Don’t be snowed into believing your slip and fall injury case is unwinnable because of the Storm in progress defense
You slip and fall on snow or ice and are seriously injured. The landowner and their insurance company say they are not responsible to pay for your injuries because there was a storm in progress. Are they right?
A landowner owes you a duty of reasonable care to prevent you from being injured as a result of dangerous conditions on their property such as snow or ice. To win such a slip and fall case you must demonstrate to the court that the landowner had notice of the snow or ice and failed to cleanup this dangerous condition within a reasonable time.
However, landowners may be totally excused from liability for a fall on snow or ice caused by an ongoing storm. Under the so-called “storm in progress” rule, a property owner will not be held responsible for accidents occurring as a result of snow or ice on its property, until an adequate period of time has passed after the storm stops to allow the owner an opportunity to cleanup. This “storm in progress” defense recognizes the difficulties faced by landowners in cleaning up storm-created snow or ice on their property.
So, given the “storm in progress” defense, if you live in a place like Syracuse, where it snows and rains nearly every day, can you ever successfully sue a landowner for being injured by a slip and fall on snow or ice? The answer is a resounding YES!
Slip and fall cases are very fact specific and must be carefully evaluated by an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine whether your case can survive the “storm in progress” defense. In particular, courts focus less on what was happening at the very moment of the accident and, rather, focus on what was happening during the period before the accident. Just some of the many cases that survived the “storm in progress” defense include cases where:
● only trace amounts of precipitation fell during two to three hours prior to the accident;
● just because there was precipitation that day does not mean it was raining or snowing at the time of the accident;
● the accumulation causing accident was from prior snow/ice fall;
● the storm passed and precipitation tailed off or ended to such an extent that there was no longer any significant accumulation;
● stopping of freezing rain/snow should have given landowner enough time to notice the snow or ice condition and take steps to clean it up;
● the “storm in progress” rule does not apply to rain storms;
● the “storm in progress” rule does not apply to a slip and fall inside a building; and
● the snow or ice condition was formed prior to commencement of the storm in progress and was therefore a preexisting hazard.
Insurance companies are quick to deny all landowner liability for your slip and fall injury on snow or ice based on the “storm in progress” defense, regardless of the particular facts in your case which may make the defense completely inapplicable. Was such a denial of liability in your case proper? The facts in each case are unique and must be carefully reviewed by an experienced attorney. Call Weisberg & Zukher, PLLC. at 315-701-2939 for a free consultation or send us an e-mail to tell us about your case HERE. Our trial experienced attorneys will meet with you for free and will help you by vigorously litigating your case to obtain the best result possible for you.
There is a time limit on which one has to make a claim for personal injury and these vary by state and the type of case. If you feel like you may have a personal injury case, its important that you contact a knowledgeable Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible so that they may review your case, and if a claim is to be made, do so within a timely manner. Insurance companies will often attempt to get a person with a personal injury case to settle as quickly as possible before they contact an attorney and often times, those people may have underestimated the true value of their case without proper and experienced legal counsel. Our office reviews all personal injury cases for free, and our personal injury attorneys all work on a contingency basis. If you are in the State of New York and have further questions about Personal injury or feel you have a personal injury case, please CONTACT OUR OFFICE through our website or call our office at 315-701-2939
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