Suing for a Slip-and-Fall on Ice and Snow
Living in New England, you have to learn how to live with the snow, ice, and sleet that come with the change of seasons. This goes for businesses in particular, who wouldn’t be able to thrive if they had to shut down every time we got a foot of snow.
With this in mind, these businesses, areas open to the public, and even your friends and family have an obligation to clear their walkways of snow and ice to protect their welcomed guests from injury. Continue reading to learn how it’s possible to obtain the compensation you need to recover after a winter accident by suing for a slip-and-fall on ice and snow.
Who Will Pay for Your Losses
In nearly every premises liability accident, such as your slip-and-fall, you will need to file a claim against the owner of the property where you fell in order to be repaid for your losses.
For example, if you fell on an icy walkway heading into the grocery store, the owner of the grocery store could be held accountable, or even the general manager of the property, as they were likely responsible for snow and ice removal.
Times you should expect to be barred from seeking compensation for a slip-and-fall due to inclement weather include if you were trespassing on someone else’s property when you fell, if you were committing a crime, or if the state’s open and obvious doctrine applies to your case.
Massachusetts’ Open and Obvious Rule
The open and obvious rule is often used as a defensive strategy in premises liability claims. Essentially, if the defense can establish that a hazard was out in the open and would have been obvious to most other individuals, then the property owner may be able to avoid being found liable.
For instance, if you slipped on black ice, there is no reasonable reason to believe that you could have been aware of the slippery spot, whereas if you tripped over a pile of snow because you weren’t looking where you were going, then it’s possible the property owner can avoid compensating you.
Work with a Boston Premises Liability Attorney
The injury caused by a fall can be far more damaging than you may have expected. If you’d like to schedule a free consultation with a Boston slip-and-fall accident lawyer at Joel H. Schwartz, PC after you’ve slipped on ice or snow, you can do so by filling out the brief contact form we have included at the bottom of this page or by giving our firm a call at 1-800-660-2270.