Our Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers Can Help You Get Compensation
Property owners and managers have responsibility to keep their property in a condition that does not harm others. Unfortunately, all too often, situations such as a poorly maintained property, uncleared ice and snow, slick surfaces, broken walkways, uneven paths, and unmarked spills cause slip and fall accidents. The consequences of a fall can be catastrophic. From a broken leg to a life-changing traumatic brain injury to death, serious injuries are common from a Minnesota slip and fall. Survivors may wind up facing a long hospital stay and mounting medical bills at a time they are unable to work and may be dealing with pain, suffering, and an uncertain future.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died as a result of tripping and falling because of someone else’s negligence or failure to maintain their property or correct hazards, you may be entitled to compensation. However, Minnesota laws are complicated, and property owners and their insurance companies will often try to deny or minimize compensation or even put the blame for the accident on you. They have high-powered lawyers on their side, working against you, so it’s difficult to deal with them on your own.
Fortunately, when you have suffered serious injuries in a fall, you can get help and guidance from an experienced Minnesota slip and fall injury lawyer. At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we have experience in settling and winning slip and fall trials, and we are here to fight for your rights for a fair settlement and hold the negligent parties accountable. While money can’t fix everything or replace a loved one who died in an accident, it can help you put the pieces of your life back together, provide comfort and resources for your family’s future needs, and serve to punish a negligent property owner and prevent similar accidents from occurring in the future.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to examine the circumstances of your trip and fall and determine the best way to proceed with getting the compensation you deserve. Contact us if unsafe conditions in a building, a business, or on the grounds of a property caused you to be injured in a slip and fall accident.
To find out more about how our St. Paul slip and fall accident attorneys can help, call Tyroler Leonard Injury Law today at 651-259-1113.
How Our St. Paul Slip and Fall Injury Attorneys Work to Help You
When you contact Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, our legal team will begin working for you immediately. We will:
- Meet with you to hear how the accident happened, the effects of the accident on your life, what parties may have been at fault, and the costs and suffering you have endured. We will then evaluate your case and determine what it should be worth.
- Investigate the circumstances of your accident thoroughly to find whether another party was negligent and show why you were not at fault. We will gather evidence such as surveillance videos, photographs, police and medical reports, and interviews with witnesses.
- Deal with insurance companies. Our lawyers will aggressively negotiate for a fair settlement.
- Hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf as to fault, the effects of the accident on your life and family, and the costs and treatments you may face in the future.
- Build your case and take it to court if an agreement with insurance cannot be reached.
At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we take the burden off you by filing all documents and dealing with all legal matters and requirements so you can focus on your recovery. Our attorneys are experienced in slip and fall cases. We are compassionate with clients who have been through traumatic experiences. At the same time, we are aggressive negotiators and fierce litigators. We take each case personally and is entirely focused on getting our clients the justice they deserve. We are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with insurance companies to negotiate a favorable settlement or litigate a case in front of a judge and jury when necessary. We will not stop until he has achieved the best possible outcome for every client.
Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers in St. Paul Determine Whether You Have a Case
For you to have a valid slip and fall case, another party would have to be at fault for your accident. However, not every fall is the fault of the property owner. For your Minnesota slip and fall claim to be successful, you must first prove that the property owner or other defendant was negligent and at fault for causing the accident that injured you. A defendant can be a person, a business, an insurance company, a government entity, or any combination of these.
To prove negligence, your attorney will have to prove the following elements:
- Duty – The defendant owed the you a legal “duty of care” to ensure that an environment or location was safe.
- Breach – The defendant breached this duty by doing, or failing to do, something that a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. The defendant had time to remedy the condition or warn about the defect which caused your accident, but failed to do so.
- Causation – The defendant’s actions or inaction caused your injuries.
- Damages – You suffered damages as a result.
Determining liability in a slip and fall case can be challenging. The property owner may have acted negligently by not repairing or warning of a hazard they knew or should have been aware of. The property owner might be liable if the owner or the owner’s employees:
- caused the danger
- were aware of the danger but failed to fix or warn of it
- should have known about the danger because a reasonable person would have known about it and repaired it.
