Slip and fall accidents are common when weather conditions are wet and icy. As a Massachusetts resident, there are a few things to consider if you’re contemplating filing a personal injury claim after a slip and fall on snow or ice in a public place.
When it comes to maintaining the safety of public areas, such as parking lots or sidewalks, the property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care. This is a legal duty, and failure to do so can result in negligence. The periodic inspection of the property and the removal or remediation of snow and ice within a reasonable time is the duty of property owners to reduce the risk of falls and injuries.
However, while the duty to maintain the safety of property is the responsibility of the property owner, members of the public also have a duty to exercise reasonable care when walking in an area they know will be wet or icy. The commonwealth of Massachusetts no longer practices the “natural accumulation” rule, which relieved a property owner of liability in connection with the natural accumulation of snow and ice. Currently, landlords and property owners are held to a higher standard.
But Massachusetts residents should be aware that numerous laws regarding snow and ice removal and liability, can add complications to personal injury claims. For instance, injury claims due to negligent conditions are allowed by law. However, there is no standard for what qualifies as a reasonable time to complete a cleanup.
Talk to one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to learn more about the property rules where you live, and how they might affect your case.