Like all areas of personal injury law, slip and fall accidents can be complicated, with several nuances and intricacies. Minnesota slip and fall laws can be complex, but we’re here to walk you through it.
We’ll investigate the incident to determine who was to blame. Once we determine fault, we’ll work hard to ensure they pay for your suffering. Please schedule a free consultation as soon as you can by contacting us online or calling 651-291-7263.
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents occur when an individual suffers an injury due to dangerous conditions on someone else’s property. In Minnesota, they’re the leading cause of injury for people 35 years and older and children. Our state consistently ranks among the highest in the country for slip and fall fatalities.
These incidents happen for many reasons. For instance, slipping on an untreated sidewalk or stumbling over uneven flooring during the icy winter months can lead to severe injuries. A person can suddenly lose their footing on a slippery grocery store aisle because an employee failed to clean up a spill. Someone could visit a friend’s house and trip over a toy carelessly left in the middle of the living room.
Duty of Care in Minnesota
In all of these instances, the injury victim could file a lawsuit against the property owner due to the owner’s negligence. To win their case, however, the victim would have to – among other elements – prove the owner (or whoever was in charge of the property at the time of the accident) violated their duty of care.
Duty of care dictates the responsibility property owners and occupiers bear to ensure a safe environment for visitors. Minnesota law assigns varying levels of duty to different visitor categories. Here’s a quick look at each.
- Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, such as customers frequenting businesses.
- The court accords licensees, such as social guests or those with permission to be on the premises, a slightly lower duty.
- Even trespassers, individuals who enter the property without permission, are entitled to a basic level of safety.
This nuanced differentiation underscores the obligation of property owners to safeguard the well-being of anyone present on their premises.
Comparative Fault in Minnesota
Minnesota’s comparative fault system often plays a major role in slip and fall cases. In a nutshell, this means if the injured party bears some degree of responsibility for the accident, they won’t be able to obtain total compensation. If the court finds the victim was to blame, they won’t be eligible for any money.
For instance, suppose someone slips on a wet floor while being distracted by their phone. In such a scenario, the court could reduce their compensation based on the extent of their fault.
One high-profile example of a slip and fall lawsuit involves a Minneapolis TV anchor who sued the state for $50,000 after suffering severe injuries in 2017. The plaintiff, Jeff Passolt, claimed the state failed to maintain a sidewalk near the Minnesota State Capitol. He was interviewing then-governor Mark Dayton when he slipped, suffering severe hip damage that required a replacement.
The Minnesota Department of Administration argued that Passolt fell due to either his own negligence or the negligence of others that the department has no control over. It was unclear as of this writing whether or not the case had been resolved.
Reporting and Filing Deadlines
Minnesota enforces a two-year deadline, known as the statute of limitations, within which a victim must file a slip and fall claim. If you don’t take action within this timeframe, you’ll forfeit your chances of obtaining compensation.
Damages and Compensation
In the aftermath of a slip and fall accident in Minnesota, victims have the right to pursue various forms of compensation. Victims may be eligible for a range of damages, including the following:
Several factors will determine how much compensation you might receive for your damages. These include the severity of your injury, whether or not you played a role in causing the accident, the impact of the injury on your daily life, and others.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident in Minnesota
Seeking medical attention must be your priority after experiencing a slip and fall. You might not think you’ve suffered a severe injury, but please see a doctor anyway. Some injuries can take days or even weeks to show symptoms. Your injury could worsen if you wait too long to get medical help.
If you fail to get medical help, that can also hurt your case. The at-fault party’s insurer will claim that you weren’t hurt that badly or already hurt, and you’re trying to get the defendant to pay for your treatment.
There are several other steps you’ll need to take as well, including the following:
- Take pictures of the accident scene.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses.
- Report the accident to the property owner or manager.
- Speak with an attorney so they can begin an immediate investigation.
Choosing the Right Slip and Fall Injury Attorney
But you don’t want to hire the first lawyer you find in an online search. You want one with experience winning slip and fall cases and a deep understanding of the law.
Sand Law has a team of dedicated professionals with years of experience in slip and fall accidents. We also have a long track record of success. We’ll protect your rights and do all we can to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.