If accumulated snow and icefrom my neighbor’s roof struck and injured me, what are my rights?

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If accumulated snow and icefrom my neighbor’s roof struck and injured me, what are my rights?

I was getting out of my car and in my driveway when ice and snow fell from my neighbor’s roof fell on top of me. This snow and ice had been accumulating for the last month or so. I sustained injuries to my head, neck, back, and shoulder. The ice was in the form of blocks and when I fell I also landed on my knee. Can I be compensated for this?

Asked on February 8, 2011 under Personal Injury, Rhode Island

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You *may* be able to be compensated. The issue is whether it your neighbor was unreasonably careless in not previously clearing the snow and ice; that is a question of fact, and depends in large part on (1) what do other homeowners in your area do--is it common (and therefore reasonable) to knock the snow and ice off; (2) how fast and how much as it accumulated (probably fast and alot this winter, providing less opportunity to clear it); and (3) did your neighbor have any reason to be particularly aware of the threat, which would put him on notice to clear it off or take other action (e.g. have large chunks fallen before)? You should speak with a local personal injury attorney (many provide a free initial consultation) with whom you can share all the facts in detail; the attorney can advise you as to the strength and potential value of your case, then take action on your behalf, if appropriate.


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