At first, you may think that a slip and fall accident is not that serious. However, slip and fall accidents are one of the most common types of personal injury cases filed every year. This is because slip and falls, while they may sound like a small accident, often have very serious and long-term consequences. People can suffer severe head and traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, hip injuries, knee injuries, and other catastrophic injuries that leave them with high medical bills and unable to work.
If you or a family member has suffered serious injuries in a slip and fall accident, you should learn about your legal right to compensation. Denver slip and fall accident lawyer Sean Olson has earned a reputation for delivering outstanding results and unwavering client service to accident victims across Colorado. Contact the Olson Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation with Sean, and learn how our team can make a difference for you.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Denver Slip and Fall Claim?
In Colorado, premises liability law holds property owners responsible for keeping their property in a safe condition for people who enter. In some cases, it’s not only property owners that can be held liable, but also occupiers such as tenants or property managers. Some lawsuits may hold both the tenant and the owner responsible.
Regardless of who is liable, you will have to prove one of the following:
- The defendant (property owner or occupier) caused the dangerous condition that resulted in the slip and fall accident and did nothing to fix, correct, or warn visitors about it.
- The defendant was aware of the dangerous condition and did nothing to fix, correct, or warn visitors about it.
- The defendant should have been aware of the dangerous condition, based on the fact that a reasonable person would have known and repaired, corrected, or warned visitors about the situation.
Proving fault can be a complex process, and accident victims often find it especially challenging when they are trying to recover from their injuries. Additionally, there are a number of factors that complicate proving liability. For example, the at-fault party or the insurance company may argue that:
- The plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit) acted carelessly on the property and was partly at fault for the accident.
- The plaintiff was trespassing on the property at the time the slip and fall occurred.
- The plaintiff should have been able to avoid the accident, based on the fact that a reasonable person would have avoided it.
Due to the fact that it’s not only difficult to prove liability, but also challenging to prove that an injured person was not at fault, it is crucial that you seek qualified legal advice from our experienced slip and fall attorney in Denver.
How Can a Denver Slip and Fall Attorney Help?
In a slip and fall or trip and fall case that involves serious injuries, it’s always best to seek the advice of an attorney. Along with taking care of all the necessary paperwork so you can focus on getting better, there are many things an attorney can help with.
The first is with the challenge of proving liability. Liability in a slip and fall case is much more difficult to prove than it is in a car accident, for example, where fault is often obvious. A lawyer will investigate your accident and identify all potentially liable parties.
A lawyer will also help you determine the full value of your claim. Many accident victims think they can only file a claim for medical bills. In many cases, they also don’t realize the full extent of their injuries, and so, they don’t know how much compensation to ask for. An attorney will understand the total costs that can be claimed, and how to estimate these costs.
An attorney will also know how to deal with aggressive insurance companies. This might be the insurance company of a private homeowner or the insurance company providing coverage to a retail store or restaurant. In either case, the insurance company does not want to pay out on large claims. The insurance adjuster will try to shift blame to the accident victim, so that the injured party does not get the full amount of compensation they are entitled to receive. A skilled lawyer will not let insurers get away with these tactics and will fight for a full settlement or verdict.
These are just a few of the ways a knowledgeable attorney can help with a slip and fall case. To learn more about how Denver personal injury lawyer Sean Olson can make a difference in your claim, contact our law firm today to set up a free consultation.
Compensation Available After a Slip and Fall Accident in Denver
When filing a lawsuit or an insurance claim after a slip and fall accident, you are asking the courts or the insurance company to award you compensation to cover the costs of the accident. There are several types of compensation available in Colorado personal injury claims, but the two main types are economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those that have an actual dollar amount attached to them. These include things like medical expenses, lost income, medications, physical therapy, and any other cost that you paid out of pocket. These also include future losses such as anticipated medical expenses and long-term care needs, as well as a reduction in your earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are those that do not have a dollar value and were not out-of-pocket expenses, but that were losses nonetheless. These include items such as pain and suffering, emotional turmoil, and loss of consortium.
