can I be held liable for sliding in a person’s icy driveway?

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can I be held liable for sliding in a person’s icy driveway?

I went to get my son’s friend at his home. The driveway was like a glacier, I got stuck going up the steep incline, and my vehicle began to slide back down with full brakes on.
I slide slowly into the mothers car which was literally frozen in the ice on the side of the driveway. My rear pass quarter panel bumped into her front driver side bumper, and I bounced off and continued to slide down the driveway. Now the mother calls me to tell me she wants my ins info and her car is undriveable. The impact in no way could have snapped her rear axle as she states in fact was not even a scratch or dent on my rear quarter panel. Can I be held liable in MA for the condition of her driveway? I do not see how this could be my fault

Asked on January 28, 2018 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Liability depends on fault: on doing something unreasonably careless. It is possible you could be liable here if it was visible to you (e.g. not hard-to-see "black ice") that the driveway was frozen over, so that it was clearly dangerous to attempt to drive up this "glacier-like" "steep incline"; in this instance, driving up the driveway could easily be a negligent act, putting you at fault. So in answer, yes: you could be at fault, depending on how potentially dangerous the driveway would have looked to you at the time.


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