The Dangers of Winter Weather Premises Liability Accidents

Premises liability cases are among the most common cases the Minneapolis Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw see during Minnesota winters. Slipping and falling on snow and ice on sidewalks, parking lots, and walkways can result in serious injuries. Falling ice and snow from roofs and gutters can also cause serious injuries.

What Is Premises Liability?

Premises liability cases involve an unsafe condition on someone’s property. Property owners are held to the standard of exercising reasonable care in the ownership and maintenance of the property to keep guests reasonably safe. This means that property owners should foresee potential dangers and take action to minimize or eradicate them. Property owners are not just responsible for the building itself, they are also responsible for common areas, parking lots, and sometimes sidewalks. The standard of care applies to personal property owners, businesses, and retailers. If a property owner failed to exercise reasonable care and you or a loved one was harmed as a result, you may have a premises liability claim.

Tips to Avoid Winter Premises Liability Cases on Your Property or Business

  • Keep rock salt available in winter weather 
  • Keep a good snow shovel on hand
  • Keep a good roof rake on hand and regularly remove snow buildups from roof
  • Regularly remove ice dams, icicles, and snow drifts from roof and gutters
  • Keep driveways and sidewalks shoveled during the winter
  • Keep driveways and sidewalks salted during the winter
  • Periodically inspect the property, including common areas
  • Remove/remediate snow and ice within a reasonable time

Common Injuries in Winter Premises Liability Accidents

These injuries include: 

  • Sprains and strains
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Back and spinal injuries
  • Head and traumatic brain injuries

Sprains and Strains 

Both of these injuries involve the tearing and/or stretching of soft tissue. Sprains impact ligaments, and strains impact the muscles or tendons. Results of these injuries include limited range of motion and immense pain. Sprains and strains most often affect the wrists and ankles in winter weather slip-and-fall accidents. 

Fractures and Broken Bones

Broken or fractured bones can occur when someone slips and falls due to the winter ice and snow. These injuries can also occur from impacts from falling ice and snow. Broken or fractured bones are serious injuries that should be treated immediately, as they can also cause damage to internal organs. 

Back and Spine Injuries

Slip-and-fall accidents are a leading cause of spinal injuries in the United States; they cause about 31% of all new spinal cord injuries every year. If you land on your back, the force of the fall can actually fracture the spinal vertebrae. A fractured vertebrae puts pressure on the spine which can result in immense pain, spasms, incontinence, loss of sensation in limbs, and potentially lifelong paralysis. Other common back injuries from slip-and-fall accidents include herniated, slipped, or compressed discs that can cause severe pain and limited mobility. 

Head and Brain Injuries

In the majority of serious slip-and-fall accidents, the victim’s head collides with the ground. Brain injuries can also occur from impacts from falling ice and snow. These injuries are immensely serious, because they can progressively worsen over time if untreated. If someone injuries their head, they must be examined by a doctor immediately.

Traumatic brain injuries occur when a powerful force acts upon the head in a way that causes damage to the brain. The potentially permanent damage can cause symptoms that affect a person’s cognitive abilities in addition to resulting in concussions, brain contusions, penetrating brain injuries, and more.

How GoldenbergLaw Can Help:

If you or a loved one has been harmed on someone else’s property, contact the Minnesota Premises Liability Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw. We have over 35 years of experience and will provide you with the Gold standard of advocacy that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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