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Denver Slip and Fall Lawyers
Slip and Fall Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that approximately 1 million Americans every year are injured due to slips, trips, and falls. Slipping and tripping hazards can be virtually anywhere, such as in the workplace, in a retail store, or along a sidewalk. Essentially anywhere a property owner is negligent in their duty to keep walkways clear is where a slip and fall accident can occur and result in catastrophic injuries.
Someone who slips or trips and falls may suffer:
Risks to the Elderly
The elderly and disabled are particularly at risk of slipping or tripping on hazards left in walkways by other negligent parties. They are more likely to experience severe injuries that trigger significant financial losses through steep medical bills and missing work. In just a short amount of time, your life can be turned upside-down if you suffer a slip and fall injury due to another party’s mistakes. What can you do to set things upright again?
Come to Springer & Steinberg, P.C. in Denver, of course. Our slip and fall accident attorneys are tenacious fighters for the rights of the wrongfully injured throughout Colorado. We do not hesitate to take a claim to court for litigation when the defendant insists on skirting their responsibilities and would rather you suffer the damages caused by your injuries alone. Our history of successful case results spans 40+ years of collective legal experience!
Types of Slip and Fall Hazards
Common slip or trip and fall hazards throughout different types of properties include:
- Uplifted carpeting
- Liquid spills on tile flooring
- Cracks in the pavement or sidewalk
- Debris left in a store aisle
- Cords or cables on the floor in an office
- Poorly lit walkways
- Stairs or steps without handrails
- Ice around store entryways
What is an Unreasonable Hazard?
Throughout premises liability laws, you will often see mention of whether or not the hazard that caused a slip and fall accident was “unreasonable.” What does it mean for a hazard to be unreasonable or, by extension, reasonable? Basically, a property owner is expected to be reasonably aware of the condition of their property, especially wherever visitors, guests, or others are permitted.
If a slip hazard is difficult to notice or has only existed for a brief amount of time, then it is “reasonable” for the property owner to not know about it. Oppositely, significant hazards or those that have been left unaddressed for a long while paint the property owner as “unreasonable” and therefore liable.
Consider these examples of “unreasonable” and “reasonable” slip and fall hazards:
- You are shopping in a retail store and slip in a puddle of water in the restroom. There were no warning signs about the water. An employee tells you they have had numerous complaints about the leaky sink causing a puddle to form, but the store manager never called a plumber. In this scenario, your claim would be valid because the property owner should have reasonably known about the danger.
- You are shopping in another retail store when you hear a clatter one aisle over. When you move around the corner to see what happened, you slip on a spilled carton of orange juice that another customer had just dropped. In this scenario, you would likely not have a valid premises liability claim against the property owner because they had virtually no time to react to the spill that caused your slip.
How Do I Know Who Is Responsible for My Fall Injury?
Every property owner and controller in Colorado has a responsibility to present a safe space for people who enter their property. Any unreasonable hazard needs to be addressed and corrected as soon as possible. Otherwise, blame for any premises liability-related accident can fall directly on that property owner.
Determining Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
When determining liability for a slip and fall accident, we must ask if the property owner:
- Caused the hazard that led to a slip or trip and fall accident.
- Knew that there was a dangerous condition but failed to address the issue in a timely manner.
- Did not know about the issue in question but would have been aware of it had they exercised reasonable care and attention.
You can expect that any responding insurance parties will do anything they can to put the liability on you. Perhaps they will say you were being unreasonably reckless while on their policyholder’s property. Or maybe they will try to say the hazard that caused you to slip was never there in the first place. Even if it seems abundantly obvious that the property owner or another party was responsible for your fall, establishing liability takes the help of an attorney.
What If I Am Partially At Fault?
Colorado laws also allow for shared or partial fault, which could damage your case if you appear to have been at least partially responsible for your fall and related injuries. As such, having an attorney represent you in your personal injury case may be the difference between a small, unsatisfactory payout and a larger, more appropriately sized compensation package for your damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Injury Claim?
In the state of Colorado, you have two years to file a claim against the person or entity that caused your slip or fall. The clock usually starts ticking from the moment you are involved in the accident, and you can’t afford to wait until the two year-mark approaches.