Bad weather can play a big part in your personal injury claim
As frigid temperatures seem an invariable part of the coming months, it is important to understand bad weather claims. Investigation is a key factor in certain personal injury claims. It is also obvious that it is crucial to retain the services of a competent personal injury attorney.
The term “weather immunity” is the short name for the New Jersey law regarding public entities and their responsibilities concerning snow and ice. NJSA 59:4-7 states that “neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for an injury caused solely by the effect on the use of streets and highways of weather conditions.” The application of this law has been extended to sidewalks also maintained by government bodies.
At first glance, it may appear that there is a no case for all claims involving government entities and bad weather. Again, this is the reason that proper legal counsel and investigation are critical parts of this type of case. There are so many questions for consideration before coming to this type of conclusion. At the start, it is important to determine if it was the government responsible for maintaining property during bad weather conditions. It is also crucial to understand property ownership. Lastly, there may be an issue of whether snow and ice were the sole contributors to an accident.
Depending on the extent of injuries, a prospective personal injury client can help us with the initial investigation. Here are some important ways an injured party may help with initiating documentation of a bad weather claim:
- With the advent of smartphones, almost everyone has access to a portable camera. Take photographs of the condition that caused the accident. Take as many pictures as possible. Include pictures that help identify the accident location. If the accident occurred at a business, take photographs of the sign identifying the company. Get a record of any applicable street addresses. If property damage is an issue, take photographs.
- Document what the weather was like at the time of the accident. When did it precipitate last?