My Child Was Hurt at a Birthday Party. Can the Host Be Held Liable for His or Her Injuries & Medical Bills?

Your child is at the home of a classmate for a birthday party. During the party, you receive a phone call from the classmate’s parent- your son or daughter fell down some steps and cut their chin open and may need stitches. As you drive your upset child to the emergency room, you wonder- how did this happen? Where were the parents? What type of steps dida0b7bf6eb8febc2d57f7769bd6b44b66-300x260 your child fall on? Were they pushed by another kid? Was anyone supervising? What kind of medical treatment will be needed and how much will it cost? Will it be covered by my insurance plan? These are all valid questions and after an injury, they are all questions that you need answers to. The Providence personal injury law firm of Tapalian Law, can help you in getting answers to your questions after you, or your child, has suffered from a personal injury that incurred on the premises of another, whether it be a homeowner or business. This is known as premises liability.

Types of Premises Liability

Premises liability, a type of personal injury case, most commonly occurs as a slip & fall. A slip & fall may be due to an icy sidewalk, poor lighting, cracked sidewalk concrete, or improperly maintained steps, among other factors. Slip & falls most often occur in restaurants, grocery stores, department stores, sidewalks, driveways, and entry ways. It may be a spill left on the floor of a grocery store, or it could be a broken step leading to the entryway of a restaurant. Slip & falls, or trip & falls, can take place in a commercial setting, or a residential setting.

But premises liability doesn’t just mean a slip & fall. It may involve a dog bite, lead paint exposure, a swimming pool enclosure, and other circumstances such as substandard security at a concert or event. Children and the elderly are more likely to get hurt due to a slip & fall but that doesn’t mean it is more difficult to seek damages. Rhode Island law does not differentiate between age or even pre-existing conditions, so long as fault or negligence can be proved on the part of the residential or commercial property owner. An experienced RI personal injury lawyer like David Tapalian will consider the circumstances of your slip & fall personal injury case, and advise whether or not he thinks you have a valid lawsuit.

Premises Liability Law in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, to have a successful premises liability lawsuit, one must prove negligence. That means that the homeowner or business failed to apply a duty of care. Property owners owe all who come on their property a duty of care, and as such should maintain it in a reasonably safe manner. Duty of care says that a homeowner or business owner must exercise reasonable care for the safety of people reasonably expected to be on the premises. This includes an obligation to protect against risks of a dangerous condition, if the owner knows of, or should reasonably know of, the condition.  If the injuries were caused due to negligence to maintain the property, the injured has a right to seek damages. To be awarded damages in a premises liability lawsuit, it must be proven that the owner of the property breached this duty of care and did not take the precautions necessary to prevent the accident from happening. Those precautions may be repairing a broken step, or cleaning up a spill in a timely manner. However, if a person trespasses on a property and sustains an injury while trespassing, often the property owner will not be held liable, with the exception of a child. One may argue that a parent inviting children to their home need to be extra cautious about the condition of the premises before hosting a party or get together involving kids.

Alleged Negligence at Birthday Party Has Tragic Results

In 2016, an 11-year-old Somerset, Mass, girl died due to a tragic accident at a friend’s home. The young girl was at the home of the friend to attend a birthday party. While eating a marshmallow, she fell and the candy became lodged in her throat. She remained on the ground for an extended period before anyone found her and was found unconscious and unresponsive. Emergency personnel was called to provide medical treatment and she was transported to the hospital. Tragically, she eventually succumbed to her injuries. Her family filed a lawsuit for negligence accusing the hosts of failing to provide adequate supervision at their home and for providing choking hazards, like marshmallows, to the party guests.

Have You Been Hurt Due to Unsafe Conditions at a Residence or Business?

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a homeowner or business owner in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, you may have a valid premises liability case. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Tapalian Law to review the details of your accident. With over 15 years of experience with RI and Mass personal injury law, Attorney David Tapalian will personally assess the details of your incident to see if you have a valid slip & fall claim, or other premises liability claim, and how to move forward. There is no charge to speak with Attorney Tapalian and there is no fee unless we are successful in rewarding you damages. If you have been injured on residential or commercial property in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, fully document all details of the accident. Include exact location, time, and how the injury took place. Get witness statements, names, and contact information and take clear and complete pictures of the scene at the time of the accident. All information is helpful to assess your personal injury case. Don’t hesitate to contact the Providence personal injury lawyers at Tapalian Law today, at


, or online, for a free assessment.

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