Minnesota Winter Slip and Fall Injury Claims
Slip-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 a 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 are unsafe, then the landowner may be liable for injuries caused by his or her failure to exercise reasonable care.
Premises Liability and Winter Slip and Fall Claims
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. Additionally, employees must be adequately supervised in implementing those safety procedures.
What Causes Minnesota Winter Slip and Fall Injuries?
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.
Common Minnesota Slip and Fall Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries
When people slip and fall, there is a chance that they can end up landing in a way where their head impacts the ground or a nearby object with sufficient force to cause a traumatic brain injury. These kinds of injuries occur when a particularly powerful force acts upon the head in a way that causes damage to the brain. This damage often has a way of being permanent and causing symptoms that affect a person’s cognitive abilities. Common traumatic brain injuries include concussions, brain contusions, penetrating brain injuries, and much more.
Broken Fractured Bones
Many people end up suffering from broken or fractured bones when they slip and fall due to ice or snow in the winter. People can end up breaking limbs or even end up having structures like the pelvis cracked which can endanger the organs housed within.
Slip and Fall Back Injuries
People commonly fall flat on their backs when they slip. The back is padded with flesh and muscle. However, it can still sustain severe damage in some instances of a slip and fall. When you land on your back, you can suffer severe injuries like soft tissue injuries, spine dislocations, herniated discs, and even damage to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries are often the worst. They can cause permanent damage that can lead to paralysis, spasms, incontinence, and loss of sensation in the limbs.
Who is Liable for my Winter Slip and Fall Injury?
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.
Common Slip and Fall Claim Defenses
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. 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.
Consider Sand Law as Your Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys
Sand Law’s slip and fall lawyers enjoy a high rate of 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.