SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Everyone who owns property is responsible for removing the snow off their property in a reasonable time frame. That doesn’t mean you have to clean it while it’s snowing, but soon after the snow is over.
If you are on vacation, or are unable to clean your property, it’s still your responsibility, so you have to ask or hire someone to do that for you.
If you don’t clean the snow, you can get a fine, which varies city by city. Springfield Police will write you a $50 ticket if you don’t shovel your sidewalk. In Agawam, it’ll cost you $25, but in Hadley, it could be up to $100.
The city will clear any city walkways, but encourages residents to help out if their property falls close to city property.
Attorney Robert DiTusa told 22News what happens if you don’t clean it. He said, “If you left snow and ice on your walkway for a period of time, and somebody fell on it, then you could be held responsible for all the damages that it would cause by your failure to remove it.”
However, if someone did fall and you took the time to clean everything, you’re not liable for the accident. DiTusa said, “A couple of hours after a snowfall, you should be out there removing snow, laying down salt, sand, ice remover, anything.”
Beyond a fine, if someone gets hurt on your property because you didn’t shovel, you can be sued. The state’s highest court says homeowners have a duty to keep their property, including walkways and driveways, reasonably safe for anyone who might need to come to your front door.
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