If you are injured outside of your home, on someone else's property, or at someone’s place of business, you might be entitled to compensation for those injuries. Property owners and managers have a strict responsibility to make sure that their premise is free from hazards that could cause damage or injuries to any visitors. So, if they haven't taken proper precautions, they could be liable for any resulting injuries.
There are different types of premises liability injuries cases, depending on the type of facility and the injuries sustained. Premises liability can apply to any public or private property including the following:
- Office Buildings
- Shopping malls
- Nursing homes
- Sports arenas
- Parking structures
There are potentially dangerous conditions that can result in all types of injuries, the most common of which is a slip and fall accident. Some examples of dangerous conditions that can result in a premises liability injury case include:
- Wet floors/ spills on the floor
- Broken tiles or broken flooring
- Broken windows
- Poor lighting in stairwells, pathways, or hallways
In addition to the common slip and fall accident, other common accidents that fall under premises liability include inadequate maintenance, defective conditions, inadequate building security, elevator/escalator accidents, amusement park accidents, dog bites, toxic fumes/chemicals, and swimming pool accidents.
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Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the most common form of premises liability claims. They take place when there are dangerous conditions present. Many Colorado personal injury cases involving a slip and fall accident take place at swimming pools or in someone’s home. A homeowner still has to take precautions to make sure that guests, children, and adults are protected against falling into a pool or slipping on something and falling.
Accidents such as these can happen on commercial properties like retail stores, parking lots, public swimming pools, or anywhere else where there are obstacles in a walkway, a missing handrail, or even a wet floor.
Who is Liable for Premises Liability in Colorado?
There are many factors to be considered when determining who is liable. Just because you slipped and fell at a business doesn't mean you are entitled to compensation. If, for example, the business had wet floor signs around a wet area that has recently been mopped, then they did what they could to make sure that the area is free from hazards and they took proper precautions.
This all comes down to liability; who was liable, to what degree, and whether anyone is held responsible.
Business owners, for example, are legally obligated to keep their premises free from any hazards. If they are aware of said hazards, they have to remove them as soon as the issue is found.
This means liability happens when a business or person is negligent meaning they did not fulfill their duties to remove the hazard and/or warn people of the hazard. This law is waived in some cases, however, in the case of trespassing and other illicit activities. If you were injured during regular store hours because of negligence, then there is a liability issue.
If an owner is aware of a safety hazard or they have reasonable cause that they should have been aware of it, then they can likely be held liable to pay damages to the victim. Proper steps have to be taken to warn visitors about any potential danger on a property. This extends to homeowners and commercial business owners as well. An owner is responsible for making sure their home is safe to any guests. A business is just as responsible for making sure that customers are safe on the property.
There are a variety of circumstances that can result in injuries on someone else's property. In some cases, owners won't have a problem fixed until it actually causes an accident. Some of the most common accidents include wet surfaces, which in turn result in a high number of slip and fall cases.
How Can I Prove Negligence?
Negligence can be proved in many ways based on the situation and the case itself. For example, slipping and falling on a foreign item, a wet floor, or a chunk of ice can be proved with a picture of the substance on which you slipped. You might not have taken pictures but perhaps a bystander did and in situations like these it's important to have an attorney on your side who can reach out an access such evidence where you cannot.
Proving negligence because of a design problem such as having handrails at the wrong height or only having one handrail when there should have been more than one requires your attorney to hire a construction expert who is able to examine and measure the area in question and then compare it to building codes. Again this is a rather complicated endeavor that is easier achieved buy a professional attorney.
What if Both Parties Were at Fault?
Comparative negligence is when both parties were partially at fault, and a percentage of fault is determined. In this case, it might not be worth the effort to file a premises liability case, because you may be the party considered primarily at fault for the accident. That is when a free case evaluation would come into play.
These types of situations can become very complex, especially if there is a large amount of liability in terms of dollars in damages. Our suggestion is always to speak with a professional in order to make sure you take the right approach and avoid making mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.
What is Considered a Slip and Fall Accident?
Slip and fall accidents can happen because of:
- Faulty equipment
- Bad lighting
- Lack of maintenance
- Broken facilities
- Lack of fencing
- Lack of security
- Improper signage
- And more...
These are just some of the most common slip and fall accidents. As long as there is negligence on the behalf of the owner, you can receive compensation for your Colorado slip and fall accident.
