Weathering the Legal Storm Weathering the Legal Storm

Weathering the Legal Storm: Personal Injury Cases and Inclement Weather in St. Louis

From slip-and-fall accidents on icy sidewalks to car crashes on rain-slicked roads, inclement weather can turn even the most routine activities into risky endeavors. 

And, when such accidents happen, the legal implications can be just as daunting as the physical and emotional toll. When weather is involved, it gets very complex to decide which party is at fault. 

Being clear about your options in such situations is crucial. It can determine whether you receive rightful compensation or get overlooked. In the following sections, we will explore the various types of accidents that can occur in adverse weather conditions and the legal challenges that come with them. 

Types of Personal Injury Claims in Inclement Weather

When the weather takes a turn for the worse, the risk of personal injury skyrockets. From the icy sidewalks of the Downtown to the slippery streets of the Central West End, inclement weather can pose serious risks of accidents. 

In 2022, there were around 70,000 weather-related incidents, leading to 800 fatalities and around 1,700 reported injuries in the United States.

Here, we will delve into the prevalent types of personal injury cases that occur in such circumstances. Moreover, we will take a closer look at the unique challenges and legal considerations that come with each in Gateway City.

Slip and Fall Accidents

These are some of the most frequent types of injuries that happen in the city due to inclement weather. These can happen anywhere, from the front steps of your home to the aisles of your local grocery store in Schnucks or Dierbergs. 

When surfaces become wet, icy, or slippery, the risk of falling increases dramatically, and the consequences can be severe. We’ll explore some common scenarios where slip and fall accidents occur, and we’ll discuss the liabilities that property owners and managers may face in these situations.

Truck Accidents

Another major category of personal injury cases in inclement weather is car accidents. When roads like I-64 or I-44 are slick with rain, snow, or ice, even the most experienced St. Louis drivers can find themselves in perilous situations.

In January 2022, the state of Missouri witnessed over 30 accidents involving trucks belonging to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). The cause of these accidents was the ice storm, which made visibility very poor. 

As a resident of St. Louis, if you ever get caught in such an accident and suffer injuries, you can always hire a St. Louis truck accident lawyer to help you. 

Workplace Accidents

For those of you who work outdoors or in industries that require travel, inclement weather can pose significant risks on the job. Severe weather events like storms or hurricanes can cause damage to structures or equipment, further endangering workers’ safety. 

Employers must prioritize safety measures, such as providing appropriate protective gear and implementing protocols for working in adverse weather conditions. Moreover, they can offer training on recognizing and responding to weather-related risks.

By understanding the various types of personal injury cases that can arise in inclement weather, you will be better equipped to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. 

But, as we will see in the following sections, navigating the legal landscape of these cases can be a complex and challenging endeavor. Pursuing a personal injury claim in adverse weather conditions entails various considerations, from establishing negligence to navigating comparative fault.

Legal Considerations and Challenges

When it comes to personal injury cases involving inclement weather in St. Louis, the legal landscape can be as treacherous as the icy streets of the city. 

The Burden of Proof

One of the biggest roadblocks in personal injury cases is proving that the defendant’s actions (directly or indirectly) caused the injury to the plaintiff. 
In cases involving inclement weather, this can be particularly challenging, as the defense may argue that the weather itself was the primary cause of the accident. 

Under Missouri law, you must demonstrate that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining safe conditions, and that led to the injury.

Comparative Negligence

Under Missouri’s pure comparative negligence rule, fault can be apportioned among multiple parties, including the plaintiff. If it is proved that you also contributed to the accident, in any way possible, the settlement that you receive will be adjusted accordingly.

In cases where weather is a contributing factor, determining the relative fault of each party can be a complex and contentious process.

The Statute of Limitations

This law sets a timeline for the plaintiff to file a case. In Missouri, this is a five-year window from the accident date for filing a lawsuit. 

Missing this deadline forfeits the right to seek compensation, irrespective of case merits.

Importance of Evidence

According to TorHoerman Law, gathering evidence to support your case is one of the most critical aspects of any personal injury claim. However, if the mishap occurs during rough weather, the integrity of the pieces of evidence might be lost.

The scene of the accident may be quickly altered by the elements. Hence, you need to act as fast as you can.

However, if possible, you should:

  • Take photos of the scene immediately after the incident.
  • Obtain witness statements.
  • Preserve any physical evidence, like clothing or damaged property. 

Obtaining a duplicate of the formal Missouri Uniform Accident Report is crucial. It contains essential information on the circumstances of the accident.

In conclusion, accidents involving inclement weather are sudden The conditions are out of your control. The least you can do is stay vigilant and do your best to collect evidence. Moreover, if you are hurt, contact medical professionals and take shelter.

It will be difficult, but try to not lament over the cause and the effects of the accident. Gather yourself and move ahead. Whatever your injury condition, you should always take legal recourse and fight for justice and compensation.