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Keeping Up With the Law

Contrary to popular belief, the law is constantly changing. So what does this mean for injury victims? Well, it means that when hiring a lawyer it is vital to the success of your case that you retain a lawyer who is knowledgeable and on top of local laws and any changes that occur.

Even the smallest change can greatly affect your case or the strategy upon which you and your lawyer rely.

For example, recently there was a major change regarding snow and ice and premises liability. In 2010, the court reversed a century-old law in Papadopoulos v. Target. Prior to this case, liability was based on whether there was a natural or unnatural accumulation of ice and snow.

If there was a natural accumulation of ice or snow, the property owner was not at fault. If, however, the accumulation was unnatural, the owner was to blame.

So what is the problem here? Case after case, it became difficult to determine what was a natural and what was an unnatural accumulation of snow. In Papadopoulos v. Target, the victim slipped on a patch of ice in the parking lot of a Target store.

Now in Massachusetts, property owners must maintain their property and keep it safe regardless of whether snow and ice accumulation is natural or unnatural. The plaintiff must still prove negligence. However, he or she need not worry about a counter defense claiming the perilous ice or snow was the fault of Mother Nature.

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