Icy sidewalks in Massachusetts cause injuries

Massachusetts law holds property owners liable for maintaining their buildings. Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe and injury-free environment. To ensure this, homeowners, homeowner associations and businesses are responsible for clearing ice and snow from their sidewalks.

The Inspectional Services Department oversees Boston’s snow-removal rules. According to the commissioner of the department, residents are responsible for their property. If each person helps to clear the snow, it will help prevent accidents. He cautioned residents not to push the ice or snow onto the streets, as it is illegal.

Property owners are also required to clear the area close to the sidewalk, which is at least 42 inches wide. They are required to clear ice and snow within three hours of the ending of a snowstorm. If the storm ends at night, property owners must clear the path within three hours of sunrise. The Inspectional Services Department said that it had received over 600 complaints in connection with icy sidewalks and almost 350 complaints for inadequately cleared sidewalks.

Officials also noted that icy sidewalks may pose a lot of danger to pedestrians. If a person slips on an icy sidewalk, the person may sustain serious injuries. Such accidents may also prove fatal for the victim.

A person injured in a slip-and-fall accident may need medical care and rehabilitation. The person may also undergo pain and suffering due to the fall. The injured person may file a claim against the property owners for compensation, as the liability of maintaining the property, and hence for the accident, rests on the owners. An injured fall victim may claim compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering. Knowledge of the applicable laws and the assistance of a legal professional may help accident victims pursue a successful claim for damages.

Source: Boston.com, “Boston issues 6,900 parking tickets, tows 650 cars, hands out at least $25,650 in snow removal fines,” Matt Rocheleau, Feb. 12, 2013