Slip and Fall
Minnesota is an icy state. Most of the calls we get from injury victims with questions about slipping and falling revolve around the failure of a private property owner to remove ice and snow from a driveway or sidewalk. The second most common slip-and-fall question involves a store patron who has slipped on liquid spilled in a commercial establishment.
Accident Results And How To Prove Premises Liability
These types of accidents can cause serious harm such as concussions, broken bones and fractured vertebrae. Even if you have suffered a serious injury as a result of your slip-and-fall accident, you should keep in mind that these are very complicated and difficult cases to pursue. There is no such thing as an “easy” slip-and-fall case. Every case has a multitude of defenses which will be raised by the insurance company for the property owner. You should immediately take photographs of the area where you fell as this will be important evidence in your case. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to your accident. See a doctor for your injuries.
Pursuing Damages From A Negligent Owner
To recover damages for negligence from a property owner for slipping and falling, an injured plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty, that the breach of the duty was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injury, and that plaintiff did in fact suffer injury.
A possessor of land has a duty to use reasonable care to inspect and repair his premises or warn an entrant who comes upon his or her premises to protect the entrant from an unreasonable risk of harm caused by the property’s conditions. The duty is one of reasonable care to inspect, warn and repair under the circumstances. A land owner generally has no duty of care to a trespasser in Minnesota. Minnesota Courts have held business owners have a greater duty to clear sidewalks of ice and snow than they do parking lots. There is also no duty on the part of a property owner to remove snow while it is still snowing.
The most common defense raised to a slip-and-fall case is assumption of the risk on the part of the injured plaintiff. It is well-settled law in Minnesota that there is no duty on the part of a property owner to use reasonable care toward an invitee where the risk of harm is open and obvious to the visitor, unless the landowner should anticipate the harm despite such knowledge or obviousness. In certain circumstances however, a landowner has a continuing duty to protect an entrant even from obvious dangers if harm to an entrant should be anticipated by the landowner despite the obviousness of the danger.
Governmental immunity will bar most claims against the state of Minnesota and its municipalities for failure to remove ice and snow. The “mere slipperiness” doctrine holds that there is no claim against the state or a municipality if the reason for a person’s fall was slipperiness. There is a 180-day notice requirement pursuant to Minn. Statute 466.05 for putting the state or a municipality on notice of a claim.
There is generally a six-year statue of limitations for slip-and-fall accidents which occur due to someone else’s negligence such as failure to shovel, failure to clean a spill, or failure to put down salt and sand. There is a two-year statute of limitations for accidents which occur due to a defect to the property, such as bad drainage or broken steps.
Contact Us! Our Experienced Minnesota Slip-And-Fall Accident Attorneys Can Help
If you have been seriously injured in a slip-and-fall accident on someone else’s property, call the Meshbesher Law Firm at 612-349-5215 for legal advice. Our Minneapolis slip-and-fall attorneys have successfully handled many premises liability cases, and we will gladly advise you as to your rights and let you know if we think you have a case. The Meshbesher Law Firm handles slip-and-fall cases on a one-third contingent fee basis. If we cannot get you a recovery, you do not owe us anything for the time we spend working on your case.