Massachusetts law charges property owners and business operators with maintaining a "reasonably safe" way of entering and exiting their premises. This means that it is up to the owner to ensure the area has adequate lighting in order to see any dangerous conditions, as well as give visible warning to any known hazardous conditions.
However, Massachusetts law also provides that property owners are not liable for injuries resulting from the "natural accumulation" of ice, snow or water on their premises. The ordinary buildup of ice on a building, uneven surfaces formed by pedestrians or vehicles, and even water tracked inside a building by visitors are all situations that are considered natural accumulations. However, recent changes in the law have helped plaintiffs pursue recoveries for their injuries.
If you have been injured, contact our Franklin slip-and-fall on ice attorneys at Wood & Gresham, P.C., in Massachusetts today.
It should be noted that if a property owner voluntarily assumes the duty to remove ice, snow or water, he or she does not automatically assume liability simply by adopting these safety measures. If he or she has decided to take action, such as regularly mopping an entryway known to be often wet, an owner's actions are held to the standard of ordinary care.
Claims For Injuries Resulting From Snow Or Ice
- In order to establish a claim for an injury from falling on snow or ice, the injured party (called the claimant) typically must first present information that supports the claim that the snow or ice accumulation was unnatural, and caused or exacerbated by the owner.
- The unnatural accumulation may be due in part to the negligent or dangerous design, or failure to properly maintain, of a building roof, sidewalk or walkway, or parking lot.
- In addition, evidence must be provided that shows how the owner knew or should have had knowledge about the risk to visitors and/or the dangerous condition itself.
- Finally, it is up to the claimant to provide proof that the property owner did not have a reasonable expectation that visitors to the property recognize and observe the danger.
It is important to note that any general information regarding rights and responsibilities relating to snow and ice should not be considered a substitute for individual legal advice from an attorney based on the facts of a particular case. It is clear that the courts in Massachusetts have struck a balance between protecting property and business owners from circumstances beyond their control, while also providing visitors and customers an opportunity to recover for their injuries.
Our unique experience means we can analyze your case quickly and identify key questions and factors. We can investigate your accident, counter insurers' claims and skillfully build your case for negotiations and settlement. If the insurance company fails to make a fair offer, we can bring our courtroom trial experience to your injury case.
Contact Our Attleboro Trip On Snow Injury Lawyers
Call 508-384-2008 to contact Wood & Gresham, P.C., in Wrentham, Massachusetts, to discuss your legal options if you or your family member has been injured or killed due to someone's negligence. We offer free consultations and can travel to meet you at your home. Let us use our unique experience to get the compensation you deserve. Our reputation often leads to favorable settlements for our clients.