injuries to young kids attracted to something on their property, such as a swimming pool.

As you can see, determining if you can bring legal action against a property owner following a Boston premises liability accident is often not as straightforward as you may assume. For these reasons, if a Boston premises liability accident harmed you, the best way to figure out the duty owed to you and whether you can pursue legal action is to speak with an experienced Boston premises liability accident lawyer as soon as possible.

After a Boston premises liability accident, you may pursue legal action against several parties.

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, these parties can include:

  • Business owners
  • Property owners
  • Homeowners
  • A property management company
  • Stores
  • Malls
  • Restaurants
  • Parent companies

However, if you are having a hard time figuring out who was responsible for your Boston premises liability accident, do not worry. If you retain an experienced Boston premises liability accident lawyer to take on your case, you will not have to figure out this fault on your own. Instead, these attorneys can investigate your accident, figure out what happened, and hold all the parties responsible for the accident accountable for the harm you endured.

If you suffered injuries in a Boston premises liability accident, you have limited time to file your legal case. This is called the statute of limitations, and it sets the maximum time for individuals to file a legal claim following an accident.

In Massachusetts, the statute of limitations to file an injury claim following a Boston premises liability accident is three years from the date of the accident. This means that if individuals do not file their legal case by that deadline, they will lose their ability to recover the compensation they otherwise deserve.

For these reasons, following a Boston premises liability accident, reach out to an experienced premises liability accident lawyer who can determine not only how much time you have to file your case but who can also prepare everything correctly and file it with the appropriate court before time expires.

Unfortunately, because each premises liability case is unique, an attorney cannot tell you the exact worth of your case.

Rather, our experienced lawyers can review your accident and analyze all the relevant factors that can influence the value of your legal claim, such as:

  • The extent of the injuries you sustained
  • The type of medical treatments you require now and will need in the future
  • The lost wages and income you endured because of your injuries
  • The level of physical pain and mental anguish you suffered
  • The defendant’s culpability
  • The credibility of the evidence presented
  • The long-term impact of your injuries following the accident on the quality of your life

That is why working with a knowledgeable premises liability attorney is often the best way to get an idea of how much your case is worth and what legal options you should pursue to secure maximum damages.

Premises liability accidents are not only physically and emotionally burdensome, but they can also create a significant financial burden. That is why, although taking action is probably the last thing you want to do, your actions can protect your safety and legal rights.

For these reasons, following a Boston premises liability accident, you should consider doing the following:

Get Immediate Medical Help

If your injuries are severe following your premises liability accident, you should call 911 immediately. This is the quickest way to get emergency medical crews and the local police to the scene.

However, even if you do not require emergency medical treatment, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible following the accident. Serious injuries such as brain trauma may not show symptoms for days after the accident. Yet, the longer you wait to get this condition checked out, the more debilitating and deadly it can become. As a result, it is best to get to a physician promptly after your accident.

Besides, if you decide to delay these medical treatments, it can impact your legal case. Following an accident, the insurance company will try to do everything it can to deny your case. By not getting prompt medical treatment, these insurance companies may argue that your injuries are not that serious or resulted from a pre-existing injury.

When you get to a doctor after your accident, these medical professionals can provide you with a medical report, which can serve as evidence of a direct connection between the harm you endured and your Boston premises liability accident.

File a Report of the Accident

After a Boston premises liability accident, you will want to notify the property owner of the accident. You may need to fill out an accident report detailing what happened and the extent of your injuries following the accident. However, because these reports often play a significant role in a premises liability claim if a dispute arises, include as many details as possible about the accident in the report.

Yet, make sure you do not assign blame for the accident or accidentally take responsibility for what happened. These types of statements can impact your case and the amount of money you can receive.

Gather Evidence

If possible, you should try to gather as much documentation and evidence from the accident as you can. This evidence should include photos of the dangerous condition that caused your accident, your visible injuries, and any other evidence that can help demonstrate what happened.

Hold onto all the bills related to your premises liability accident. This type of evidence can help your lawyer figure out the extent of your damages and how much compensation they should pursue on your behalf.

Talk to People at the Scene

If there were individuals at the scene who saw what happened, make sure to get their names and contact information. These individuals can often provide you and your lawyer with further details regarding the accident and help validate your claim.

Even though property and landowners owe an obligation to visitors to keep their property safe, not all of these property owners meet this duty. As a result, numerous lives are flipped upside down because of devastating injuries and extensive damages that result from hazardous conditions on the person’s premises.

Fortunately, when you work with an experienced Boston premises liability accident lawyer, you will not have to deal with all these horrifying consequences on your own.

Instead, these lawyers can provide you the legal assistance you need and:

  • Obtain the necessary evidence to prove liability and damages, including eyewitness testimony, accident reports, and surveillance footage.
  • Look into the property owner’s insurance policy to verify that you receive the full compensation for your sustained harm.
  • Hire trusted experts, including medical professionals, financial specialists, and accident reconstructionists, to validate your claim and calculate your total expected losses.
  • Prepare to take your case to trial if the other side is unwilling to negotiate a fair settlement offer and fight for maximum damages.

If a Boston premises liability accident injured you or a family member, do not wait to seek the legal help you need.

Hurt in a Boston Premises Liability Accident? We Can Help You.

Andrew Finkelstein
Premises Liability Lawyer, Andrew Finkelstein

Boston premises liability accidents can often result in the most serious types of injuries one can experience, including spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and other damage that can change the course of the person’s entire life.

We are dedicated to providing our clients with superior service and compassion while also aggressively fighting for their right to recover compensation for their injuries. Let one of our experienced Boston premises liability lawyers answer the questions you have about your case, and help you prepare your claim against the property owner or possessor who failed to protect you from harm.

For your free case evaluation, contact Finkelstein & Partners by calling (877) 472-3061 or fill out our online contact form.