I injured myself in a slip and fall accident. How do I know if l have a claim?

Minnesota personal injury attorney James Heuer talks about how you know if you have a claim in a slip and fall accident.

Contact James Heuer

Phone: (612) 333-3160

Transcript:

In Minnesota homeowners are responsible for taking care of their premises, business owners are responsible for taking care of their premises. So those are the two typical kind of cases whether we’ve had slip and falls at hospitals, at schools, grocery stores, at Uncle Bill’s house, it doesn’t matter, and you can make a claim. But in Minnesota snow claims are ones you see frequently and you can’t make a claim if in the middle of the snowstorm you slip and fall and get hurt because everyone realizes it takes time to clean up. But if it’s been a week or so and the homeowner or the business owner’s had a chance to clean up after the snow storm and sand and salt and do whatever they do to make the walkway safe then you can bring a claim to be compensated for your lost wages, your medical bills, your pain and suffering as a result of your injuries.

And again, those kind of things are tempered by what we call comparative fault. So if you had no reason to expect this condition then it’s going to be 100 percent on the landowner or homeowner, whatever. But it if it’s something where you come by here every day and why today you picked to fall then there’s going to be the issue of comparative fault and that will reduce your recovery based on your percentage of fault. And fault is on a level of 100 percent and so if it’s 100 percent you get all your damages if it’s 51 percent your fault then you don’t get anything.

And unfortunately, we’ve seen some very serious injuries occur during snowstorms and it’s not fair to the homeowner so I mean there’s fairness built into the system. It’s a reasonableness test what would a reasonable person do in this situation? And that’ kind of the standard to say all right, you shouldn’t have been wearing your high heels o the ice maybe you should have worn some boots and carried your high heels would be something you hear from insurance companies.

Typical things we see in grocery stores, you know if somebody walks through the milk aisle and knocks a carton of milk down and you slip and fall the question is had the milk been there long enough to get sour so they should have found it and cleaned it up or did it just happen so the grocery store had no change to remedy the problem. And then they’ll say well, what kind of shoes were you wearing because they want to find out again. So again, that all goes into the determination and that’s why you need a lawyer. You need somebody that’s gonna look out for you but also be practical enough and say you know, that’s at – I’ve turned many people down and said that’s really a nasty injury, but I’m sorry under our system you’re more at fault than the owner of the property and you’re not going to get compensate you have to go to your health insurance for medical bills.