Can I Recover Compensation When Extreme Weather is to Blame?

Can I Recover Compensation When Extreme Weather is to Blame?

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer


Two women were struck by lightning while on Crane Beach in Massachusetts recently. A 61-year-old Connecticut woman was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, where she later died from her injuries. A 69-year-old woman from Massachusetts was also struck; she was taken to the hospital in critical condition but also died from her injuries. No other injuries were reported in connection with the storm.

Mother Nature can cause serious, even life-threatening injuries. These in turn can cause a person or family to incur thousands of dollars in medical expenses alone. Add to this the costs of missed time from work, funeral expenses, loss of future income and the emotional suffering that the family of someone killed or injured by extreme weather, and it can be nearly overwhelming for a normal person to bear.

In cases such as the one discussed here – where an individual is on the property of another and there he or she is injured by extreme weather – can the injured person recover compensation?

The Basics of Premise Liability

In general, a person who invites another onto his or her property for the purpose of recreation, socializing, or business (for example) owes a duty of care to that invited person. This “duty of care” requires the property owner to take reasonable measures to address any known dangers on the property or, in some instances, to warn the invitee of the dangers that the property owner knows about. For instance, when a grocery store knows that its floors are wet and pose a slip and fall hazard, they must take steps to notify shoppers of the danger and take reasonable steps to prevent shoppers from injuring themselves.

Foreseeable Harm – The Crux of the Case

Because of the unpredictability of weather – especially extreme weather events like thunderstorms and lightning – it is often difficult to hold a property owner responsible for injuries caused by weather. This is because courts generally only hold property owners responsible for “foreseeable” dangers – that is, dangers that the property owner knows about or should have known about.

Just because holding a property owner responsible for weather-related events is difficult does not mean one should not try. There have been cases in recent decades where a plaintiff was injured by lightning while on the property of another and the property owner was held responsible. Just recently, a Philadelphia family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR and the Pocono Raceway after Marion Zimmerman was struck and killed by lightning in the raceway’s parking lot.

Contact an Experienced Premise Liability Lawyer

Holding a property owner responsible for injuries that occur on his or her property is never easy, and it takes an experienced and dedicated attorney to investigate all the relevant circumstances, interview knowledgeable witnesses, and present these facts to a court in a compelling manner. At Bice Law, LLC, we are dedicated to helping people injured by careless acts of others recover full compensation for their expenses.

Share this article on Social Media!