As the snow falls during wintertime, so do people. From frozen sidewalks and stairs to obstructed walkways from snowfall, slip and fall injuries typically see a noticeable spike during the later months of the year. But who is liable for these injuries, and what options do injured parties have to seek compensation?
Do Property Owners Owe a Duty of Care?
Since Massachusetts experiences particularly harsh winters and snow is expected, property owners have a responsibility to clear walkways of snow and ice, including some public sidewalks near their property, in order to keep pedestrians safe. Under MGL c. 84, § 15, counties, cities, towns, and individual property owners who fail to fulfill this responsibility may be held liable for any injury or damage which may occur on their property.
Injured parties may pursue compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Property damage
With that being said, pedestrians also owe a duty to exercise reasonable care when traveling across an obviously snowy or icy surface. If a person slips while acting in a negligent manner, such as while running down a flight of snowy stairs, their ability to recover damages may be limited or even completely barred depending on the specifics.
How Long Do Injured Parties Have to File a Claim?
Massachusetts law gives injured parties three years from the date of their injury to file a claim against the at-fault party. This is known as a “statute of limitations,” or a legal deadline which specifies the amount of time in which a person is allowed to take pursue compensation. If this time limit expires, however, the courts may refuse to hear a claimant’s case.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall, contact the Law Office of Robert W. Kovacs today. Having represented hundreds of clients in the Worcester area, our team of powerful personal injury attorneys can provide the strong advocacy you need to maximize your potential compensation.
Call (508) 926-8833 or contact our office today to get started towards filing a claim.