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Premises liability and winter weather


Colder temperatures are moving in, and soon Massachusetts residents will see the first hint of the winter to come. While everyone knows that snow can make for treacherous driving conditions, it can also mean slippery walking surfaces and an increased risk of injuries from falls. If you or someone you know is injured after falling on an icy patch outside of a home or business, you may have legal options to pursue monetary compensation for medical expenses or other losses.

Under Massachusetts law, home and business owners have the responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure that their properties do not pose a hazard to others. If a person is injured in an accident that could have been prevented — a water leak creating ice on a walkway, for example — the individual may be able to recover damages from the responsible party. This could be an actual person or an entity such as the city.

While the law does allow for a victim to pursue compensation through the courts and seek to hold the negligent party responsible, these cases are not always clear cut. In many situations, business and other entities will have their own legal representation prepared to fight for their interests in court, and victims should do everything they can to be similarly prepared.

The time period immediately after an accident is critical, and victims should get in contact with someone who can help them understand their legal options as soon as possible after an injury occurs. Making contact with an attorney and going over the events leading up to the accident can help victims begin preparing for any legal proceedings.

Source: The 188th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Personal injury or property damage from defective ways” Nov. 11, 2014


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