Winters in Minnesota can bring slip, trip, and fall hazards, but it’s more than just a winter problem.
Minnesota residents are familiar with winter weather and the dangers that ice, snow, and slush can pose. However, people are hurt in slip and fall accidents year-round. Oftentimes, these accidents happen in places like the grocery store, Target, Walmart, or your favorite restaurant. These businesses stock and use many types of liquids that spill and cause dangerous conditions.
Spills happen so frequently that it is a common joke in TV shows and movies for a waiter to drop a tray of drinks or an enormous display of laundry detergent to collapse in Aisle 12. Of course, injuries that can result from an accident like this are no laughing matter if you are the victim of such an unfortunate experience.
Duty of Care to Avoid Slips, Trips, and Falls
People and companies that own or operate businesses such as stores and restaurants have an obligation to their customers to take reasonable precautions to ensure that the premises are safe. Businesses also have a duty to reasonably train and supervise their employees so that dangerous conditions like spills are quickly cleaned up. If you have been hurt from a fall caused by an unsafe condition in a retail store or another type of business, you may have a claim against the business for being irresponsible or negligent. If you are injured, a personal injury attorney is essential to ensure that your treatment is paid for by those who are legally responsible for it.
Retail and Restaurant Spills
No one expects to turn the corner and encounter a slippery condition indoors. Although customers have a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings, it is perfectly reasonable to expect floors inside of your local department store to be clear and safe. Consequently, business owner’s and their staff are expected to keep areas safe and to provide adequate warnings to customers if a dangerous condition does develop.
Additionally, in department or grocery stores, the business has an obligation to stock the shelves in a way that prevents soap or beverages to fall from high shelves. If employees fail to take action to clean up a spill, and the spill leads to an injury, the business may be liable for negligence. As experienced personal injury lawyers, Sand Law can identify the cause of the accident and establish the legal liability.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Another common source of slipperiness is cleaning or maintenance products. Sometimes a problem caused by a spill can be made even worse if it is mopped up poorly. In other instances, a company might choose a poor time to mop or wax the floor. Businesses may also lack policies and procedures to ensure warning signs are placed after mopping or cleaning has occurred.
Of course, it is understandable and expected for a business to clean and maintain their floors. It is also understandable that this practice may cause slippery conditions. However, these facts do not negate the business’ obligation to exercise reasonable care and provide a safe environment for shoppers and other customers. The slip and fall lawyers at Sand Law have the experience and resources to analyze business practices, policies, and procedures that lead to dangerous conditions.
Dealing with Insurance Companies for Your Injuries
Whether it is a local restaurant or a retail giant, these businesses pat insurance premiums. These insurance companies are very hesitant to admit their obligations to individuals that have been injured as because of a slip and fall. There are many approaches these companies take to deny liability for injuries that occur to customers. They may claim that the injury was the customer’s fault because the customer was looking at a smartphone or talking to a friend at the time of the accident. A company may also claim that the danger was “open and obvious” and should have been avoided. They may claim that they were indeed negligent, but only 50%, and therefore not legally liable. The insurance company may try to offer a quick settlement of a few hundred dollars in return for releasing them from liability.
The problem here is that injuries occurring from slip and falls often require extended treatment with physical therapy or chiropractic care. In many cases, the victim requires surgery or treatment for broken bones. People often suffer sprained muscles, torn rotator cuffs, dislocated joints, and the like which do not reveal the true extent of the injury until months after the incident. Some slip, trip, and fall victims even suffer a traumatic brain injury or spinal injury from the incident. Though the insurer may be willing to cover the initial expense of a visit to a primary care physician, they will almost certainly fight against paying any ongoing treatment expenses. It is important to have an experienced team of attorneys on your side to ensure that your medical treatment is fully paid for.
How Sand Law Can Help Your Slip, Trip, and Fall Case
On top of your medical expenses, you may be entitled to recover compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disfigurement, humiliation, and/or emotional distress. With offices in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Woodbury, White Bear Lake, we serve residents across Minnesota. Contact us online or call Sand Law at 651-291-7263 to schedule a free case review session with one of our experienced slip and fall attorneys.