I live in an apartment in the Boston Metrowest area. The basement is common laundry area shared with tenants from the other apartments. The light has been out for months, which the landlord was aware of but hasn’t fixed. A few days ago, I couldn’t see in the dark, and tripped and fell and broke my leg. The landlord says I was partly negligent because I was carrying my laundry at the time. Legally, in MA does this mean anything? I am planning on speaking with an attorney. Thank you in advance for any help.
The landlord seems to be stating that you are at least partly at fault for causing your fall and injury. In Massachusetts, this is legally known as comparative negligence. Comparative negligence (aka Contributory negligence) however, does not bar one from recovering in an action for negligence which results in injury, so long as the comparitive negligence was not greater than the total amount of negligence attributed to the person against whom recovery is sought. Therefore, as long as your landlord was found to be 50% or more at fault for your accident, then you would still be able to recover against him for your injury. If it were determined that you were partly at fault, then any recovery would be diminished by your percentage of the fault. In your case, it is likely that you would recover in a claim against your landlord since landlords are liable for defects for which he or she has notice and fails to repair in a reasonable time.
Our experienced Boston Metrowest Trip and Fall Lawyers handle premises liability injury and accident claims throughout the Boston Metrowest area including the communities of Braintree, Brighton, Brookline, Burlington, Cambridge, Dedham, Dorchester, Everett, Framingham, Mattapan, Medford, Melrose, Methuen, Milton, Quincy, Waltham, Weymouth, and Woburn.