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SNOW OR NO SNOW – THAT IS THE QUESTION?

A well-known insurance company received a large personal injury claim from a person who experienced a slip and fall in a large amount of snow. The badly injured person claimed that at the time and place the injury occurred there was almost a foot of snow on the ground which was the cause of his accident.  After reviewing the claim, the insurance claim representative decided to verify the amount of snow at the point of loss and make sure the amount of snow present was consistent with their insured’s statement. He went online on the Internet to a commonly used weather web site and attempted to access the historical snow amount for the time and date of the loss. He reviewed the data and he concluded based on his interpretation of the data that there had only been a minor snow event a few days before and that there was no snow cover on the ground on the date of loss for the location where the injury occurred.

The insurance company denied all claims for the injury and told their insured that they could not verify the snow that allegedly was the cause of his injuries. The badly injured individual hired an attorney and sued the insurance company for his medical and legal costs. The insurance company also hired a defense attorney to handle the case. After reviewing the case documents, the defense attorney contacted CompuWeather for a site-specific weather analysis with the results delivered in a phone consultation with the attorney. The question was simply, snow or no snow?

The CompuWeather Meteorologist assigned to the case determined that there was actually a 13″ snow event that ended the day before the accident and that there was 9″- 10″ of snow on the ground when the injury actually occurred. The attorney concluded that this matched up with the plaintiff’s story and recommended to his client (the insurance company) that they move to settle this case quickly and avoid going to trial. A large settlement was accepted and the insurance company suggested to their employee that in the future he should not try to play meteorologist using the Internet but rather consult an expert when dealing with large claims of this type that involve weather.