Who’s Responsible If You Slip and Fall on Ice in MN?
Winter weather in Minnesota can be beautiful, but it can also be treacherous. Slippery sidewalks and icy parking lots can make it difficult to get around safely, and they can also increase the risk of slip and fall accidents.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on ice, you may be wondering who is responsible for your injuries.
What Are Owners and Occupiers Responsibilities in Minnesota?
In our state, property owners and occupiers have a legal duty to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition for visitors. This includes taking steps to address hazardous conditions such as ice and snow on sidewalks, parking lots, and other outdoor areas.
However, the law recognizes that it is not always reasonable or practical for property owners and occupiers to immediately address hazardous conditions such as ice and snow. For example, if a winter storm is in progress, it may not be possible to clear all snow and ice from a property until the storm has passed.
In general, property owners and occupiers in Minnesota have a “reasonable time” to address hazardous conditions such as ice and snow after they become aware of them or should have become aware of them. What constitutes a reasonable time will depend on the specific circumstances of each case, including the size and layout of the property, the severity of the hazardous condition, and the availability of resources to address it.
What If I Fall On Ice On Someone Else’s Minnesota Property?
If you slip and fall on ice on someone else’s property, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the property owner or occupier to recover compensation for your injuries. To succeed in such a claim, you will need to show that:
- The property owner or occupier owed you a duty of care to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition;
- The property owner or occupier breached their duty of care by failing to take reasonable steps to address the hazardous condition;
- Your slip and fall accident was a direct result of the property owner or occupier’s breach of their duty of care; and
- You suffered damages as a result of your slip and fall accident, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It is important to note that Minnesota follows a comparative fault system for personal injury claims. This means that if you are found to have contributed to your own slip and fall accident by, for example, wearing inappropriate footwear or engaging in reckless behavior, your compensation may be reduced or eliminated accordingly.
What Should I Do If I Slip and Fall On Ice In Minnesota?
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on ice, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to document them for potential legal purposes.
You should also report your slip and fall accident to the property owner or occupier as soon as possible. Be sure to document the conditions that led to your slip and fall, including the location of the hazardous condition, the date and time of your accident, and any witnesses who may have seen your fall.
Finally, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you on your legal options and help you pursue compensation for your injuries. An attorney can investigate the circumstances of your slip and fall accident, gather evidence to support your claim, and negotiate with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf.
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.