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Massachusetts One of Few States with “Ice Missile” Law

There is no question that driving in the ice and snow is dangerous. There are many accidents as a result of people driving too fast for dangerous conditions. There are also accidents caused by people in cars that are unable to drive safety in the snow, and there are accidents caused by people being overconfident in vehicles that are designed to handle winter conditions like an SUV with four-wheel drive.

1272047_snowHowever, in addition to acts caused by driving on the snow and ice, there are many accidents caused by snow and ice still on the roofs of cars and trucks while driving at highway speeds. Anyone who driving in Boston or on the Mass Pike during the winter has surely seen huge chunks of ice and snow falling off the top of a car or truck. You have probably also seen giant sheets of ice that are several feet long flying off the top of a semi-tractor trailer, and you may have had to swerve out of the way to avoid being hit by them.

According to a recent news article from Alexandria News, these chunks of ice and snow that come flying off cars and trucks at highway speeds are commonly referred to as “ice missiles” by those in the insurance and automotive industries. When one of these ice missiles hits a car, the results can be devastating. There is a video that has gone viral on the Internet showing a chunk of ice flying off the roof of an SUV and slamming into the windshield of a car behind it. The owner of the car that got hit had a dash camera running, and one can see how the windshield instantly shatters. A wiper arm is also bent and the side mirror is destroyed. Fortunately, she was not injured in the incident, but it is not hard to see how that could happen.

One of the interesting things with accidents such as these is that if you file a personal injury lawsuit, you are trying to prove the case based on a theory of negligence for doing something a lot of other people do every time it snows. While most people make some effort to clean the snow off a car, many people will drive away with huge sheets of ice and snow on top of the car. This means that you will have to convince a jury that this is negligent conduct.

However, if something is illegal, the plaintiff can make a claim for what is known as negligence per se. This means that there is a rebuttable presumption that the conduct leading to an arrest is negligent (civilly) and there is no further need for a plaintiff to prove that there was a duty of care owed to plaintiff or to prove defendant breached his or her duty of care regarding the actions in question. However, there will still be a need for your Boston personal injury lawyer to establish that defendant’s per se negligence was the actual and proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury and damages resulted. As Massachusetts is one of the few states that makes snow clearing a requirement, you may be able to establish per se negligence.

If you are injured in an accident in Boston, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Dislodged Or Falling Snow Or Ice From Vehicles Pose Risks Of Death And Injuries, January 31, 2016, Alexandria News

More Blog Entries:

Wilkins v. City of Haverhill – Massachusetts Supreme Court Weighs Slip-and-Fall Claim, May 23, 2014, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog