Snow and Ice Accidents
Countless individuals suffer severe injuries resulting from slip-and-fall accidents on snow and ice. Recent changes in Massachusetts law have increased the responsibility for those whose negligent conduct causes these accidents. Property owners are the most common group who are held responsible for removing snow and ice for keeping their property reasonably safe during the winter.
Mitcheson & Lee LLP understands the complexity of snow and ice cases and have the experience and expertise necessary to better assist victims of such accidents. You have a protected right to travel with the reasonable expectation that the sidewalk or parking lot where you are walking is fit for that exact purpose. Thus, the sudden or unexpected fall that may result from walking on un-shoveled snow or untreated ice may lead to severe injuries.
The property owner of the premises on which you fell must use reasonable care to prevent dangerous walking conditions caused by snow and ice. Even if a third party moved the snow, the property owner may still be liable for the injuries you sustain from falling. The person held liable in snow and ice cases may be the property owner or homeowner, a private company, or a property manager.
After any kind of accident, it is important to receive appropriate medical care. Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents on snow and ice can be unexpectedly severe and may consist of fractures, spinal cord injuries, or brain injuries. These injuries may not be noticeable right away so it is imperative to consult a medical professional soon after your accident.
If possible, it is beneficial to take photographs of the place where you fell as soon after the fall as possible. If you are unable to do so, it is beneficial to ask a family member or friend to visit the premises where you fell to gather similar photographic evidence. Photographs are often the deciding factors in proving a slip-and-fall case.
A final and equally important step is to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer soon after the accident to discuss your options for pursuing your case.
Massachusetts common law now holds property owners liable for injuries which result from their failure to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. Prior to the change in Massachusetts law in 2010, property owners were only liable for snow and ice accumulation in areas such as gutters, sidewalks, and walkways. Therefore, a property owner now has a legal duty to keep their property reasonably safe for their tenants and any person who makes use of their property. What defines “reasonable” care is decided by a jury, but a property owner is generally expected to remove or treat snow and ice as it falls or accumulates and after the fact.
To best protect your rights, it is important to contact a personal injury lawyer who is experienced in dealing with snow and ice accidents in Massachusetts. The lawyers at Mitcheson & Lee LLP have extensive experience working with victims of snow and ice accidents. To schedule a complimentary consultation, contact Mitcheson & Lee LLP at 617-933-3880.