While commercial snow removal is not a requirement in Massachusetts, property owners are legally obligated to clear sidewalks and driveways. This is called “natural accumulations,” and Massachusetts law protects property owners by requiring them to clear these areas during a storm. Depending on the type of snow storm, homeowners must also clear walkways and sidewalks adjacent to their property. It’s crucial to know Massachusetts snow removal laws in order to avoid tickets and lawsuits.
Property owners have a legal obligation to remove snow and ice from sidewalks
A legal obligation imposes a responsibility on landowners to remove ice and snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property. This responsibility protects pedestrians by preventing dangerous conditions and preventing property damage. Landowners are also responsible for maintaining sidewalks around bus stops and fire hydrants. Depending on the type of property, they have different timelines for removing snow and ice from their sidewalks.
Under the law, property owners have a legal duty to clear sidewalks of snow and ice at least five feet wide. The accumulated snow can result from a variety of causes, including traffic, snow plows, and precipitation. If sidewalks are not maintained properly, residents can suffer a lawsuit. In such a scenario, property owners must ensure that snow and ice are cleared as quickly as possible.Learn more about Ice Removal Massachusetts here.
Keeping walkways clear of snow and ice is particularly important in New York City. The state’s strict rules on premises liability impose a legal obligation on property owners to clear sidewalks and driveways. In addition, New York City provides property owners with four hours to clear sidewalks and driveways of ice and snow. This is not enough to keep the city safe; property owners may be held liable for injuries caused by slick sidewalks.
Landlords have a primary obligation to remove “natural accumulations”
One of the basic duties of landlords is to keep the premises in a safe condition, including common areas and structures. The duty to remove snow and ice from the premises is based on an implied contract between a landlord and tenant. However, there are several situations in which the obligation to remove “natural accumulations” may be canceled by an express contract, statute or ordinance.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently overruled a 125-year-old rule that allowed property owners to leave “natural accumulations” of snow to avoid liability. While this ruling is far from ideal, it is still better than having no obligation at all to prevent the risk of injury or property damage. In fact, it places a higher duty on landlords. As a result, they must take reasonable steps to remove snow and ice that may become a hazard.
Professional snow removal contractors are covered by general liability insurance
General liability insurance is a necessity for a snow removal company in Massachusetts. It protects the business from third-party lawsuits, and it is also required by clients. However, it is critical to make sure that the insurance covers snow-related claims. In addition to general liability insurance, snow removal companies should also carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees and the company from claims. Here are some tips to consider.
When choosing an insurance carrier, consider the size of the business. It’s vital to find a GL carrier that has a large enough limit for snow removal operations. This can be expensive, and many snow removal companies don’t want to risk a lawsuit by putting too much coverage on a small business. In Massachusetts, the minimum liability limit is $3 million, but you can choose a higher limit if you’re willing to pay more premiums.
Public works is responsible for clearing 2,000 lane miles of roadway during a snow storm
During a snowstorm in Massachusetts, the public works department is responsible for plows and de-ices nearly two thousand lane miles of roadway. The agency employs 700 pieces of equipment to clear the roads, including small public alleys, side streets, and dead ends. In addition to clearing the roads, public works crews clear snow from sidewalks and driveways. While these crews are not always visible to the public, residents should remember that snow plows are frequently working on their roads and streets.
During a snow storm, the public works department has three main locations where employees can report problems and unforeseen road conditions. Additionally, the department has a dedicated weather channel on cable television to monitor traffic conditions, and a scanner to keep track of traffic incidents. This information is crucial because it can alert employees of specific problems or road conditions and expedite the clearing process.
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