Depending on the specifics of the accident, a property or business owner could be held liable if you slip and fall on snow or ice in front of a private home or place of business. In Massachusetts, the courts look at these “ice” related slips & fall from a slightly different point of view than other premises liability claims.
Ice and snow in Boston, and all of Massachusetts, is a naturally occurring event. Still, If the ice was formed due to the diversion of water (for example, a downspout that sends water onto the sidewalk), the property owner could be held liable because they created the hazard.
More simply, for you to be eligible to claim compensation following a slip on ice, your fall must be linked to an act that the owner did or did not do. Also, you must have sustained more than minor injuries. Minor slips may result in strains, bruising, and whiplash injuries, whereas more severe falls, can cause fractures, broken bones, and even traumatic head injuries (TBI’s).
In the Boston winters, it’s essential for a business or homeowner to salt and shovel snow and ice from their walkways. Natural accumulations of snow and ice may not allow for direct liability of the home or business owner. Usually, some local ordinances may create these duties on property owners to shovel and treat icy conditions. So, your personal injury lawyer must be familiar with these city and county codes when preparing your case.
So, yes, you can sue if you fell on ice, but it’s a more complex case to prove fault and win. You must consult with your Boston or Framingham slip & fall lawyer so that they may analyze all the legal aspects of your case. By doing this, you will have a claim with the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need and rightfully deserve.
What Should I Do First If I’m Injured in a Slip & Fall On Ice?
Unattended ice and snow buildup, leaking water, dripping gutters, and more often cause you to have a slip and fall injury.
All slip and fall injuries are a leading cause of hospital emergency room visits. If you’ve been injured in an accident on someone else’s property, even if snow & ice are the reason, you must understand what you (or someone with you) must try to document.
There are a few essential things to consider:
- First, get immediate medical help – See that a doctor treats you as soon as possible so that they may determine just how seriously you are hurt, and obtain a proper professional diagnosis of what was inflicted upon you.
- Identify precisely what caused the incident – This is especially important if you slipped on ice. So, write down your thoughts (or have someone help you) as soon as possible. This information can aid your doctor in treating you and prove invaluable in court to determine why the ice was present and if it was another’s fault.
- Take photos and get the names of witnesses – This is mandatory, and note precisely why the ice was present. You must show the leaking gutter or downspout, unremoved ice near a doorway (after it should have been removed), etc. This is invaluable in helping you prove what occurred and determine fault.
In a slip & fall case involving ice, the more information (including photos, witnesses, etc.) you can document at the scene, the better it will be for you to be accurately medically treated. You must enlist the help of an experienced Boston slip & fall lawyer to get you the funds to recover and thrive.
Are More Older Adults Injured in Slip & Fall Cases On Ice?
The simple answer is yes, they are. Your older family members are especially vulnerable to slip-and-fall accidents. They’re more likely to have vision, strength, and balance issues, which increase their risk for slips and falls. Add a slick, icy surface to the equation, and the resulting accident can be severe.
It’s estimated that every 20 minutes, an older adult dies from some type of fall.
Current statistics also show that:
- More than one in four older adults falls annually, and many don’t inform their doctor.
- Over three million older adults are treated in emergency rooms yearly for injuries caused by winter accidents and other types of falls.
- Many of these victims are hospitalized because of fall injuries, most often because they have suffered a head injury or hip fracture.
- Most Massachusetts towns have the authority to create specific bylaws regarding snow and ice near buildings and sidewalks.
- Massachusetts cities and towns have the authority to require the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks or enforce penalties for violators.
Your experienced and knowledgeable Brockton of Framingham slip & fall lawyer will ensure that you know these rules and regulations and hold violators responsible.
Has Anything Changed Regarding Massachusetts “Ice” Slip & Fall Claims?
Not too long-ago Massachusetts laws prevented many snow and ice fall victims from filing lawsuits. This was because you had to show an “unnatural accumulation” of snow or ice before the property owner could be held liable.
This made “fault” exceedingly difficult to prove and denied slip and fall injury victims’ access to due compensation. However, the Massachusetts law has changed so that you only need to show that the property owner failed to reasonably clear the snow and ice that led to your injury.
Due to these new laws, the “at fault parties” can be sued according to specific circumstances of your case. As an example, if you are a tenant and you slip and fall on an adjacent walkway or steps located on the rental property, your landlord can be sued, as well as any third-party individuals or companies (snow plow companies, etc.) that the landlord pays to handle snow and ice removal.
I Slipped On Ice and Was Injured; How Should I Proceed?
If you had a slip and fall on snow or ice and sustained personal injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, even though specific Massachusetts laws have been altered, these slip & fall lawsuits are still challenging and complex to file. However, your injuries can be severe, and the bills for medical treatment, lost wages, and much more, start to mount up!
Consult with an experienced Boston personal injury lawyer today and obtain immediate legal help. They will stand ready to help you with your slip and fall accident claim and aggressively fight for the funds needed for you to recover and financially thrive.