Continuning Storm Exception and Slip and Fall Claims

Falls during winter are very common on account of inclement weather and the resultant ice and slippery patches of water and snow that cover sidewalks, swathes of publically accessible courtyards, walkways and the like. To this end,  residents are asked to walk purposefully and carefully in order to prevent injury. That being said, extenuating and special circumstances which may be construed as negligent under the law may lead to the same, prompting a slip and fall lawsuit.

Are you looking for a slip and fall injury lawyer? Call us NOW at 1 (773) 825-3547 for more information on your legal options for compensation. We’ve helped hundreds of families all over the country recover compensation for injuries after being hurt due to someone else’s negligence. Benefit from our over 70 years of combined experience by calling 1 (773) 825-3547 NOW to speak with an injury lawyer for free.

Slip and Fall Events on an Icy Sidewalk

A legal layman may look at these kinds of cases as straightforward, assuming that the insurance company, judge or jury will find in their favor if they get injured due to a snowy or icy sidewalk or walkway. One may incorrectly opine that since they were a patron to an establishment looking to either solicit business or make a social call, they are owed duty of care by the property or business owner in ensuring that the premises are safe for access during reasonable hours. This isn’t always how the law works, due to inclement weather and the extraordinary circumstances presented by the same.

What Is The Continuing Storm Doctrine?

In these types of cases, counsel for the defendant may argue that the defendant is protected from legal liability due to the “continuing storm” doctrine. Put simply, this doctrine means that a property owner is legally entitled to wait until the storm blows over and during a reasonable time afterwards in order to remove snow or ice. The legal reasoning behind this doctrine is that changing ice and snow conditions can mean that it would neither be practical nor expedient to take remedial and effective steps while the storm is still ongoing.

How We Can Help – Slip and Fall Lawyers

These cases are very unique, and it will take a skilled slip and fall lawyer to argue that inclement weather had eased up at the time of your fall. This will involve checking to see what the weather conditions were prior to your fall, during the incident and shortly after, as well as recruiting witnesses or retrieving CCTV footage, if available, to determine if the doctrine is moot in your case. In addition, we will examine if the weather, regardless of its severe nature, had ended and a time gap presented itself which could have made it possible for the property owners to remove a substantial amount of the snow and ice.

Got Questions – Call Us For Your Free Consult!

Need more information about your legal options for compensation for slip and fall events that happen during a snowstorm? Call our slip and fall law firm NOW at 1 (773) 825-3547 for your free, no-commitment consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.


  • Author’s note: Most states applly the natural accumulation rule which states that the owner of an establishment cannot be held responsible for falls arising out of accumulated snow and ice, and that an artificial circumstance must have added to the event to cause your fall, such as faulty gutters, poor lighting, uneven, or chipped, or poorly maintained pavement tile in order to have a legally valid claim.