Massachusetts counties, cities, and towns have a duty to exercise reasonable care and diligence to keep their public roadways in “good repair and condition.” Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch. 84, Sec. 11A, 15. When snow and ice are involved, the Massachusetts legislature has chosen to protect its counties, cities and towns from personal injury claims, but only if roadways are kept “otherwise reasonably safe and convenient for travelers”. Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch. 84, Sec. 17.
A person who suffers injury from snow or ice on a roadway not “reasonably safe and convenient for travelers,” may be able to seek compensation. The law requires notice to the public entity responsible for repair and maintenance of the roadway within 30 days of the injury. Notice must include the injured person’s name and resident address, and the time, place and cause of injury. If the responsible entity is promptly notified and does not pay, the person may bring a legal action seeking compensation within three years from the date of injury.
Prompt notice is a legal requirement for recovery. If you have been injured on a snowy or icy public roadway in Massachusetts and would like to seek compensation, you should consult with a personal injury attorney right away to make sure that you protect your rights.