Recovering full financial compensation will be a crucial part of making you whole again after a serious slip and fall accident. Having a respected slip and fall attorney on your side can make all the difference as you move forward with the claims process.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents in Denver
Of course, a slip and fall accident can happen at any time, and for any reason. When it comes to slip and fall accident claims however, there are some causes that are more common than others. The most common causes are:
- Wet floors or slippery spills
- Torn carpets or unsecured rugs
- Cracked, broken, or uneven surfaces
- Broken stairs or handrails
- Debris and other tripping hazards in walkways or aisles
- Faulty escalators or elevators
- Weather issues such as ice and snow
No matter what caused the accident, it’s important that those who were injured speak to a slip and fall accident attorney in Denver as soon as possible. This is because evidence can quickly disappear or be cleaned up, so an immediate investigation is needed to begin building a strong claim.
Common Places Where Denver Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
Just as there are many different causes of slip and fall accidents, there are also many different places these accidents occur. They include:
- Grocery stores: This is one of the most common places where slip and falls occur. This is due to the fact that spills happen often, and the staff does not always clean them up right away.
- Hotels and resorts: Again, with so many people milling around and spilling things on surfaces, it’s common for slip and fall accidents to occur in these places.
- Small businesses: While it’s common for people to imagine slip and fall accidents happening only in large retail and box stores, they often happen in small businesses, too. It’s important to understand that small businesses and their insurance companies can also be held liable for slip and fall accidents.
- Nursing homes: Elderly people are already at such high risk for falling, and when they do, it can be fatal. When nursing homes fail to correct dangers on their property, it can have disastrous effects.
- Private homes: People often don’t want to file a claim against private homeowners because there is a good chance they have a personal relationship with them. However, it’s important for accident victims to remember that they are filing a claim against the homeowners’ insurance company, not against their friend or loved one.
- Rental homes and apartments: Even when the person in control of the property is not the owner, such as in a rental home or apartment, the owner or occupier can still be held liable for falls that should have been prevented.
- Public spaces: Visitors have a right to expect public spaces to be safely maintained as well. Claims related to falls on public property are filed against government entities and are some of the most complex personal injury cases.
Each of these spaces comes with its own challenges and difficulties when filing a claim. Our Denver slip and fall accident lawyer can explain what these are and discuss a smart legal strategy based on the unique circumstances of your case.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Slip or Fall Accident
The moments after any accident, including slip and fall accidents, are traumatic. Accident victims are injured, and they may not immediately realize how the accident happened. Still, there are some steps you can take to protect your legal rights after a fall.
- First and foremost, you must seek medical treatment for your injuries. Your health is the most important thing, and even if you don’t think you suffered a serious injury, a doctor should still examine you. You may have hit your head in the fall and are suffering from a concussion and you don’t even realize it. Additionally, getting the appropriate medical help will ensure there is medical documentation to back up your claim of injury.
- You should also report the accident to an appropriate person. For example, if the accident occurred in a store, you’ll need to speak to the manager or owner and report the incident to them. If possible, you should make a written report or have them write down the details and ask for a copy. However, do not sign anything.
- Although you will have to speak to the property owner or occupier, you should decline to give any statements. It’s crucial that you do not apologize for the accident or accept blame in any way. The property owner or the insurance company will use this against you in the future, and it can affect your claim.
- Even if you can’t write a report at the time of the accident, which many victims cannot, you should still try to document as much as possible. Collect the names and contact information for any witnesses, and take pictures of the scene. It’s of particular importance that you document the shoes and clothes you were wearing, your injuries, and anything that caused the accident, such as a spill on the floor.
- Lastly, you need to speak to a Denver slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The chances are good that an insurance company will call you in the days, or even hours, following the accident. Having legal representation by your side will ensure that the insurance company does not try any of their tactics or strategies to shift the blame to you so they can avoid paying out a fair slip and fall settlement.
Talk to a Denver Slip and Fall Attorney Today
Too many accident victims wonder if they really need an attorney to handle their case, especially when an insurance adjuster is playing nice. When in doubt, it’s always best to speak to a slip and fall lawyer in Denver. At the Olson Law Firm, we will listen to your story, determine if you have a viable claim, and help you pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Contact the Olson Law Firm today to learn more about what we can do for you. We will handle all the confusing paperwork, inform you of important deadlines, and most importantly, treat you with the compassion and understanding you need at this difficult time. Don’t feel as though you have to take on your case alone. We’re here to help. Contact us today for your free case review.