For falldown injuries, is there liability when there is a storm in progress?
The answer is maybe.
Remember the rule that those who own, possess, maintain and/or control property have a legal duty to maintain it in a a reasonably safe condition. During the winter months, this includes addressing snow and ice by plowing, shoveling, snow blowing and/or applying a sand/salt mix.
But what if someone slips and falls on ice or snow while the storm, or weather event, is still underway? The answer is that under our laws in Connecticut, there would not ordinarily be liability. People need to be afforded some time to address the dangerous condition, and very generally speaking, they do not necessarily need to start doing so while the storm is still taking place.
Bear in mind, though, that there are some exceptions. One very common exception is that even if the falldown occurs due to ice and/or snow and even if it takes place during a storm, there can still be liability if the ice and/or snow pre-existed the current storm. In other words, if the the fall is from ice that is underneath the snow from the current ongoing storm, then there can be liability.
So remember, when a storm is in progress, there is leeway afforded to whoever owns, possesses, maintains and/or controls the property. But the liability protection is gone when your injuries are due to a falldown on snow or ice that was present before the current storm.
In any situation where you become injured this winter due to falling in a parking lot or walkway as a result of snow or ice, please be sure to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your specific facts and situation. At this office, initial consultations are free.