Many buildings throughout Cape Cod have ramps that are designed to make it easier for people to enter or exit the property. While ramps are generally installed as an alternative to stairs to provide people with an easier way to access a property, in instances in which ramps are not properly designed or maintained, they may not only inhibit a safe entry but may also lead to harmful ramp accidents and injuries. If you suffered injuries in a fall on a dangerous ramp, you should speak to a lawyer regarding your rights. The dedicated Cape Cod premises liability attorneys of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III have ample experience pursuing damages from negligent property owners, and if we represent you, we will advocate tirelessly on your behalf to assist you in seeking a favorable outcome. Our lawyers have over fifteen decades of mutual experience helping injured people seek justice in the Massachusetts courts, and we have obtained several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlement for our clients.Massachusetts Laws Regarding Ramps
The Massachusetts building code (the Code) sets forth detailed requirements for how ramps should be constructed to make buildings easier to access for people with disabilities. Specifically, ramps should have the least possible slope and generally cannot have a slope that is steeper than 1:12. Additionally, the Code provides that the maximum permissible rise for a run on a ramp is 30 inches and that ramps must be a minimum of 48 inches wide. Ramps must also have firm, stable, and slip-resistant surfaces, and outdoor ramps must be designed in a manner so that water does not accumulate on their surfaces.Pursuing Claims for Compensation Following Ramp Accidents
While some buildings may be exempt from the ramp requirements imposed by the Code, the specifications are set forth to ensure that any ramp in or outside of a building is safe for both people with and without walking difficulties. Thus, if a property owner fails to abide by the Code provisions, it can render the ramp unsafe. For example, if water or ice is permitted to accumulate on a ramp or a ramp lacks nonslip surfaces, it may become slippery, causing people on the ramp to fall. Similarly, if a ramp is designed in an unsafe manner or lacks railings, people using the ramp may lose their balance and fall. A ramp that has fallen into disrepair may also be unsafe.
A person that suffers injuries due to an unsafe ramp may be able to recover compensation from the party that owned the property where the ramp is located. Under Massachusetts law, property owners generally owe a duty to people that lawfully enter the property, to use reasonable care under the circumstances. This has been interpreted to mean that a property owner must maintain premises in a reasonably safe condition and must reduce any foreseeable risks of harm. A party that fails to uphold these duties may be deemed negligent. In other words, to prove negligence, a plaintiff injured in a fall on a ramp must show that the defendant property owner owed the plaintiff a duty and that the defendant breached the duty by allowing the ramp to exist in a dangerous condition. The plaintiff must also prove that it was the defendant’s breach and not some other factor that led to the plaintiff’s harm. While the breach does not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s accident, it must be a significant contributing factor.Meet with a Skilled Attorney on Cape Cod
Ramps are generally installed to provide people with an easy and safe way to access buildings, but ramps in precarious conditions can lead to ramp accidents, causing a person to fall and potentially sustain significant injuries. If you were harmed on a ramp on another person’s property, it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer. The skilled Cape Code attorneys of The Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, are proficient at helping injured parties seek compensation for their losses and we can craft compelling arguments on your behalf. Our assertive representation has enabled us to maintain a record of successful results, which includes verdicts exceeding one million dollars. We assist people in premises liability cases on Cape Cod, and are available to meet for conferences in Plymouth and Hyannis. You can contact us to set up a conference at 888-262-6664 or via our online form. Nós Falamos Português.