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Winter Slip-and-Fall Injuries in Minnesota

winter slip and fall imageSlip-and-fall injuries are some of the most common grounds for premises liability claims in Minnesota. The legal theory of premises liability is that the owners and operators of property need to exercise a reasonable amount of care to ensure that the property is safe for the people who use it. If the premises is unsafe, then the land owner may be liable for injuries caused by his or her failure to exercise reasonable care.

Premises liability is especially applicable to businesses, because they rely on the public being able to safely use their property in order to make a profit. Businesses money on advertising to drive more traffic into their stores. Therefore, the amount of care that is reasonable for a business to exercise is much higher than it is for a homeowner. The law expects businesses to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that the property is safe for visitors and that employees will be adequately supervised in implementing those safety procedures.

During Minnesota winters, many people are injured by dangerous conditions caused by snow, ice, and slush. People can get hurt by slipping and falling on ice in a parking lot or common area of an apartment building, or by melted snow that was tracked into a retail store. The common element in these injuries is that the business owner has a duty to foresee these potential dangers and adequately prepare for them.

In premises liability cases, it can be difficult to identify the party that was responsible for the dangerous condition that caused the injury. For example, many businesses contract with a snow removal service during the winter. As part of the contract, the snow removal service may agree to assume some of the liability that would otherwise belong to the business or landowner. After an injury occurs, the insurance companies of the landlord and the snow removal service will blame the accident on each other in an attempt to avoid compensating the injured person. These kinds of squabbles are time consuming and result in delays in medical bills and lost wages being paid for. An experienced personal injury attorney can help cut through the stalling tactics and delays by representing you in your claim. If you have suffered an injury as a result of a slip-and-fall, we understand that you are not interested in the contractual terms between the snow removal service and the business you were patronizing. You want to be fairly compensated and move on with your life, and we are committed to helping you do that.

When people are injured by a slip-and-fall accident, the responsible insurer may also try to shift the blame to the injured person by claiming that the condition was “open and obvious.” This defense is usually raised in an attempt to completely deny liability for the injury, and depends on a legal theory called comparative negligence. Basically, the defense will claim that the injured person should have been aware of the danger, since Minnesota is known for winter weather and icy conditions.

Sand Law’s slip and fall lawyers enjoy a high rate success defeating this defense through zealous representation. When properly answered, the open and obvious defense fails because it is essentially an admission that the existence of the dangerous condition was foreseeable to the business owner as well, and that the business failed to mitigate the danger. Sand Law’s attorneys have earned a reputation in the Twin Cities and throughout Minnesota for skillfully applying the law to obtain justice for our clients. If you have been injured as a result of a slip-and-fall accident in Minnesota, call Sand Law today for a free consultation.