Anyone who has spent time in Minnesota knows how difficult it is to avoid slipping when everything is covered in ice. But falling is not unique to the winter months and can cause serious injuries, especially for the elderly or disabled. If a serious injury does occur, you may find yourself unable to perform certain tasks or go to work as normal, and you may be facing mounting medical bills. In these situations, it is important to examine the circumstances that led to your fall in order to determine whether you have a potential claim to recover your money damages. Below are some considerations that an experienced personal injury attorney would walk you through during a legal consultation.
Circumstances to consider
The first circumstance to consider is where the slip and fall happened. If you fell on your own property due to a condition that you maintain, you will not be able to bring a case against yourself. However, that shifts to the second circumstance to consider which is who owns the property and maintains the condition that caused your fall. If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, or due to someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, then you may have a viable claim. Another circumstance to consider is whether there was any warning of an unsafe condition or whether you may have assumed the risk of falling in the course of participating in an activity in a place where you knew slipping and falling was a strong possibility (such as running in a field while it is raining or skiing down a hill despite a sign saying there was a danger of falling due to recent weather conditions).
Initiating a slip and fall case
Slip and fall cases can be more complex than other personal injury claims. These cases are usually dependent on small details and can involve many parties bringing rare defenses such as municipal recreational immunity or theories of contributory negligence. In Minnesota, a property owner must have created or maintained an unsafe condition or neglected that condition until it became dangerous. Property owners owe a duty even to trespassers not to knowingly maintain hidden and dangerous conditions that are likely to cause serious bodily harm or death. But less dangerous conditions only need to be reasonably safe. So, after a snowstorm, a completely clean sidewalk is typically an unrealistic standard to expect, but a well-cleared one that a person could navigate safely is required within a reasonable amount of time. That is why it is important when building a slip and fall case to have thorough documentation about the event, the location of the condition that caused the slip and fall, and anything else that might help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall or any accident, please call our office at 651-493-0426 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.