Determining Slip and Fall Accident Compensation
Compensation is determined based on the severity of the injuries and any related issues. For example, you can receive compensation for the cost of your medical bills to treat an injury but you can also receive compensation for the general pain and suffering, future medical bills, or compensation for loss of work if your injury was so bad that you couldn't go to work. Some of the other factors included in determining your compensation are as follows:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anxiety
- Loss of companionship
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Household bills and necessities
- Loss of income
- Attorneys fees
How Much Does a Denver Premises Liability Attorney Cost?
The cost of a Denver premises liability attorney is based on the case itself. Most personal injury attorneys will only charge you at the end of the case if your case is won. In these situations you never have to pay unless you win the case and when that happens a portion of your compensation is given to the attorney.
This, again is based on the agreement you have with your attorney, what percentage do they take from the compensation you receive, and whether or not you have to pay anything upfront.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Colorado Slip and Fall Case?
The length of time it takes to settle a Colorado slip and fall cases based on how complicated the case is, and if the other side fights against the issue. On average it can take 20 months.
What Should I Do After a Slip and Fall Accident? - 5 Steps
First, take pictures of the area, and the injuries.
Second, ask anyone in the nearby area if they took pictures or have anything that you might be able to use as evidence, and get their information in case you need an attorney to contact them for a witness statement in the future.
Third, get your injuries looked at by a doctor and properly document any treatments that was received.
Fourth, contact a qualified attorney immediately to discuss your case.
Fifth, keep track of all additional medical documents and any other evidence you have pertaining to your slip and fall accident.
Common Injuries Resulting from Slip and Fall Accidents
There are a handful of common accidents resulting from slip-and-fall incidences which include the following:
- Head injuries such as traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures which can require surgery and hospitalization
- Back injuries including fractured vertebrae or slipped discs, and in the worst of cases spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder injuries such as a shoulder dislocation or a brachial plexus injury
- Serious injuries to the knee, elbow, ankle, or wrist
Even the most minor of slips and falls can result in injuries down the line which is why it is important to document the case, seek medical attention, and work with a skilled attorney immediately so that you have legal options if your injuries should worsen.
Why Should You Work with a Colorado Premises Liability Attorney?
Determining liability starts with determining negligence. In a premises liability case, this involves figuring out if a business or homeowner was aware or should have been aware of a hazard and didn't take steps to mitigate that hazard or inform. Seasoned injury accident attorneys can discuss the events of the accident and help you to determine if you have a viable premises liability case and if you do they can help you to proceed from there. Working with a Denver Premises Liability Attorney can help you to:
- Maximize your compensation - Experienced attorneys know how to get the most compensation for your slip and accident.
- Save time - Attorneys handle all of the paperwork, contacting people, research, and everything in between. This saves you a lot of time.
- Avoid mistakes - Slip and fall accidents can be very serious and result in thousands of dollars and damages. It is best to work with a professional to avoid mistakes in the process.
- Reduce stress - Knowing you have someone on your side, fighting for your rights is a great feeling. It helps you to take the time you need to recover from your accident.
- Don’t pay unless you win your case - Most people don’t know that you never pay a dime for personal injury attorneys unless you win your case and get compensation. Even then, we only take a portion of the compensation as a fee.
- Get everything done in time - Because of things called Statutes of Limitations, people involved in Colorado slip and fall accidents only have a certain period of time to report it and begin their case before it expires, and you are no longer able to take someone to court. Getting the process started immediately is vital to getting compensation for your injuries and inconvenience.
Overall, getting legal help is something we strongly recommend for anyone. It is difficult to tread the legal landscape alone, but with a trusted Denver Premises Liability Attorney by your side, you can get compensated, and get back to your normal life stress-free.
Hurt in a Denver Slip and Fall Accident? Get the Compensation You Deserve.
Slip and fall accident injuries can be a very serious. They are usually unexpected, and on hard surfaces that can cause long-lasting and devastating injuries to victims. This can rack up thousands in hospital bills, lost wages, and other fees, along with pain and suffering.
If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident or other premises liability case in Colorado, contact the experienced injury attorneys at Anderson Hemmat immediately. We have over 35 years of experience helping our clients to get the compensation they deserve for their premises liabilty injuries.
We know what it takes to help you get the most compensation for your slip and fall accident, and work with you side by side to help you understand the process completely, and get through it smoothly.