Lynnfield and surrounding communities in Massachusetts see plenty of snow throughout the winter months. Frozen precipitation brings with it a huge assortment of safety concerns. Just trying to drive to work can be far more dangerous than usual and may take much more time than it would in better weather.
Daily tasks, like taking the dog for a walk or grocery shopping, become fraught with extra danger because of the winter weather. Whether there is a thin layer of ice on everything or several inches of snow, you could easily get hurt walking down the sidewalk or crossing a parking lot.
Is the property owner to blame for you slipping and falling because of winter weather?
Proper maintenance would prevent many falls
A slip-and-fall can easily lead to major injuries for the person who loses their balance. Someone could break a bone or suffer a brain injury, and either situation might mean a combination of lost wages and medical expenses for the affected individual.
The risks that come with winter weather are well known, and individual property owners can drastically increase the risk of anyone passing by through inadequate maintenance. Although the rules that address sidewalk maintenance are municipal in Massachusetts, meaning that every village or city has its own rules, most of them place responsibility for clearing snow and ice off of sidewalks on the property owner.
In Lynnfield, for example, those who own property have an obligation to remove ice and snow that accumulates on adjacent sidewalks so that no one gets hurt unnecessarily. After all, sidewalks are crucial infrastructure for those without vehicles.
Homeowner’s insurance and business insurance can help
The good news for someone injured because of snow or ice on another party’s property is that there may be insurance coverage available. Most homeowner’s insurance policies include premises liability protection, and business insurance policies also typically include premises liability coverage.
While it can be difficult to negotiate with an insurance adjuster following a slip-and-fall, it is theoretically possible to obtain reimbursement for lost wages, medical expenses and property damage losses following a slip-and-fall in the winter. If someone failed to properly maintain the sidewalks adjacent to their home or business and then you got hurt, their insurance can help reduce your costs.
In some cases, you may even have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the other party. Understanding who may be at fault for your slip-and-fall injuries will make it easier for you to pursue compensation from the party that failed to properly maintain their property.