Snow and Ice injuries
New England winters increase your risk of being involved in virtually every type of accident, including car accidents, premise liability accidents and fall accidents.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, our personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys fight for the rights of clients who have been injured in accidents involving winter weather. Typically, such injury accidents occur because of the negligence of another driver, or the failure of a business or property owner to ensure reasonably safe passage. Fall accidents can be particularly devastating, particularly for older adults.
Too often the public scoffs at fall accidents and the related lawsuits. But the truth of the matter is fall accidents are the leading cause of traumatic death involving those over the age of 65 and are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury, broken bones and ruined hip and knee joints.
Each year, one-third of older adults suffer a fall accident and nearly 20,000 will die as a result of their injuries. Another 600,000 are hospitalized.Winter Weather Accidents & Personal Injury Claims in Boston
Safe winter driving requires proper preparation, which means having your vehicle serviced, keeping an emergency kit in case you are stranded, and knowing how to handle various driving conditions, such as black ice or driving around snow plows. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation offers the following safe driving tips:
- Clear snow from your vehicle.
- Increase following distance and leave plenty of room for stopping.
- Keep up with current road and traffic conditions.
- Use brakes carefully.
- Understand bridges and highway ramps freeze first; beware of black ice.
- Avoid using cruise control.
- Beware of overconfidence in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
- Allow maintenance vehicles and plows at least 200 feet of clearance and don't pass on the right.
- Slow down.
- Be extra cautious around traffic.
The Massachusetts Code of Regulations requires a property owner to maintain a safe environment by clearing stairs, walkways, sidewalks and other areas of snow and ice. Icy and snowy sidewalks, parking lots and stairwells cause fall hazards. As do wet and slippery floors.
Proper snow removal, the proper application of ice-melters and properly cleaning up wet and slippery floors and loose rugs and mats will all help ensure safe passage for customers and invited guests.
However, these are complex cases. You may not be entitled to compensation under Massachusetts law if you are found to be "assuming the risk of injury." This means you proceeded despite obvious risk. The law does not automatically permit recovery for a fall victim. But thorough investigation can build a case that improper drainage or improper maintenance, including lack of snow removal efforts, substantially and unnecessarily increased the risk for a winter fall accident in Massachusetts.
If your or a loved one has suffered an accident due to winter weather in Massachusetts, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
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