During winter months in Massachusetts, the chances of suffering a serious injury from routine activities such as walking or running can increase significantly due to slippery surfaces caused by snow and ice. If you or loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall accident on snow or ice, you should contact a reputable Massachusetts personal injury attorney immediately. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., we understand the nuances of this area of law and can apply our insights and experience to your case.
Slip and Fall Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that unintentional falls account for approximately 19,565 deaths annually in the US. About 20 to 30 percent of individuals who undergo a slip and fall suffer moderate to serious injuries including bruises, hip fractures and/or head injuries. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures tend to significantly increase the risk of slip and fall injuries. Black ice is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of winter because it is virtually impossible to see to those walking on it. As such, the accident rate on black ice can be up to five times higher than on dry surfaces.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
Under the old rule in Massachusetts, a property owner could not be held liable for injuries on their property arising from a natural accumulation of snow and ice. The previous law did not consider the natural accumulation of snow and ice as an actionable property defect. Thus, old cases hinged on whether the accumulation of snow or ice was “natural” or not.
In 2010, however, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed the old rule. In the case of Papadopoulos v. Target Corporation, a man fell on ice in a parking lot outside of Target. He sued Target as well as the landscaping company responsible for snow and ice removal. The Supreme Court abolished the long-standing distinction between “natural” and “unnatural” snow accumulation, explaining that property owners will be held to the same duty of care to act in a reasonable manner regardless of how the snow and ice accumulated. Specifically, the court acknowledged the inconsistency of holding a property owner accountable to keep his or her property in reasonably safe condition in all situations except when snow or ice has naturally accumulated.
Trusted Massachusetts Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you need to reach out to a seasoned Massachusetts slip-and-fall accident attorney who can help. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., we will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. These cases can be incredibly complex but having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. We are here to answer your questions and address any worries you may have every step of the way. To speak to us in more detail about your case, please feel free to call us today at 1-800-262-9200 or contact us online.
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