The Minnesota Department of Administration reports that slips, trips, and falls are the second leading cause of accidents on the job for state employees. However, these incidents are not exclusive to state workers and can occur in virtually any setting, including parking lots, a friend’s house, restaurants, stores, sidewalks, walkways, etc.
The fact is, slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, in seconds and when you least expect it.
If you are involved in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, it may be possible to recover damages for your injuries and losses. Contact the experienced legal team at Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, to find out if this is an option. Our legal professionals can review your case and the evidence to determine if you have a viable claim.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident
To give your potential claim the best chance for success, you must take the right steps after you are injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident. These simple steps can make all the difference between having a case and not having a case.
Evaluate the Scene
Take a moment to figure out what caused your slip and fall or trip and fall. Were there “wet floor” signs or other warnings of a hazard? Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are considered premises liability cases, and you must prove negligence to have a viable claim. If adequate warnings for the hazard that caused your accident were present, then it may be challenging to recover compensation. Take photographs of the area after you fall. If you are unable to, ask someone nearby to do so. Taking photographs of the scene in the condition it was in at the time of the fall is crucial to success in your case. You should also gather the names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident. Our attorneys can review the evidence and information to determine if negligence played a part in the incident. If so, pursuing a legal claim may be possible.
Report the Incident to the Property Owner
You should report the incident to the property owner as soon as possible after the incident occurs. For commercial locations, request an official incident report be completed. The report should include what happened, the type of accident that occurred, the manager’s or owner’s contact information, and your information. Having this report can be helpful later on if a lawsuit becomes necessary.
Seek a Medical Evaluation
You may feel fine after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident and believe you do not need medical treatment. However, many injuries, like concussions, may not show symptoms immediately.
Seeking a medical evaluation immediately after a slip and fall or trip and fall accident will document your injuries and allow you to receive the appropriate treatment and care. This provides two benefits:
- Ensures the injury will not worsen if left untreated; and
- Provides documentation of your injuries that can be used if you file a lawsuit.
Liability in Minnesota Slip and Fall Accidents
Determining liability in slip and fall accidents is not always easy or clear. Depending on the circumstances, several parties may be to blame. For example, the property owner may be at-fault if they acted negligently by not repairing or warning of the hazard. However, your settlement or recovery may be reduced if you have some fault for causing the accident. If your fault exceeds that of the property owner, you will not be able to recover any of your damages.
Situations when the property owner may be held liable for slip and fall or trip and fall accidents, include the following:
- The property owner or their employees created the hazard;
- The hazard was created by a natural occurrence, i.e. snow, ice, rain, etc.
- The property owner or their employees were aware of the hazard but did not fix it or provide proper warnings about it;
- The property owner or their employees should have been aware of the hazard because a reasonable person would have noticed it and made the proper repair.
You (the accident victim) may also be responsible for the accident. This occurs in the following situations:
- There was no reason for the accident victim to be on the property;
- The victim failed to act reasonably by failing to acknowledge the danger or not attempting to avoid it;
- The victim did not notice the signs posted by the owner indicating the hazard;
- The hazard was open and obvious;
- The victim contributed to the dangerous conditions present and is partly or fully at fault for their accident and injuries.
We Can Help Establish a Strong Case for Your Slip and Fall Claim
When we provide representation for clients who were injured due to a slip and fall or trip and fall accident, we will use a strategy that best suits the situation. Some of the most common defenses we see raised by property owners for these types of cases include the following:
- The hazard or danger was open and obvious;
- The property manager or owner was unaware of the issue or not told about the hazard;
- The victim was partially or completely at-fault for the injuries they sustained.
With the help of our personal injury legal team, you can feel confident that we will use the available evidence, witness statements, and expert witnesses to help defeat these defenses, prove your case and ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your claim.
The Statute of Limitations in Minnesota for Slip and Fall Injuries
The statute of limitations related to slip and fall accidents is outlined in https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/541.05, which applies to all personal injury cases in the state.
You have just six years from the date of your accident to settle your case or start a lawsuit. If you fail to do so within this time period, your claim will be forever barred.
Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are also governed by Minnesota’s comparative fault statute. Based on this statute, the accident victim can receive compensation in proportion to the amount of fault. This means your recovery can be reduced based on your percentage of fault for the accident.
Contact Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, for Assistance with Your Slip, Trip, and Fall Case
Handling a slip and fall or trip and fall case without the help of an attorney can be challenging and is fraught with traps. At Nelson Personal Injury, LLC, we are happy to discuss your situation to discover if you have a valid claim and help you move forward. Call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim and your needs today.
We fight aggressively for our clients to help them recover the full amount of compensation they are entitled to.