Understanding Slip and Fall Claims

Feb. 12, 2019

Although slip and fall accidents may sound relatively mild, in truth they often have devastating consequences. According to the National Safety Council, in 2016, 34,673 people died from falls at home and at work. Not all those falls were falls from heights—more than 130 workers died in falls at the same level in 2016. In the same year, more than 9 million people received emergency room treatment for injuries linked to falls.

Meanwhile, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, the rate of fatal falls in Minnesota doubled between the year 2000 and 2016, and in 2013 the age-adjusted fatal fall rate in Minnesota was double that of the US.

Slip and fall accidents can have catastrophic consequences for victims, resulting in severe, life-threatening injuries. Falls are especially dangerous for senior citizens, as the injuries they suffer tend to be more serious, require a longer recovery time and have fatal complications.

At Patterson Dahlberg, we know how traumatic a slip-and-fall accident can be, and we’ve seen the tragic consequences of people or organizations failing to maintain their premises. Our attorneys are available to answer questions about your specific case and advise you of your rights. We specialize in personal injury lawsuits, making us uniquely qualified to manage your slip and fall injury claims.

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

Common slip and fall injuries include:

Slip and fall accidents can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including icy or slippery surfaces, which are common in Minnesota winters; debris left on the floor or ground; hazards that have not been properly marked, such as water on the floor; unsafe work zones; and uneven ground or floors. Any one of these could cause a person to lose their footing and fall, causing injury.

What to do if you Fall

If you are at the site of the fall, get as much information as you can about where you are and the condition the property is in, including how well lit it is. If there are witnesses, get their contact information. Keep a record of the date and time of the fall. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Whether you fall at work or while on personal time, keeping notes about the circumstances surrounding your accident will help you greatly in any claims you might file. If you are injured at work, you likely have to file a report with your supervisor for your claim to be considered. Make sure you complete any legally-required paperwork.

Comparative Negligence and Premises Liability

In Minnesota, comparative negligence is used to determine the fault of each of the parties involved in an accident. For example, if you were distracted by your cell phone and failed to see a hazard you otherwise would have seen, you could be found partially responsible for your own injuries. This would affect the amount you receive from a slip and fall claim.

Minnesota premises liability law holds the owner of land and/or the person or organization who possesses the property liable for injuries other parties suffer while on that property. The owner or occupant is responsible for ensuring the property is maintained in a safe and hazard-free condition.

However, just because you fell on someone else’s property does not necessarily mean they are liable for your injuries. If they knew or should have known about the hazard but failed to take steps to fix the defect then they could be liable. If they did not have control of the property or had no way of knowing about the hazard, they may not be liable.

This is how some property owners will attempt to avoid a claim—they will argue that they did not know about the hazard or that you were responsible for your own injury.

Minnesota Slip and Fall Attorney

An experienced Minnesota slip and fall lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your accident and determine whether you are entitled to file a lawsuit following your injuries. Attorneys at Patterson Dahlberg are highly experienced at Minnesota slip and fall claims and will answer all your questions to ensure you fully understand your rights. We’ll make sure those responsible for your injuries are held accountable and we’ll fight to get you justice for any harm caused by someone else’s negligence.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your slip and fall claim.