Your Well-Being Is Our Priority

Winter weather in Minnesota equals an increased slip-and-fall risk

On Behalf of Bennerotte & Associates, P.A.

Oct 16, 2023

Premises Liability/Dog Bites

The area around Eagan, like most of Minnesota, will experience very intense winter weather in the upcoming months. As temperatures drop and precipitation freezes, aspects of daily life that people tend to take for granted will become more dangerous. For example, the possibility of someone getting into a car crash will increase when there is snow or ice on the road. Some people try to reduce their risk by spending less time in their vehicles during times of freezing precipitation.

However, walking to a local destination won’t necessarily be much safer than driving. Pedestrians could also end up getting hurt because of snowy and icy conditions. Sidewalks can become very hazardous during the winter months, and a slip-and-fall on icy sidewalks could lead to severe injuries, as well as property damage losses.

Clear sidewalks are crucial for safety

Ice and snow accumulated on the sidewalks can lead to someone falling and breaking a phone or hurting their brain. Sidewalks are crucial to local transportation, and often property owners, including those who own residential homes, have an obligation to help maintain them.

Some sidewalks in downtown areas receive snow and ice removal services provided by the municipality. However, many property owners in Eagan will have a responsibility to clear their own sidewalks. They will need to shovel or apply ice melt products to keep the sidewalks clear and passable. Failing to do so could lead to the risk of having personal liability should people get hurt on the sidewalk adjacent to their property.

Businesses with parking lots and adjacent sidewalks typically also have responsibility to keep them as clear as possible. Individuals who slip and fall on icy sidewalks or in the parking lots of businesses may need to pursue premises liability claims. Particularly if someone has medical expenses caused by a brain injury or broken bone caused by a fall, holding an irresponsible property owner liable is a reasonable response to a slip-and-fall caused by snowy or icy sidewalks.

Both business insurance and homeowners insurance may help compensate those injured due to a snowy sidewalk slip-and-fall. Understanding who is likely liable for someone’s recent injuries may make it easier for people to successfully pursue compensation to cover their medical expenses, property damage losses and possible lost wages related to such an incident.