Examples of negligence that lead to slips and falls are:
- A business has spilled something on the floor or left an area wet that was recently mopped, and failed to clean it or post warnings
- Floors are broken, cracked, have holes, or are uneven
- Carpet or rugs are not secure
- Stairs have broken or missing railings
- Lighting was insufficient or broken.
In a slip and fall lawsuit, the responsible party is frequently the property or business owner or manager, but there may be multiple parties involved, such as joint owners and management companies, or even a municipality that had a duty to fix a broken sidewalk. Our attorneys will strive to prove that any or all of these parties, the defendants in the case, were negligent and at fault.
Minnesota’s Modified Comparative Negligence Rule
Even if the property owner was negligent, if the injured person contributed in some way to their accident, such as by not paying attention or disregarding warning signs, their award might get reduced. This is because Minnesota is a “comparative fault” state. According to the law (Civil actions Chapter 604, Section 604.1), the fault of the injured person is compared to the fault of the property owner. As long as you have equal or less fault than the people responsible for the property, you will have a claim. However, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a case is worth $50,000 but the injured person is 50% at fault for the fall, they will recover $25,000. Someone who is more than 50% will not have a claim for a fall.
Beyond comparing fault between the parties, the issue of fault can be especially complicated for Minnesota slip and falls. Insurance companies will often argue that the danger was known or obvious and because of that they do not owe anything. If the danger is not obvious, they will argue they did not have notice of the dangerous condition. The insurance companies will often ask a judge to dismiss the case based on these defenses. When you suffer serious injury from a fall, it is important to consult with an experienced Minnesota slip and fall attorney as soon as possible to protect you from these arguments. Call Tyroler Leonard Injury Law today at 651-259-1113.
Damage Awards Our Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers May Help You Recover
In Minnesota, as in all personal injury cases, our slip and fall injury lawyer may be able to win compensation that covers both your economic or monetary losses and your noneconomic damages that do not have a specific dollar value.
Monetary damages include:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills and future medical services
- Loss of income from being unable to work and lost future earning capacity
- Any property damage from the accident.
Non-monetary damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship and consortium.
In some rare instances, there can also be punitive damages in addition to the damages listed above. Punitive damages are awarded by a court when there is evidence of gross negligence by a defendant who knowingly or recklessly placed persons in danger or if the defendant had a history of safety violations. These are designed to punish a defendant and prevent any other would-be wrongdoers from being similarly negligent.
Our St. Paul slip and fall attorneys will seek to identify all potentially liable parties who may have contributed to your accident, as they all may have assets and insurance that can go toward a settlement. We will fight to recover all your monetary and non-monetary damages.
Slip and Fall FAQs
Slip and fall accident attorneys in St. Paul answer frequently asked questions.
Clients often have similar questions about a slip and fall injury lawsuit. These questions can include queries about timing, definitions, dollar amounts, and costs. The following are some answers to questions our attorneys are frequently asked:
How do I value my Minnesota slip and fall claim?
There are a wide range of damage awards that victims may win after a slip and fall accident. Minnesota slip and fall law allows compensation for medical bills, wage loss, and “noneconomic damages,” including pain, embarrassment, disability, emotional distress, and other factors. Although we see these cases every day, every case is different. Amounts may range from the thousands to millions of dollars depending on the circumstances of the accident and factors such as the costs involved, the seriousness and permanence of the injury, your age, earning capacity, and family status, whether you can return to work and whether comparative fault comes into play. When you contact our slip and fall attorneys, we will assess all factors in your individual situation to determine what type of settlement to strive for.
Will the property owner owe my medical bills and wage loss?
