Injured in a Fall? Call Today
It is not unusual for people to slip, trip, or fall on private, commercial, or even public property, particularly in the wintery conditions that we often see in Colorado. However, slip and fall accidents are far from simple, as they can cause serious injuries. If you were injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, call the Tenge Law Firm, LLC’s experienced Fort Collins premises liability lawyers today at (970) 212-4777. Colorado law (Section 13-21-115, Actions against landowners) may entitle you to compensation that could help you with the expenses with which your fall burdened you.
How Do Slip and Fall Claims Work?
Property owners in Colorado have the responsibility to keep their property safe from hazards that could cause visitors to slip, trip, or fall. If the property owner is negligent in repairing or removing these hazards, you have two legal options in order to legally pursue compensation for the injuries and resulting harm to your finances: filing a claim with the property owner’s insurance, or filing a premises liability lawsuit in court. It is important to have the guidance and representation of a personal injury lawyer with both of these options, as it can help you to obtain the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Here are a couple of important reasons why:
- Comparative negligence: Due to comparative or contributory negligence provisions in Colorado’s personal injury statutes, you can make a personal injury claim even if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, if the court finds that you were at least 50 percent at fault for the accident, then it will dismiss the case against the defendant. A common tactic for insurance companies and their lawyers is to claim that the accident was all or mostly your fault and, therefore, they owe you nothing. An experienced attorney knows how to look for, document, and prove property owner liability in such cases.
- Statute of limitations: The statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Colorado is only two years following the date of the injury. This means that if a fair settlement is not offered by the insurance company, the clock is ticking on your ability to pursue the matter in court. After two years, if you file a claim in court, the case will likely be dismissed and compensation will no longer be available. A personal injury attorney not only works to negotiate a fair settlement outside of court, but also manages deadlines to keep all of your options for receiving compensation open.
What Are Common Causes and Consequences of Slip and Fall Accidents?
A slip and fall accident can occur anywhere, and for a variety of reasons. However, here are a few of the more common causes:
- Cracked or uneven stairways
- Poorly lit stairways or those that are unmarked
- Rippled carpeting or poorly maintained flooring
- Wet floors
- Tripping hazards due to debris or displays blocking walkways
- Icy parking lots or walkways
The injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents can be quite serious, resulting in long recoveries, lost time from work, the inability to return to work, or even death. Some of the common injuries seen in slip and fall accidents include:
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones, including hips, legs, arms, wrists, ribs, and ankles
- Torn tendons and ligaments
Proving Liability for Slip and Fall Claims
In order to prove that the property owner was liable for your slip and fall accident, evidence must be presented to show that there was a dangerous condition on the property that the property owner knew about (or should have known about), and that the property owner was negligent in their responsibility to remove that hazard.
To prove a property owner’s liability, there are a number of things you can do to help your case:
- Take photos of the place where the accident occurred, including the hazardous condition that caused the accident. This should be done immediately, in order to prevent the property owner from repairing the condition before you have filed your claim and saying that the condition never existed.
- Get the names and contact information for all of the individuals who witnessed your accident.
- If the accident occurred on commercial or public property, file an incident report with the onsite manager. Make sure you get a copy of the report you filed. Your attorney will research if there have been any other incident reports filed due to the same hazardous condition.
- Seek immediate medical help for your injuries and keep a copy of all documentation from the medical treatments you obtain for your injuries, including bills.
- Retain records of any other expenses you incur due to your accident, including lost time from work.
- Avoid making statements to the property owner’s insurance company before talking to an attorney, and don’t agree to any settlement offers unless your attorney has had the opportunity to review them.
- Be careful about what you post on social media while you are undergoing the legal process of pursuing a slip and fall claim. The lawyers for insurance companies often look to a claimant’s social media accounts in order to find statements they may have made regarding their own fault in the accident or proof that the injuries you acquired may have occurred due to other activities.
How Tenge Law Firm, LLC Can Help You
The slip and fall attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC are ready to fight for you to receive the maximum compensation possible for your slip and fall injury. Since 1992, the Tenge Law Firm, LLC has built a team of skilled attorneys, paralegals, investigators, and support staff to provide professional, aggressive representation focused on helping our injured clients to get the financial help they need to recover from their injuries and move on from their accident. We have experience in discovering and proving the liability of all responsible parties and providing our clients with personalized and compassionate service. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, the clock is ticking on your ability to file a claim. Contact us online or call at (970) 212-4777 to schedule your free consultation and case review today.