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The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits revolve around the question of negligence.
Negligence means that someone did something or neglected to do something that resulted in another person’s injuries.
In order to prove negligence, your attorney must be able to show that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- They breached that duty of care;
- The plaintiff’s injuries were the result of that breach.
But for slip and fall lawsuits, this gets much more specific.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Slip and fall cases are a form of premises liability. In terms of premises liability, the most difficult thing that your attorney must prove is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In many cases, the mere happenstance of a slip and fall is not enough to prove liability. Your attorney must show that the defendant is ultimately to blame for the accident.
That means that:
- The party who manages the property caused the dangerous condition that led to the slip and fall;
- They were aware of the dangerous condition that led to the slip and fall;
- The managing party should have been aware of the dangerous condition that led to the slip and fall.
The majority of slip and fall accident claims filed against stores or commercial defendants attempt to show that the defendant should have been aware of the potential danger.
Most slip and fall accident claims filed against homeowners generally show that the defendant was aware of the dangerous condition and neglected to do anything about it.
In addition, there may be some factors that mitigate the defendant’s liability. Those include:
- The injured party was acting recklessly or carelessly thus contributing to the slip and fall accident;
- They were not allowed to be on the property where they slipped and fell;
- The injured party made no attempt to avoid the dangerous condition that led to their accident.
Often, defendants will claim that the plaintiff should have made some attempt to avoid the dangerous condition as a pretense for absolving themselves of culpability.
Comparative Negligence and Colorado Slip and Fall Claims
If the defense is successful in pinning some of the blame for the accident onto the plaintiff, Colorado Revised Statutes § 13-21-111 hold that the defendant is only liable for his or her percentage of the blame. In other words, if a plaintiff receives $100,000 for a slip and fall accident, but the defendant is only 50% at fault, the plaintiff will only receive half of the jury award or $50,000.
However, your slip and fall case isn’t completely destroyed by the fact that you might be partly to blame for the accident.
Contact a Denver Slip and Fall Attorney
The Olson Law Firm manages slip and fall accident lawsuits for our clients securing fair settlements from insurance companies and at-fault parties. If you’re facing injuries due to another’s negligence, contact us online and we can begin discussing your case immediately.
Sean Olson is much more than just a personal injury lawyer. Sean is an advocate who helps those who are injured navigate our complex legal system. And he is a voice for those who are injured and cannot speak for themselves.