The short answer is yes. Business owners in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire are expected to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition for their guests and others who are legally on the property. The exact terms of the obligation differ slightly from state to state. You can learn more about the specific premises liability laws in each state by clicking on your state below:
The general rule is that if the business fails to maintain the premises in a safe condition and someone is injured as a result of their negligence, the injured person will likely have a premises liability claim against the business.
Some examples of situations in which a resort owner/operator would likely be responsible for a slip and fall injury on the premises include:
- If resort management negligently cleared ice or snow from a walkway and somebody slipped and fell as a result
- If any indoor floor had been mopped or something had been spilled and resort management did not clean up or mark off the area in a timely manner and a guest slipped and fell as a result
- If a guest tripped on loose carpeting, an uneven floor surface, or some other hazard due to faulty design or poor maintenance
- When the fall resulted from an unsafe setup, such unrailed stairway next to a water slide that was slippery when wet
- When a guest trips because objects have been left in a pathway or a hallway, an outdoor walkway or stairwell is insufficiently lighted
These are just a few relatively common situations in which a resort or other business might be responsible if a guest or customer suffered a slip and fall injury. But, it’s important to understand that not every slip and fall or trip and fall that happens on resort property is the result of the property owner’s negligence. And that means the resort isn’t necessarily responsible for every fall that happens on their property.
Here are a few examples of situations in which the resort might not be liable for a slip and fall injury:
- A guest tripped walking up a safely constructed, well-maintained and well-lit staircase because they were looking down at their phone reading a message while climbing the stairs
- A seriously intoxicated guest tripped over their own feet and fell on a flat, dry stretch of sidewalk or flooring
There are also circumstances where responsibility is shared. In that case, the injured person may be able to successfully sue the resort but may receive less than full compensation. Imagine, for example, that a spill on the floor has been neglected and a guest steps unexpectedly on the wet spot and slips and falls. If resort staff reasonably should have been aware of the spill and had failed to clean up or post warning signs or take other precautions, they will likely be found negligent.
But, what if the guest was texting while walking, and would likely have seen the wet spot and been able to avoid it if they had been paying attention? In that situation, the guest may also be found to have been negligent. In this scenario, whether the guest is able to recover damages and how much they can recover will depend on how much blame is assigned to each. If the injured guest is less than 50% responsible, they’ll be eligible for compensation. But, that compensation will be reduced in proportion to their own fault.
What Type of Damages are Available in a Resort Slip and Fall Case?
In a successful premises liability suit, the property owner might be required to pay damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing or anticipated future medical expenses
- Income lost due to the injury
- Other costs necessary due to the injury, such as hiring help with daily tasks
- Pain and suffering
Of course, every case is different. The best source of information about the damages you may be entitled to after a slip and fall injury at a resort is an experienced premises liability lawyer.
Attorney Kevin P. Broderick has been helping injury victims in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for decades. He offers free consultations to ensure that you have the information you need to make good decisions about your claim. You can schedule yours right now by calling 978-459-3085 or filling out the contact form on this site.
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