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Meteorological knowledge, research and the Successful Personal Injury Case

June 10, 2012

Had the snow stopped falling before the plaintiff slipped and fell?  If yes, how much time passed from the end of snow fall until the time of the plaintiff’s injury?  How much snow had fallen?  A trace amount or something else?  And, if the snow had stopped falling a matter of days prior to our client’s fall, had the snow melted and refroze?  Do the temperatures during those passing days support a melt and refreeze theory?  Do we now have an understanding of the black ice that caused our client’s injury?

During a new matter’s initial investigation, basic answers can often be found to these questions via knowledgeable internet research.  When the case has been accepted by our firm, and it is being prepared for trial or settlement, these are the sorts of questions typically asked of a retained meteorological expert witness.

Meteorological research can be an important tool in a Personal Injury attorney’s tool box.  Expertise and knowledge in the wide world of weather, usually precipitation and temperatures, will help us to properly understand and investigate our clients’ injuries and losses that involve adverse weather conditions.  The above examples are typical queries for case types typically referred to as a slip and fall, or a trip and fall, injury.  There is a wider range of meteorological issues, including how weather conditions changed as a vehicle driver approached what became a collision, or how roads become icy leading up to a vehicle crash.

Taking it to another level, expertise in meteorology can reveal the visibility under different environmental and weather conditions, such as darkness, street lighting, rain, snow and fog, and glare from sun and headlights.  Whether the accident type is a vehicle collision; one involving a pedestrian; or the common slips, trips, and falls, meteorological knowledge can help result in a successful case.

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