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Injured In A Slip-And-Fall Accident? We Are Here For You.

A slip-and-fall (or trip-and-fall) is a kind of premises liability case in which a person is injured because a business or property owner did not maintain safe conditions on a property.

In Colorado, slip-and-fall claims are governed by the Premises Liability Act, C.R.S. §13-21-115. The act divides injured persons into three categories for the purposes of recovering damages:

  1. Invitees: People who are on a property to conduct business
  2. Licensees: Individuals who are on a property to advance their own interests, including social guests
  3. Trespassers: People who are on a property without the landowner’s consent

The highest duty of care is owed to invitees; there is always a high duty of care whenever a property owner invites others onto their property.

Slip-And-Fall Cases

Most slip-and-fall cases are brought against property owners when slipping or tripping hazards, like wet or damaged floors, loose throw rugs, cables, or snow and ice, cause someone to fall and become injured. Falls can be caused by other hazards, too, like inadequate lighting and loose handrails. For severe or permanent injuries, recovery can include current and future lost wages and medical expenses, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life.

Common locations for slip-and-fall cases:

  • Businesses
  • Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Private property
  • Sidewalks

What To Do In A Slip-And-Fall Situation

When you have been injured by falling on someone else’s property, you should seek medical care as soon as possible, even if you are not sure you are hurt. This is important to not only protect your health but also document your claim. You should also report the incident to the property owner or manager and take pictures of the scene of the fall. If you have an injury requiring medical care, you should contact a Denver personal injury lawyer before speaking to any insurance agent or company.

Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for slip-and-fall cases in Colorado is two years. However, if the fall occurs on public property, a special letter must be sent within 180 days. There are a few exceptions, but generally, the time to obtain records and build a case is very short. It is important to get legal representation early so that your attorney has time to gather evidence. Surveillance videos, in particular, are often only kept for a certain length of time.

Are Slip-And-Fall Cases Difficult To Win?

Slip-and-fall cases are among the more challenging kinds of cases of negligence to prove, and winning them requires a high degree of legal skill. That being said, the four elements of any negligence action also apply to slip-and-falls. Your attorney will have to prove:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  2. The defendant breached that duty of care.
  3. The plaintiff sustained injuries.
  4. The injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.

To put it more specifically, in most cases, your Colorado slip-and-fall attorney will have to prove that a hazardous condition was present on the property, the property owner knew or should have known about it and mitigated the hazard, and the hazard caused the plaintiff to become injured.

Common Defenses Against Slip-And-Falls

As you can imagine, property owners (and their insurers) are not eager to pay damages when someone has an accident on their property. Commonly, property owners will assert that they were not negligent because the hazard was out of their control or that the plaintiff was not being careful to avoid the accident.

In Colorado, courts use a shared liability model, which means that plaintiffs can be found to be partially at fault. When this happens, their damages will be reduced to compensate for their amount of fault. If a plaintiff is found to be 50% or more at fault, then recovery cannot be obtained.

Ways To Boost Your Case

There are many ways that you can help your Colorado attorney prove your case, and several of them have to do with what happens right after a fall. You should take the following steps:

  • Seek medical attention and tell the doctor what happened.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene.
  • Get the contact information of any witnesses.
  • Report the incident to property management.
  • Contact an attorney.
  • Do not speak with insurance agents or companies without contacting your attorney first.
  • Communicate with your attorney as needed.
  • Participate in settlement negotiations.
  • Be willing to go to trial if necessary.

Common Slip-And-Fall Injuries

Slip-and-fall injuries can be devastating and permanent, but even a relatively mild injury can cause months of inconvenience and pain. Common injuries include harm to the wrists and ankles, back and neck, and brain (traumatic brain injury, or TBI).

Reach Out To Us

Slip-and-fall cases are never a “slam dunk,” and winning them is practically an art form unto itself. At Shafner Injury Law, we have decades of experience recovering damages for slip-and-fall clients. We have taken these cases to trial and won. We work on a contingency fee basis and collect nothing unless you win, too.

For a free consultation, call our office at 720-800-4715 or fill out our online form.