Boston Snow and Ice Accident Lawyers
Experienced advocacy when you’re injured due to snow and ice in Massachusetts
New England is no stranger to inclement weather. Our winters can be tough – snowy and icy conditions throughout the state can make traveling difficult for everyone, pedestrians included. When property owners fail to take responsibility for clearing ice and snow and someone gets hurt, owners should and must be held accountable.
Breakstone, White & Gluck has extensive experience representing individuals who have suffered personal injury involving dangerous snow and ice conditions in and around Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Our attorneys understand the complexities of snow and ice cases, and we have the experience, expertise, and resources to help our clients after they have suffered serious injuries. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.
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Common questions from injury clients
- Does Massachusetts have laws about snow and ice removal?
- What are common injuries from Boston snow and ice accidents?
- What should I do if I’m injured in a Boston snow and ice accident?
- Who is liable for my Boston snow and ice accident injuries?
- What is the value of my snow and ice accident claim?
- Do you have a snow and ice accident attorney near me?
Does Massachusetts have laws about snow and ice removal?
Yes, and they are more stringent today than they used to be.
In 2010, a Supreme Judicial Court decision in the case of Papadopolous vs. Target Corp., abolished the distinction between “natural” and “unnatural” snow and ice accumulations in premises liability actions. The court ruled that Massachusetts property owners owe a duty to lawful visitors to use reasonable care to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition in view of all circumstances. This is true regardless of how snow and ice accumulates.
This was an important decision, because prior to this ruling, property owners were only liable for injuries sustained on what was known as an “unnatural accumulation” of snow or ice. Examples included gutters leaking onto sidewalks, and snow piled across walkway. Today, Massachusetts property owners have to use the same standard of reasonable care in treating snow and ice as they do other hazards on a property.
What is “reasonable care” is a question of fact for a jury to decide. However, if someone is injured and brings forward a claim, the property owner must demonstrate that they used reasonable care in removing snow and ice both as it falls and well after a snowstorm. This means that here in Boston and throughout the rest of the state, a property owner may have to monitor and treat snow and ice conditions for days and weeks after a snowfall, as the snow melts and refreezes.
In addition to the “common law” standards above, many municipalities have regulations that require property owners to promptly remove or treat snow and ice after it accumulates.
What are common injuries from Boston snow and ice accidents?
The majority of snow and ice injuries occur from slip and falls, and include:
- Ankle and wrist sprains or breaks
- Concussions and head injuries
- Broken hips
- Compound fractures
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Knee injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe bruising or hematomas
Our premises liability attorneys can work with your physicians to determine the full scope of your injuries to ensure you secure the proper compensation to which you’re entitled.
Vehicle accidents caused by snow and ice
Driving in winter weather can be dangerous, even when you have taken every protective measure you can and the roads have been cleared. There is a risk of another driver skidding out and hitting you, and multi-vehicle accidents are common in bad weather. A car accident caused by snow or ice can lead to serious injuries. Those injuries can be compounded if emergency services, like ambulances, cannot reach you to get you to medical care.
Another inherent risk of driving involves sharing the road with snow plows. It takes special training to drive a plow, and commercial drivers owe you a duty of care. If they are fatigued from working through the night, using some kind of substance to keep themselves awake, or are distracted or otherwise negligent, you can be seriously injured. If the driver is not licensed and has simply attached a plow to the front of a truck (usually in the hopes of making a few dollars), the risk of harm increases. If you were driving, walking, riding a bicycle, or engaged in any activity and were injured by a snow plow operator, call our Boston attorneys today.
What should I do if I’m injured in a Boston snow and ice accident?
Always make seeking appropriate medical treatment a priority after any type of accident. Injuries on snow and ice can be severe, including sprains, fractures, back injuries and traumatic brain injuries. The sooner you receive a medical evaluation, the sooner you can start receiving treatment for your injuries.
It is vital that you act immediately to protect your legal rights. Promptly contact a personal injury lawyer experienced in snow and ice accident cases. Under Massachusetts law, the property owner must be notified in writing of the accident within 30 days. If timely notice is not sent, your right to bring a claim may be affected.
If you are able, take photographs of the place where you fell as soon as you can after the accident, before the snow and icy conditions change. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information.
Who is liable for my snow and ice accident injuries in Massachusetts?
A property owner, or the person controlling the property, has a responsibility to use reasonable care to prevent unsafe walking conditions due to snow and ice. If reasonable care is not taken, the property owner may be liable for injuries sustained in both natural and unnatural snow accumulations. They may also be liable if a third party moved the snow and the property owner should have been aware of it.
A property owner may be a homeowner, a private company, or a municipality. In certain situations, the property owner may have assigned another party responsibility for snow and ice removal. This party may be a property management company or a snow plowing company which neglected its responsibility. If the management company of the plowing company did a poor job of treating or removing the hazard, the owner of the property may still be held liable for failing to properly maintain the property.
What is the value of my snow and ice accident claim?
When you’re injured due to another’s negligence, then the party, or parties, found liable for your accident must compensate you for your losses. Our Boston lawyers demand the following damages:
- Medical expenses, current and future
- Lost wages and loss of future earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
If your injury causes you permanent disability, we will work with health care and life planning experts to ensure every expense is accounted for. These types of expenses can vary, depending on the nature of your injury, age, and medical needs. Rest assured our Boston attorneys will take every detail of your injury and lifestyle into account – our job is to make things right after you suffer a life-changing accident. Contact us as soon as possible to get started; you generally only have three years to make a claim.
Do you have a snow and ice accident attorney near me?
Breakstone, White & Gluck has an office in Boston at 2 Center Plaza #530 in Government Center, within walking distance of the John Adams Courthouse and Suffolk County Superior Court. There’s a parking garage in the building. The MBTA Green Line and Blue Line are right across the street at the Government Center T station. There’s also a bus stop almost right in front of our office. If you are unable to travel because of your injuries, we’re happy to arrange a phone or video conference, or a hospital visit.
Boston snow and ice accident lawyers holding the right people responsible in Massachusetts
Protect yourself after a fall in snow and ice – consult the attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck for a free legal consultation. With over ten decades of combined experience, our Boston lawyers know how to handle personal injury and premises liability cases. We represent clients who have been injured by the negligence of residential property owners and commercial property owners. We are experienced at pursuing these cases with insurance companies and we’re not afraid to go to trial to secure the compensation our clients deserve. To find out how we can help you with your claim, call our offices or use our contact form to set up a free consultation today.