Slip and Fall Liability
Slip and fall cases are a kind of legal case called personal injury, that usually happen due to a business owner being negligent in maintaining their property or area around their property, like a sidewalk or parking lot. Sometimes this is because of some slippery substance on the floor like oil or ice that is there temporarily. Other times it is due to permanent situations like cracked or crumbling sidewalk or steps. When a person is visiting, living or working on another person’s property and suffers serious or life-changing injuries because of a fall, the business or the owners of the property could be held legally responsible and required to compensate the victim. However, the victim does not just receive a check, they need to be able to prove that the business or property owner was negligent in maintaining the property AND they need to prove that the injury resulted in hospitalizations or extensive medical treatment.
Simply slipping and falling and getting a scratched on your knee is not going to result in a million dollar settlement.
In order to prove negligence in a Minnesota slip, trip and fall cases, two questions must be answered. First, you need to determine what actually caused you to slip and fall. The second question, which many times can be trickier to answer and prove, is did anyone know about the situation? For example, did they know there was oil, or a crack, or crumbling concrete?
What do you need to prove in order to win a slip and fall case?
Slip and fall cases are based on what we call negligence law. If a business or the property owner was not negligent this means they do not have a responsibility in your injury and are not liable. If there is no liability, then you will be unable to go forward with your slip and fall case. In cases which we call slip and fall cases, victims must prove that either:
- The business or the property owner failed to maintain the property,
- The business or property owners created the unsafe and dangerous conditions which caused the injury,
- Or, that the business or property owners knew or should have known about the dangerous and unsafe condition but did not warn or notify visitors or tenants to this danger.
It is also important to investigate and prove whether or not the unsafe or dangerous condition was permanent or temporary. Where the condition was only temporary, the length of time the condition existed is important as it may make it difficult to prove your case. For example, if there was a water or oil spill and you happened to walk through the spill just moments later, that will make it more difficult to prove the business should have known about this condition.
Tips for what to do if you do slip and fall
First get medical treatment. Next, be sure to get pictures immediately of the area. If the area changes it will be harder to be compensated for your injury. Finally, get the names of any witnesses that may have actually witnessed the injury.