This is the next post in our series on handling Rochester, Minnesota cases involving slip and fall or premises liability claims. Our last article provided an overview of the topics we will address in this series and stressed the need to contact and retain a personal injury attorney experienced in handling such matters. It is important to understand that premises liability cases are very fact specific. You need the services of counsel who understand the intricacies of these matters. In this article we will address a topic about which there are many misconceptions – when a property owner or operator is actually liable for a victim’s fall. If you or a loved one have been injured, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Many different types of businesses make their facilities open to the public. These facilities can include stores, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and more. People expect these locations to be safe when they enter. There are times, however, when a floor is left carelessly wet or some other dangerous condition makes the property unsafe. If someone is injured because of such a condition, he or she may be able to recover damages from the building’s owner and/or operators. It is important to understand the circumstances in which a fall victim may be able to seek damages.
When business owners or companies make their buildings open to the public, they are required to take “reasonable steps” to ensure that their facilities are safe. If they take reasonable steps and an injury still occurs, it can be difficult to prove that the land owner is more at fault than the injured person. A building owner cannot guarantee that its facility is 100% safe or foolproof all of the time. However, a premises operator who does not take reasonable steps to make its property safe can be liable for any injuries that occur as a result of such a failure.
This legal standard may best be described by way of example. Consider a grocery store having a policy that requires a clerk to check the aisles for spills every hour. If the policy is followed and, five minutes after an aisle was checked, water was spilled on the floor by a patron and a different patron immediately slipped on it, the store would likely not be held liable for the accident. On the other hand, if a spill occurred and someone immediately informed management, but management did not immediately dispatch someone to clean up the spill, the property owner would likely be held liable for the accident. In the second example, the property owner was made aware of a dangerous condition and did not take immediate steps to correct it.
How a jury will rule in any given case will depend on the facts of the situation. Slip and fall or premises liability cases are highly fact specific. Seldom are two cases alike. This is why it is so important to retain an injury attorney if you or a loved one were harmed on another’s property. Our firm has recovered more than $125 million on behalf of victims and we are ready to assist you. Contact us today to speak with a Rochester slip and fall lawyer.
Besides Rochester, we serve the following major southeast Minnesota cities: Red Wing, Winona, Mankato, Austin, Albert Lea, and Owatonna, and all outlying communities, as well as the cities of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Bloomington. We also serve the Iowa cities of Mason City, Charles City, Osage, Spencer, Garner, Forest City, and Northwood and the Wisconsin cities of La Crosse, Onalaska, Sparta, Viroqua, River Falls, Ellsworth, Whitehall, and Black River Falls.