One of the biggest misconceptions about Minnesota slip and falls is that if someone is hurt on a property, the property owner automatically owes medical bills and wage loss. As noted above, the property owner will owe medical bills and wage loss if they are determined to be at fault for the fall because of their negligence. The medical bills and wage loss will only be paid as part of a lump sum payment at the end of a case or after a verdict at trial. However, some property insurance policies have medical payments, or “med pay,” coverage that will immediately cover bills up to the limits of coverage, regardless of who is at fault. If there is no med pay coverage, health insurance will cover medical bills even if someone else is ultimately determined to be at fault. If you have access to short-term disability benefits, those will also pay immediately after an injury. Both the health insurance and short-term policies may seek money back from any settlement.
Will I have to testify in court?
Most slip and fall cases are settled out of court, so injury victims often do not have to take the stand and testify. You will have the choice of whether to accept a settlement or move on to litigation. If your case does go to trial, our St. Paul slip and fall injury attorneys will advise you about your options and make sure you are fully prepared if you do have to testify.
How long do I have to start a lawsuit after a Minnesota slip and fall?
There is a Statute of Limitations that regulates slip and fall accidents. In most cases, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is six years in Minnesota.
The 6-year statute of limitations for Minnesota personal injury lawsuits can be found at Minnesota Statutes section 541.05. There are a few scenarios in which the “clock” on the statute of limitations might be delayed. These include:
- If the injured person under is the age of 18, then the statute does not run until the later of 6 years or the person turns 19 years old.
- If the injured person is legally insane, then the clock won’t start running until the period of legal disability is over (mental competence is restored). However, this filing deadline won’t be extended beyond five (5) years; and once sanity is restored, the suit must be filed within one (1) year. (Minnesota Statutes section 541.15.)
Do I need an attorney after a slip and fall?
Right after a slip and fall is an extremely important time for your case. Investigation needs to be done right away to preserve evidence and find and interview witnesses while memory is fresh. Our slip and fall team will get to work on your behalf immediately to help prevent missing deadlines and making costly mistakes.
Should I talk to insurance companies?
The less you say to insurance companies, the better, as they and their lawyers are working to deny or minimize payments. The insurance company will want to take a recorded statement with you within the first few weeks after the fall and will attempt to use everything you say against you to deny your claim. Tell the insurance company to speak with your lawyer and let us handle all dealings and negotiations with them.
How do attorney fees work?
At Tyroler Leonard Injury Law, we work entirely on contingency fees, meaning you will not pay any fees unless we are able to recover money for you, and then fees are taken out of your settlement. Consultations are entirely free, and we are happy to give advice to help you in any way we can.
Who is the defendant in a slip and fall lawsuit?
Depending on the circumstances, there can be one or several defendants in a personal injury lawsuit. The property owner – whether it be a retailer, hotel, amusement park, or concert venue – is typically the defendant. Other defendants may be a management company or maintenance company or a municipality. Even though in most cases an insurance company is backing the defendant, in some cases you can sue an insurance company directly and they are the defendant. Our attorneys will look to identify all potential defendants.
How long does a slip and fall lawsuit take?
Each case is different, depending on how many witnesses need to be interviewed, the amount of evidence to be examined, the complexity of the laws involved, who is at fault, and the willingness of the defendant to negotiate. Often, how long the case takes is a direct result of how long it takes the victim to heal. It is always a good idea to wait to resolve your case until after you know exactly what the injuries are and how long and hard the recovery will be. Because of this, cases can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to reach a settlement or jury award. Settlements often happen faster than trials, but settling can result in less money. Our slip and fall injury lawyer will advise you about the potential time frame for your case.
What is pain and suffering and how do you measure it?
Pain and suffering can be difficult to value. A person injured through someone else’s negligence is entitled to recover for:
- Emotional distress.
What each of these is worth can be different based on the case. We will work with doctors, and in some cases mental health specialists, to identify and treat pain and suffering issues. We may ask you to document activities you previously enjoyed and can no longer participate in and to keep a daily journal describing how you feel emotionally and what activities you can and cannot perform each day.
Slip and Fall Attorneys Help When a Slip and Fall Results in Death
In the tragic situation when someone dies after a slip and fall accident, our attorneys can file a case for wrongful death. Wrongful death is a legal term that means a person’s death was caused by another person or business.
