We’re in the midst of another Minnesota winter, and that means we need to take a little extra precaution with every step we take. Snow and ice can make for treacherous walking conditions, and if you suffer a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you’re probably wondering if you’re eligible for compensation. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the factors that influence your ability to collect compensation for a winter slip and fall accident, and share answers to some common questions on the subject.
Winter Slip and Fall Injuries
We’ll start by answering some general questions about winter slip and fall accidents and expand on the topic from there.
Can I get compensation if I slip on someone else’s icy sidewalk or parking lot?
As you might have guessed, there’s no straightforward answer to this question. For example, if you were running because you were late for a meeting and looking down at your phone when you slipped on an icy patch, you may be responsible for your own injuries. On the flip side, if your landlord hasn’t cleared the sidewalk in a week and you slip on your way out the building, you likely have a very strong case. The circumstances of your fall determine your ability to collect compensation, so having strong evidence and a lawyer by your side are your best bets.
How long do property owners have to clear ice and snow from walking paths?
It depends on where you suffer the slip and fall. Most cities and municipalities have their own regulations and time requirements for property owners to remove snow from sidewalks and other walkways, although there is no formal statute declaring that they do so. For example, in Minneapolis, homeowners and landlords are responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of their property. Homeowners have 24 hours from the end of the snowfall to shovel their portion of the sidewalk, while those who own apartments or commercial buildings have four daytime hours from when the snow stops to clear the walkways around their premises. Minneapolis states that daytime hours begin at 8 a.m. Check with a lawyer about the regulations governing the municipality in which you slipped.
What happens if you slip while it’s snowing?
Since property owners have a certain time period to clear snow and ice once the snow has stopped, are you out of luck if you suffer a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property while it’s snowing? Again, it depends on a number of factors about the fall itself. Did your fall occur as a result of past accumulations underneath the new fallen snow? Did you slip when entering a building because of a wet spot from people’s boots? If so, you may have a claim. However, going after compensation for a slip and fall on fresh snow on an otherwise-cleared path will be an uphill battle, so only proceed with a good legal team by your side.
How can I strengthen my slip and fall accident claim?
Two main ways to strengthen your winter slip and fall case are to collect as much hard evidence as possible and to retain a lawyer. To strengthen your case with evidence, get the contact information of anyone who witnessed your accident, write down your recollection of events, including details about the snow and the location of your slip, and get prompt medical care to document the extent of your injuries. Also, if there’s a chance that any businesses may have caught the slip on camera, see if you can get the footage. Give all this evidence to your lawyer and let them build your case and come up with a claim award amount that suits the extent of your injuries and the other party’s liability.
For help with your icy slip and fall accident, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Office today.
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