Slip-and-fall accidents can be life-altering, forcing injured people to cope with their injuries and a new way of life. If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall accident, you know how suddenly it can happen and change your life forever. Perhaps you were entering a store on a snowy day and slipped on a slick surface. Or, perhaps, you were at a neighbor’s party and tripped over a toy that was out of place. Regardless of how it happens, the attorneys at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C. are Fort Collins slip & fall lawyers who can help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today.
What Is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
A slip-and-fall claim is a type of personal injury claim filed either as an insurance claim or as a lawsuit in Colorado civil court to seek compensation for the fall victim’s injuries. It’s a type of premises liability that alleges that a business owner or homeowner was negligent in not fixing a dangerous condition that caused an accident. A slip-and-fall injury could occur at a personal residence, at a business, on a public sidewalk, or in a parking lot. A fall often happens on slick floors, stairs, uneven sidewalks, and icy parking lots. Other common causes of slip-and-fall accidents in Colorado include:
- Inadequate workplace safety training,
- Hazardous work conditions,
- Nursing home neglect, and
- Improper footwear.
During the claim or lawsuit process, Fort Collins slip & fall attorneys will examine the scene and seek to determine exactly why and how you fell. Your attorney might also consult and retain experts to bolster your position. Reaching out to Fort Collins premises liability lawyers can simplify the whole process and take the burden off your hands.
Visitors, customers, and guests have the right to expect a reasonable amount of safety when visiting another person’s property. If the property owner neglects their duty to keep their property reasonably safe, it may give rise to the right to seek compensation for pain, suffering, and other damages. To prove negligence in a slip-and-fall lawsuit or insurance claim, you must prove the following elements.
Duty of Care
First, you must prove that the property owner owed you a duty of care. Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure their property is reasonably safe for visitors. The law states that they owe varying levels of care depending on whether you were a guest on the property, a customer, or a trespasser. A property owner’s only duty to trespassers is to refrain from wantonly or willfully causing injury.
Breach of the Duty of Care
Next, you must prove that the property owner breached the duty of care. A property owner is responsible for providing a safe place for visitors or customers to enter. If there is a dangerous condition that cannot be readily fixed, the owner has a duty to warn visitors of the hazard. Not doing so could be a breach of their duty. You will also have to prove that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the dangerous condition.
Injuries and Damages
If you can prove the first two elements, you will also have to prove that you actually suffered injuries and damages to bring a successful premises liability claim. You do not have a case if you slipped on a wet floor but were not injured. On the other hand, if you slipped and broke your arm or hip, you could have grounds for a claim.
Lastly, you must prove that the property owner’s negligence caused your damages or losses. If your losses were caused by something else, then the owner is not liable.
The attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. are Fort Collins premises liability attorneys who can help you investigate the nature of your accident, identify a liable party, and get you the compensation you need to move on with your life.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Trip-and-Fall Case?
Colorado courts use the legal doctrine of comparative fault in determining damages in premises liability accidents. When you, as the plaintiff in a personal injury case, are found to share some amount of blame for the underlying accident, Colorado Law allows you to recover compensation even if a jury finds you partly to blame. But any award from the court will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault.
For example, if you’re deemed 25% at fault, and your damages are $10,000, you’ll only receive $7,500. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you won’t be entitled to recover compensation from the property owner or anyone else.
Types of Damages
You can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might be entitled to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitation,
- Future medical expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost wages,
- Future lost wages,
- Permanent disability, and
- Loss of quality of life.
Proving the nature and extent of your damages requires documentation. For instance, you’ll need to prove lost income through your employment records or prove the severity of your injuries through medical records and bills. Proving your damages can be tricky, so it is always best to hire a lawyer to maximize your potential recovery.
Fort Collins Premises Liability Lawyers Who Can Help
Without specialized knowledge of premises liability, navigating your way to an appropriate recovery can be overwhelming. You need someone who understands the law, who knows how to prove your case, and who knows how to negotiate with sneaky insurance company adjusters who are out to pay you as little as possible. The attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. have decades of litigation experience and are not afraid to fight for you in court. Attorney and law firm partner Dr. Eric Steiner has 20 years of experience in law and 17 years of experience as a medical doctor. With nearly 70 years of combined experience, our partners want to assure you that there is no better firm for your case. For a free case review, contact us today.