Usually, weathermen or meteorologists take blame for their predictions of the weather. Instead of taking blame, some meteorologists are helping to assess liability by contributing their insight into the weather to criminal investigations with criminal lawyers and car accident and personal injury lawsuits.
Meteorologists normally use their skill set to predict the weather but more and more insurance companies and attorneys are using their services to reconstruct weather conditions during a specific time, location or day. The facts and analysis meteorologists provide help attorneys and insurance companies build their cases. One meteorologist described the role as detective work and many meteorologists are a part of slip-and-fall suits.
As an example, a meteorologist’s opinion or a certified copy of a weather report can be helpful to determine liability in a case where a property owner fails to clear a walkway after a snow or ice storm. The meteorologist’s testimony can provide insight on whether the property owner should have cleared the walkway and how reasonable the property owner’s decision was. Factors such as temperature and the amount of precipitation are a part of the analysis process.
Temperature can also be a factor in homicide cases, and meteorologists have been used to determine times of death and the trustworthiness of testimony. One meteorologist helped demonstrate that a group of witnesses from a shooting case who claimed they had been on their porch drinking ice tea were not as truthful as they claimed to be. The meteorologist showed temperatures were in the 40s when the witnesses were supposedly on their porch.
In another case, a meteorologist provided testimony on the formation of dew on the cars of a married couple. The husband had been accused of murdering his wife. The lack of dew on the husband’s car discredited the man’s testimony as to where he had been on the night of the murder.