According to Minnesota statute (Chapter 573, Section 573.02), if the death was caused by the wrongful act or omission of any person or corporation, the surviving spouse or one of the next of kin can file a written petition with the court. A trustee will then be appointed who can bring an action for an injury caused by the wrongful act or omission.
When a wrongful death occurs, our compassionate attorneys are here to help the next of kin bring a claim against the parties who caused the death. In a successful case, damages are paid to the surviving spouse and next of kin in proportion to the losses caused by the death.
What You Should Do After A Minnesota Slip and Fall
Insurance companies can be extremely difficult on Minnesota slips and falls as they often refuse to acknowledge that the property owner is at fault even when they failed to properly maintain their property. Often the insurer will blame the person who fell, even when the property owner knew of the dangerous condition and the injured victim did not. Because of this, it is extremely important to get as much information after the fall as you can to support your claim.
Our slip and fall attorneys advise taking the following steps:
- Seek medical treatment: Many people who fall suffer serious injuries. Common injuries from falls include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, severe concussions, and other types of head injuries
- Broken ankles, wrists, and other bones
- Torn rotator cuffs.
With serious injuries like these, always make sure you get the proper medical care.
- Report the fall: The sooner you report the incident, the better chance you have for a successful case. Even if an incident report is not created right away, an immediate record of the fall gives the insurance company less concern about the validity of the claim.
- Take photos: If you are at the scene and believe you are able to take pictures before you seek care, you should document the conditions at the scene as best you can. In some cases, without pictures it can be difficult to prove that the property was dangerous. With pictures, an insurer, judge, or jury can see that a property had not been plowed or salted, or that there was a hidden pothole. It is not most people’s first thought to take pictures, but they can be extremely helpful. We recently had a case where the client took a picture from the ambulance as it was driving away. We were able to win that case at trial. Even if the picture is taken after you get home from the hospital or the next day, the picture will still be admissible in court if it shows the condition of the property at the time of the fall.
- Talk to witnesses: Witnesses can make the difference in any Minnesota slip and fall case. The witnesses do not have to have seen the fall — they can also be people who are familiar with the property where the fall happened. Witnesses can give statements as to the typical conditions of the property, whether it is ever shoveled or plowed or the owner ever uses salt, whether warning signs are ever used, etc. These witnesses can contradict the owner, who almost always states that they do a good job of keeping the property safe.
- Check the area for videos: Videos can be important for two reasons. First, a video can show the fall and show that the injured person was acting reasonably at the time of the fall. Second, insurance companies will often argue that the property owner did not have enough notice of the dangerous condition to prevent the fall. This often happens in cases of thin ice or slippery liquids. Video can prove how long the condition lasted and specifically can show if the dangerous condition lasted for enough time that the owner should have known.
- Send a preservation letter: A preservation letter is a letter sent to the property owner and insurer after an incident giving them notice that they must save all evidence, including incident reports and video. If they fail to keep this evidence or actively destroy it, their failure to keep the evidence can be used against them if the case goes to trial.
Our Tyroler Law slip and fall attorneys can help with all these steps, so call us as soon as possible.
Injured? Call a St. Paul Slip and Fall Injury Attorney for Help.
If you have questions about a St. Paul slip and fall, please do not hesitate to reach out to Tyroler Injury Law. You deserve to have the compassionate, experienced representation our firm provides. Our clients come first. We spend as much time as you need to help you understand what happens after you hire us, and to develop a collaborative relationship to work together to achieve the best results. We handle all legal requirements and negotiations to take the burden off you so you can focus on your recovery.
Isaac Tyroler has been practicing law for more than a decade and is admitted to the bar in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in U.S. District Court. He has received the Super Lawyers Rising Star Award multiple times and is a frequent speaker at legal seminars. To learn more about what his satisfied clients have to say, you can read these client testimonials. Call today for your free consultation at 651-259-1113.