Outdoor slips and falls; who’s liable?

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakotans know all too well how slippery sidewalks can get after a snow fall.

Many store owners shovel and salt their entry ways so their customers don't slip and fall on their way in.

"I fell down already this year on my front steps and hit three steps and it didn't feel good. So, I hit some black ice, underneath a fresh layer of snow and I went down," said local shop owner, Doug Bauer.

Bauer says taking precautions is important to him.

"I'll throw some salt in there and I try to keep it as clean as possible," said Bauer.

But if someone does fall on the sidewalk, then what happens?

"The case will be thrown out if the injury occurred during a winter event or a snow storm, because like I said, there's a reasonable understanding. It's not reasonable to have shop owners be out shoveling and salting during a storm or right after a storm," said personal Injury Attorney, Bill Sand.

Sand says if you fall in front of a store it is the owners duty to keep the premise safe, but he says proving outdoor slip and falls can be difficult and each case can have a different outcome.

It's important to remember to keep your eyes peeled and know where you're walking to prevent a painful fall.

Sand says owners should limit their liability by putting signs out if it's slippery.