Legal trouble looming if you don’t shovel

Not shoveling could cost you

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday marked the first snow storm of the season. Some areas saw close to 10 inches in western Massachusetts.

Shoveling your sidewalks is the law in most western Massachusetts cities and towns. Generally, you have about 24 hours to get out there and clear a path. If you don’t, you could be fined up to $100 in some communities.

“Common sense could previal. You know you want to clear a pathway certainly clear sidewalks,” said Bill Trudeau, the President of Insurance Center of New England.

Trudeau told 22News it’s not just your sidewalks, it’s your entire property that needs to be cleared; “There’s certainly an obligation of some sort that exists, it can be more than just a homeowners issue. It can be a life safety issue.”

For that reason, if someone gets hurt on your property because you didn’t shovel, you could be sued. Attorney Earlon Seeley of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley, P.C., told 22News it’s bit of a grey area.

If someone falls, it’s not necessarily your fault. However, if someone can prove that you were negligent, they could have a case. That’s why you need to clear the walk within 24 hours, not days later. If you wait too long, you could be ruled negligent, which is grounds for a case against you.

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