Recent snow storms across the nation have inhibited people in many ways. Here in Massachusetts and other states that are prone to snow, residents may have to deal with travel delays, school closures or even car accidents. One problem many may not have considered is injuries from slip-and-fall accidents that occur on someone's property. Whether the property is commercial or residential, it can still mean a world of trouble for the owner and a potential premises liability claim to contend with once the snow has long gone.
Most people recognize that winter weather means that driveways and walkways need to be shoveled. Many cities require property owners to remove snow within one day of it falling. Those who do not may face a fine for failing to uphold their responsibilities as property owners. Different areas have different laws, but one example is an ordinance that says all snow and ice must be cleared from the whole sidewalk so that anyone of any physical condition can use it.
Penalties and required timeframes are different, as well as the requirements themselves. Some areas don't require owners to remove the snow and ice, but strongly encourage them to do so. Others ask residents to avoid putting the snow onto any public roadways. Most residents and business owners are happy to comply because they don't want anyone to be subject to a slip-and-fall accident. Some owners understand the importance of snow removal, but may have difficulty adhering to laws and ordinances if they are not physically able to clear their walkways.
Anyone here in Massachusetts who suffers a slip-and-fall accident may have legal options of which they were not aware. Consulting with an attorney who focuses on premises liability cases may result in financial compensation that can cover medical bills, lost wages or other costs that can result from this kind of accident. It may be the best course of action to ensure as favorable an outcome as possible.