It’s winter in St. Paul, and that means there can be dangerous ice anywhere and everywhere. Unfortunately, not all homeowners and business owners live up to their responsibilities with snow and ice removal. This puts citizens in the path of danger, who unwittingly can have their lives ruined by someone else’s carelessness.
Slip and Fall Laws in Minnesota
Of course, slip and fall accidents can happen at any time of the year on stairs, slippery floors, unsafe walkways, or anywhere. Often, these falls are caused by negligence, like lack of barriers or improper signage. Winter in Minnesota increases the frequency of falling because, as we all know, with the freezing temperatures comes to ice. If sidewalks, stairs, parking lots, and driveways are not shoveled and de-iced in a timely manner, accidents can easily happen.
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property in Minnesota, you should immediately contact an experienced slip and fall attorney. A lawyer will help you prove that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition of their property. If a judge determines the accident is because of the property owners' negligence, you will be entitled to compensation for any losses you incur. There are two things to keep in mind in Minnesota.
Statute of Limitations
There is a time limit on how long you can wait to file a slip and fall claim. This is called the Statute of Limitations. According to Minnesota Statutes section 541.07, a lawsuit must be filed within 2 years of the incident. This applies to most personal injury lawsuits in Minnesota.
In response to your claim, property owners will often say that you share equal negligence in the accident. This is common, and if they succeed, your settlement will be far less than it would have been. A good lawyer can help ensure that the property owners don’t put part or all of the blame on you. Some reasons for comparative negligence include:
- You were in an off-limits area of the property.
- The condition of the property and the potential danger was obvious.
- You were wearing improper footwear.
- The area was properly marked or cordoned off.
- You were not paying attention due to phone use.
A judge can determine that the blame lies with both parties. For example, if you were found to be 50% responsible for your accident, you would be awarded your damages, minus the 50% that was your fault.
Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
If you fall on someone’s property and are injured, the property owner will usually give you their insurance information. They may try to offer a settlement right then and there. It is a better idea to be seen by a physician and speak to your lawyer before making any of these decisions. Injuries may not become apparent for a few hours or even days.
Back injuries are one of the most common results of fall accidents. Back problems cause pain, limit your movement, and may require extensive therapies and even surgery to correct. Any injury from a slip or fall can result in large medical expenses including specialists, medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, loss of income, and other expenses. Make sure you get properly compensated for all your expenses and medical bills.
Remember, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident in St. Paul, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. If your fall is the result of negligence, you are entitled to full compensation for your injuries. If you fall and hurt yourself this winter, give us a call our offices at (651) 413-9004 to learn about all your rights and options.