What Is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?A slip-and-fall accident occurs when someone slips or trips on someone else’s property and suffers serious injuries. Although sometimes these accidents are no one’s fault, other times they are the result of the property owner’s negligence. In these cases, the victim may be able to file a premises liability claim and receive compensation. According to The Colorado Premises Liability Act, landowners and those with control over the property, such as business tenants, are responsible for the activities and conditions of the property. That means they owe a duty of care to invited visitors, including customers and social guests—less so for trespassers who were injured on their property.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall AccidentsAs the name suggests, many slip-and-fall accidents are caused by wet or slick floors, but they are not limited to this. In addition to wet floors and walkways, slip-and-fall accidents are commonly caused by the following:
- Ice and snow. Property owners and managers are responsible for removing ice and snow that accumulates on sidewalks and other walkways on their property.
- Cluttered aisles. Store owners and managers must ensure that aisles are cleared of clutter, products, fallen items and anything else on which customers may trip.
- Elevators and escalators. Elevators and escalators must be properly maintained to ensure they don’t stop abruptly, causing someone to fall.
- Slippery flooring materials. Property owners and managers should be aware that certain types of flooring (as well as freshly polished floors) are slippery and require adequate warning or replacement.
- Landscape hazards. Property owners have a responsibility to inform invited guests about potential outdoor dangers, such as overly loose gravel, unsafe walkways, ditches, potholes, etc.
- Poor lighting. If guests and customers are unable to see, property owners and managers may be liable for injuries sustained from slip-and-fall accidents.
- Damaged sidewalks. If sidewalks are uneven, broken or otherwise precariously positioned, property owners must give visitors sufficient warning.
Proving Slip-and-Fall ClaimsJust like any other premises liability case, slip-and-fall claims must meet certain criteria to be considered valid. Typically, your slip-and-fall lawyer will need to demonstrate the following four things:
- The property contained a hazard that posed unreasonable risk of harm.
- The property owner or manager was aware of the hazard and that it posed harm to customers or guests.
- The property owner or manager was negligent in creating the hazard, failing to fix it or failing to warn visitors about it.
- You suffered a serious injury as a result of the property’s hazardous conditions.
Statute of LimitationsIn Colorado, injury victims—including victims of slip-and-fall accidents—have two years from the date of their injury to file a claim against the individual that caused their injuries. However, if the incident occurred on property owned by a governmental entity, different rules may apply. Under Colorado’s governmental immunity laws, injury victims typically need to give formal written notice of the claim to the governmental entity within 180 days of the accident.
What Types of Damages Can Be Recovered in a Denver Slip-and-Fall Case?Depending on the specific circumstances, slip-and-fall victims may be entitled to a wide range of economic and non-economic damages, including the following:
- Medical bills
- Cost of future treatments and therapies
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Permanent disability
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
Slip-and-Fall Accident Injuries: FAQsInjuries can leave victims in a state of shock, confusion, upset, depression and more. Finding answers in the midst of such an ordeal can be daunting, which is why it’s generally a good idea to talk with a trusted Denver slip-and-fall attorney. In the meantime, find some answers in our FAQ section.
What if I don’t want to sue the property owner? How do I get my costs covered?We get it—suing a family member or close friend just doesn’t make sense. That doesn’t change the fact that you deserve compensation for your losses. Luckily, you’re not out of options. Instead of suing the property owner, an experienced slip-and-fall attorney may be able to help you sue their insurance company.
What if I was injured on a rental property?Although property owners are responsible for maintaining their property, suing a landlord can be complicated. In some cases, the renter is negligent or failed to report a danger to the landlord so that it could be repaired. A slip-and-fall lawyer can help determine if you have a case.
Can I sue if my slip-and-fall accident was on public property?You may be able to sue for an accident that occurred on public property if the property is owned by a government entity. However, you will need to abide by the 180-day statute of limitations.
When should I call a slip-and-fall lawyer?As soon as you are well enough to call a slip-and-fall lawyer, it’s a good idea to do so. The sooner they get started, the better chance they’ll have to gather the pertinent evidence and start building your case.
Contact a Trusted Slip-and-Fall Lawyer TodayWhen you’re injured, determining whether or not you deserve compensation is sometimes complicated. If you’re unsure, a good rule of thumb is to consult with an experienced attorney. Fortunately, there are top Denver slip-and-fall lawyers right around the corner. At The Hermele Law Firm, we understand that injury victims are dealing with a lot more than physical pain—they’re dealing with the stress that comes from medical bills, lost wages and other injury-related losses. That’s why we do everything in our power to take the burden off of our clients’ shoulders and support them during this difficult time. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, there’s a good chance you’re worried about your finances. Let us alleviate some of the worry by taking the wheel. If you have a valid claim, we’ll work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you deserve. Ready to get started? Contact us online or give us a call at (720) 740-0889 to schedule a free consultation and protect your financial future.
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