After the Storm

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Q: One Friday morning, while in the process of dropping my son off at school, I slipped and fell on snow and ice.

It had been snowing the night before, when I went to bed, and that morning, I checked on television: “school will be open as usual.”  As I walked to my car, I saw a little snow blowing from the trees, but nothing fell during our drive.  When I reached the school, there was no snow falling, and school was open.

A: As with any accident, you should consult an attorney without delay.  If you fell on the school grounds, and this is a public school, a ‘notice of claim’ will be served on the school district, as soon as possible.  If you fell on a sidewalk or street owned by a city, county or state, the notice will be served on that entity.

Sometimes a defendant will seek to invoke the ‘storm in progress’ defense – that there is no liability for injuries related to accumulated snow and ice until after a storm has ceased, in order to allow the owner a reasonable period of time to clean the property.  That is, he or she has no obligation to shovel snow while continuing precipitation or high winds are simply re-covering the property as fast as it is cleaned.

It sounds like there was no such storm, here, but nevertheless your attorney is likely to double-check the weather records.  Even if there had been a storm, but the storm has passed and precipitation has tailed off, so there is no longer any appreciable accumulation, then the ‘storm in progress’ defense will fail.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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