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Accidents in Bad Weather

As a personal injury lawyer, I certainly encounter accidents relating to bad weather. These can take the nature of snow and ice, fall downs or auto accidents where the at-fault driver did not adjust for inclement conditions.

A fall down injury occurring because of snow and ice is often compensable. These usually serious injuries will result in a recovery if the condition causing them came about because of an “unnatural accumulation” of ice and snow. In contrast, a natural accumulation, the law states, is not something the landowner must remove or even treat.

The above is a confusing concept. The guiding principle is that bad weather is part and parcel of living in Massachusetts or New England. Consequently, the person suing need show that a defect was present on the property, such as a hole for example. That defect in combination with snow and ice will lead to the determination of an unnatural accumulation and, therefore, increase the chances of a liability finding/settlement.

As for automobile accidents in bad weather, your attorney should ask if the driver being sued acted appropriately in the bad weather conditions. A defendant may say that skidding was inevitable; I prefer to say that the driver failed to act reasonably given the prevailing weather conditions. This is after all what negligence is all about.

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