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Property owners liable for serious injuries caused to visitors

Massachusetts residents have every right to expect that the shopping malls, offices and recreational properties they visit are safe. Few people would knowingly visit someplace with hidden hazards that could injure or kill them or family members. Unfortunately, negligence by some property owners leads to exactly that. A property owner can fail to remove water or ice from floors or sidewalks or fail to fix broken handrails that can cause serious injuries.The issue is now front and center following a recent accident in Boston in which a 22-year-old New Jersey woman was severely injured when she fell down an elevator shaft at Fenway Park. The elevator involved was not inspected in 2013, according to some reports. One state senator says state inspection regulations have become weaker, with one in every four elevators not inspected on schedule. The woman’s condition is critical and her prognosis has been described as “uncertain.” The senator recalled another premises liability incident in 2011 which a three-year-old died in an escalator accident. The family filed a lawsuit and claimed the escalator was defective. A settlement was reached in the matter. Still, many people who are injured in public parks, grocery stores or friends’ houses believe their accidents were their own fault and do not pursue liability claims.Any accident that causes injury is serious and may require medical attention. The person may need long term medical treatment and may also incur financial instability due to wage losses and medical expenses. Any person who is injured on the premises of another, whether residential or commercial, is legally allowed to pursue a premises liability case if the facts warrant charges of liability. Source: CBS Boston, “I-Team: Elevator Inspections Still Lag In Mass.,” Joe Shortsleeve, May 20, 2014

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