Lynn Slip and Fall Accident on Ice-Covered Sidewalk – Who’s Liable?

As Fall comes to a close and winter begins, property owners in Lynn need to prepare for two of the cold season’s dangers: Snow and ice. Not only should owners of both residential and commercial properties have shovels and salt on hand, but they should also be aware that the failure to remove snow and ice in a timely manner could have civil penalties if the snow or ice leads to another’s injury. If you suffer a slip and fall accident on ice-covered sidewalk in Lynn this year, consider the following information about who is liable and how you can recover compensation–

A Property Owner’s Duty to Remove Snow & Ice

Per Massachusetts’ law, each city in the state is allowed to create its own ordinances regarding the removal of snow and ice. In Lynn, Section 1.00 of the city’s Snow Removal Ordinance states that:

  • All owners, managers, and tenants of commercial properties, mixed-use properties, residential buildings, or land abutting a sidewalk with more than six residential units must remove snow and ice within three hours of its accumulation, beginning at sunrise (i.e. overnight removal is not required).
  • All owners, landlords, or tenants of residential buildings, estates, or any land abutting a sidewalk with six or fewer residential units must remove snow and ice within 10 hours after sunrise.

The law further reads that snow and slush must be removed in a manner that clears a full path a minimum of 42 inches wide, and that snow must be removed from all curbs, crosswalks, and sidewalk locations. The section also applies to snow and ice that falls from a building, or ice that accumulates on the sidewalk.

What Happens if Snow and Ice Leads to a Slip and Fall?

Snow, and especially ice, can be dangerous to walk upon. Every winter, there are slip and fall accidents with serious consequences – ranging from head injuries to broken limbs – that would not have occurred but for ice/snow-covered sidewalks and walkways or other passages.

If you suffer a slip and fall accident on a Lynn sidewalk, and you can prove that the owner of the property abutting the sidewalk knew of the ice and snow, and did not act within the three or 10-hour requirement mandated by city ordinance, you may be able to bring a claim against the driver based on the theory of negligence per se. Unlike negligence alone, which is the failure to act with a reasonable degree of care, negligence per se is the breach of an ordinance or law.

You Have the Right to Recover Your Full Compensation Amount

If you believe that you have a negligence claim or a negligence per se case, you should meet with an experienced Lynn premises liability attorney as soon as possible. At the law offices of Deborah Gold-Alexander, Attorney at Law, we can help you to understand your right to damages, how to file a case, and how to prove negligence. To schedule your free case review, call Deborah Gold-Alexander today at 781-289-4235. She has over 30 years’ experience representing slip and fall victims in Massachusetts.