Slip and Fall Series: Can the Weather Affect My Case?
In case you’ve ignored the weather reports for the past week, a big snowstorm is heading our way. With more than a foot of snow predicted in parts of New Jersey, tomorrow’s storm is definitely going to be the first major snowstorm of the year for many parts of our country. And this brings up an interesting question: If you slip and fall on someone’s property during bad weather, is the owner still liable for your injuries?
Let’s say it’s been snowing all day. During a break in the weather, you realize you ran out of milk and need to go to the store. Instead of driving, you decide to take a walk. While walking in the parking lot of the store, you trip on a pile of snow and fall, injuring your arm. The store is liable for your injury, right?
It’s true, as we’ve told you before that the property owner is responsible for the safety of anyone who steps on their property. However, there are some exceptions when it comes to bad weather. In the scenario above, it’s clear that it’s been snowing all day. According to New Jersey’s “storm in progress” rule, if there is blizzard conditions at the time of your accident then you may not have a claim. The property owner has to be given a reasonable amount of time to clear the snow and ice after the storm has passed (there is no set amount of time; cases in the past have depended on length of the storm and snowfall totals to predict the time). However, you did go to the store once the storm has passed — at the time of your accident, the property owner should have been making attempts to clear the snow for visitors and therefore you would have a case.
Sound complicated? It can be. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you win your case. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation. And be careful out there this weekend!