A simple slip and fall can turn into a nightmare for the person doing the slipping. Injuries can range from mild scrapes and bruises to dangerous head trauma and even death.
In Colorado, owners are responsible for keeping their property safe and secure. If they fail to keep up their end of the bargain and it results in an injury to someone on the property, the property owner might be liable to that person for the harm he or she has suffered.
Slip and Fall: When Are Property Owners Responsible?
Generally, Colorado law requires that a slip and fall victim prove he or she was present on the property legally. The victim must also show that the owner failed in his or her responsibility to keep the property safe and hazard-free and that the owner’s failure resulted in the victim’s injury.
Slip and fall accidents can have many causes,but they most often happen under these three circumstances:
• Present physical problems: A missing or damaged handrail on a staircase, objects left on a floor, and loose carpeting are all examples of physical factors in a slip and fall case. A slippery or damaged floor surface can also cause a person to trip. Ice and snow left on a sidewalk, driveway, or another walking surface is another common slip and fall cause. Property owners have a responsibility to keep pathways free and clear of ice and snow, but some owners don’t take that obligation seriously.
• A contributing environmental factor: Visual distractions in the form of things like color patterns and geometric designs can factor into a fall. For example, if a stair edge is painted in the same tone as the surrounding walls or carpet, you might not see the end of the stairs and overstep, resulting in a tumble.
• Personal issues: Wearing the wrong shoes, having poor vision, and other personal factors can cause someone to slip and fall. A person might not be able to receive compensation if personal issues caused the fall unless the property owner’s negligence also played a role.
What Victims Should Do
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall, your first step should be to receive medical care. Don’t assume you’re okay just because you feel fine. Injuries from falls and slips can show up days after the accident happened. Waiting to get care can make your injury worse and harder to recover from, and it will also have a negative impact on your case.
File an accident report as soon as possible. If you’re able to do so while you’re still on the property, that’s even better. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself and your slip and fall accident lawyer.
Take photos of the accident scene, and be thorough. Part of your case will rest on your ability to prove that the owner was negligent, so having documentation of the conditions that caused you to fall is the smart way to go. Get shots from both far away and close up, and be sure to get clear photos of obvious neglect and damage. Keep any physical evidence you have at the scene if applicable to your situation.
Get the contact information of any witnesses to your fall, and include their names and phone numbers in your accident report if you can.
Contact an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer so your rights are protected and you have the chance to get the compensation you’re entitled to under Colorado law. Don’t sign any papers you receive from the involved insurance companies or the other party’s attorney, and refer any questions about the case to your legal representation.
We’re Here to Help
The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. is dedicated to helping you make the most complete physical and financial recovery possible after your slip and fall accident. We will look at both the short and long term so you’re taken care of now and in the future. After an injury, it’s important that you are able to rest and focus on getting better with the least amount of stress possible. That’s why we handle the other party’s legal team, the insurers, and any other people or companies involved.
Speak to us today by calling 303-331-3145. We’re prepared to use our knowledge and skills to help you get the compensation you deserve.