People frequently ask us if they can file a lawsuit against a business if an employee slips and falls on snow or ice. Regrettably, this is a common occurrence in the Cowboy State. Bad things happen to companies and homes in Wyoming throughout the winter because of the state’s harsh climate conditions. This also means, unfortunately, that individuals can and will get hurt—sometimes quite badly—through no fault of their own.
Consider discussing your situation with personal injury lawyer Cheyenne.
Court Cases Involving Falls on Snow and Ice
Yet, it might be tricky to determine if you have a valid claim or lawsuit if you slip and fall on snow or ice in Wyoming. The state of Wyoming adheres to a legal theory known as the “Natural Accumulation Rule.”
The Natural Accumulation Rule, in its simplest form, states that a person who is injured while walking on snow or ice that has accumulated naturally in a given location is responsible for his or her own injuries. This is because the injured party should have been aware of the dangers associated with walking on such surfaces in Wyoming and should have taken appropriate precautions to avoid them.
Responsibility of Property Owners in Case of Snow or Ice
There are no exceptions to the Natural Accumulation Rule, and it can lead to all sorts of unjust outcomes, the most obvious being that someone who has been seriously harmed has no way of getting their medical bills, missed earnings, and other costs covered. This is always the case, regardless of whether or not the owner of the property in question takes action to address the hazard.
Whilst the rule is widely applicable and has serious repercussions, there are a few exemptions to the rule’s rules. In the case that the injured party can demonstrate that their accident was caused by snow or ice that was not a natural accumulation, but rather an accumulation caused by someone channeling the snow or ice to a specific location (for example, via a downspout or a channel in dirt or concrete), the rule does not apply. As a result of the negligence of the property owner, the owner may be held liable for the accident. If you can prove that the victim’s injuries were the result of some other party’s carelessness, you’ll have the same argument.