As More MN Businesses Reopen, An Overview of Slip and Fall Laws
Although hundreds of new COVID-19 cases are still being reported in Minnesota each day, restrictions are easing up around the state. More businesses are able to reopen, pay their employees, and return to a sense of normalcy. If you’ve been missing the gym, movie theatre, or indoor dining room, you can finally enjoy these places again.
These new rules are going to have many different types of consequences. On the one hand, Minnesotans are less depressed and more hopeful than they were a month ago. On the other hand, they face increased risk of contracting the virus… and that’s just the beginning.
As businesses around the state are making changes to accommodate for social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we feel like this is a good time to go over slip and fall laws in the North Star State.
After all, with so much focus in one specific area, it’s quite possible that slip and fall risks are not going to be top of mind. If they neglect to think about possible fall hazards and you end up injured, filing a personal injury claim may be the only way to get the fair and just compensation you deserve.
What Does a Slip and Fall Lawsuit Entail in Minnesota?
Slip and fall lawsuits can sound frivolous, but they often result in TBIs, broken bones, and other serious injuries. These injuries can quickly rack up pretty hefty medical bills. If those medical bills are due to a property owner or business owner’s neglect or recklessness, you should not have to pay for their mistake.
What exactly turns a fall into a viable slip and fall suit?
Let’s say that you slip and fall on the floor of a department store. The staff had recently cleaned the floor with floor cleaner, but failed to notify shoppers that the floor was slippery. Your fall results in a broken bone and tens of thousands of dollars in hospital bills.
If you can prove that the staff was negligent, you may be able to receive compensation to help you cover the cost of the damages you’ve incurred — including things like lost income and pain and suffering.
When Can You File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
Slip and fall lawsuits, along with other personal injury cases, don’t just happen in the midst of a global pandemic, but COVID-19 may have put off your ability to file. Fortunately, the statute of limitations in Minnesota is between 2-6 years.
If you sustained physical injuries, you have two years to file a claim. If the slip and fall only resulted in property damage, you have six years. Of course, your likelihood of winning the case diminishes if you wait to file a claim, but it is still possible to receive compensation for an injury even if you hold off on starting your case until a year or two after the incident.
What Does MN Say If the Slip and Fall Was Also My Fault?
Understandably, businesses do not want to shell out tens of thousands of dollars in slip and fall cases. They’ll fight back. They’ll try and tell you that it’s your fault for slipping and falling.
Let’s go back to the department store example. Maybe you had a martini or two at the bar next door to the mall before you went shopping. Employees at the store may claim that they saw you stumbling before you slipped and fell on the wet floor.
Does that invalidate your claim? In some states, yes. However, Minnesota has modified comparative negligence laws. This means if your actions contributed to your injury, you will not get the full amount of compensation that you want, but you can still win your case and get a portion of that compensation.
Will your case stand up in court? Will you be able to receive compensation for your injuries? The answer varies from case to case. Your best chance is to start building your case as soon after the incident occurs as possible, and to be thorough in collecting evidence and utilizing expert testimony.
About the Author:
A lifelong Minnesotan, founding partner Ronald R. Envall has spent his entire legal career fighting for the little guy, focusing on workers’ compensation, Social Security, and personal injury cases. He has been recognized by SuperLawyers as a Top Rated attorney in Duluth, placing him in the top 5 percent of all workers comp lawyers across the state. In his free time, Mr. Envall serves on the boards of several area government and nonprofit organizations and is a member of the Minnesota Association for Justice, which supports consumer rights.