Colorado Slip-and-Fall Accident & Premises Liability Lawyers
Have you or a loved one sustained an injury caused by hazardous conditions on someone else’s property or a store?
One minute you’re walking along, when all of a sudden you hit the ground…hard. It takes you a second to register what happened. The embarrassment you feel causes you to quickly try to stand up, but you soon realize that something is seriously wrong.
Scenarios like this play out all across the country on a daily basis. In fact, slip and fall accidents are responsible for countless injuries in Colorado every year, leaving victims dealing with everything from broken bones to spinal damage and traumatic brain injuries.
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident, then you know how suddenly it can happen – and can change your life forever.
Unfortunately, premises liability cases are rarely clear cut. You likely face a tough legal battle to prove that the property owner was at fault – and the other side knows this well. Slip and fall accidents are some of the hardest fought and hardest won cases in Colorado. That’s why it’s so important to choose a slip and fall accident attorney who has the experience and commitment to stick with you from beginning to end.
The Babcock Law Firm is a powerful ally when you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident due to negligence. We passionately represent clients against the largest retail and corporate offenders in Denver, Boulder and throughout Colorado.
Slip and Fall Accidents: The 2nd Leading Cause of Injury in America
As the second leading cause of injury in the US, a slip and fall can occur almost instantly and when you least expect it. Although the actual incident happens in a fraction of a second, the effects can last for months or even years later. Some of these accidents can even prove fatal.
Slip & fall accidents can occur just about anywhere, too.
Perhaps you’re entering a store on a snowy day and slip on a slick surface. Or, perhaps you’re at a neighbor’s party and trip over a toy or some other object that’s out of place.
Other common causes of slip and fall accidents in Colorado include:
- Icy sidewalks and hazardous road conditions
- Inadequate workplace safety training
- Hazardous work conditions
- Nursing home neglect
- Improper footwear
The elderly, in particular, are more susceptible to falling and sustaining a serious injury. More than 30% of people over 65 years of age fall each year and in half of the cases, falls are recurrent. About 1 in 10 falls result in serious injuries such as hip fracture, other fractures, subdural hematoma or traumatic brain injury.
What To Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
First and foremost, your highest priority should be obtaining medical attention as soon as possible. Your next priority, though, should be taking the necessary steps to obtain compensation for your injuries.
If you can, take pictures of the accident area as soon as possible and gather contact information for anyone who witnessed the incident. Keep careful records of all doctors’ visits, lost time from work, and expenses you incur in treating your injuries.
Then, discuss your case with a qualified, experienced Colorado slip & fall attorney as soon as possible. An experienced, compassionate attorney will take the time to carefully review your case, interview witnesses, & evaluate the accident scene – in person.
Colorado Premises Liability Law: Proving Fault & Winning Damages
Every year, thousands of people sustain injuries from a slip, trip or fall. These accidents can occur anywhere, but many take place at various retail, restaurants or grocery stores around the country.
Any business that opens their doors to the public is legally obligated to maintain a safe environment for their customers. Whether the business is a large chain store like Walmart or Home Depot, or a small mom-and-pop shop, the responsibility is the same.
Known in the legal profession as “premises liability,” Colorado law is quite clear in that property owners are liable for injuries resulting from neglect or outright reckless disregard for the safety of their patrons and guests.
For example, a spill that occurs in a restaurant or grocery store that isn’t cleaned up in a timely manner or clearly marked can cause a patron to slip and fall.
Another hazard is poor design. A poorly designed door, for example, can present a trip hazard.
Whether you’re visiting your local mall, grocery store, or even a neighbor’s house for a barbecue, the property owner has a legal duty to take reasonable care to ensure their property is safe. In a public place like a restaurant or mall, that means clearly marking any hazards and cleaning up spills quickly. At a private residence, this often involves ensuring the areas where guests will be are free from hazard.
If it can be proven that your accident occurred because a property owner was negligent in their obligation to identify hazards and protect their patrons and guests, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. While rare, you may even be entitled to punitive damages if it’s determined the property owner showed reckless disregard for safety.
To obtain compensation, you will first have to prove without a doubt that the property owner was indeed negligent in their obligation. This is where an experienced slip and fall attorney in Colorado is critical.
5 steps to improve your chances of securing a slip and fall settlement
People trip and fall on a daily basis. In fact, slip and fall accidents are the second most common cause of injury in the United States. And while most of these injuries are minor (save for the harm done to the person’s ego), a handful of accidents are, in fact, major and require hospitalization, costly medical treatment, and/or long-term care.
Slip and fall lawsuits are one of the most common personal injury claims, but they can often be difficult to resolve. In these cases, the burden of proof rests heavily on the plaintiff, and successfully navigating the legal waters is especially challenging.
If you are looking to file a slip and fall injury claim, here are 5 crucial steps from the experts about how to win your case and receive maximum compensation.
Step #1: Hire an attorney near you who specializes in slip and fall accidents
Have you been seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, and now wish to take legal action against the responsible individual or business? If so, your next step should be to seek out legal representation. At The Babcock Law Firm, our slip and fall attorneys provide a free initial consultation.
Determining fault in slip and fall cases is rarely clear-cut, since defendants often claim that the plaintiff’s own carelessness led to their injury. Our experienced slip and fall attorneys will seek to gather the appropriate evidence to prove your claim and negotiate a settlement.
Step #2: Provide documentation of the accident and your injury
One of the first obstacles to overcome is providing proof of an actual injury, and documentation is the best way to do so. Documentation of evidence can be visual (such as photographs) or written (such as in the form of doctors’ notes).
Immediately following the mishap, it is crucial that you take pictures of the accident area right away. If you are unable to do so yourself, then ask a witness or passerby to take photos with their phone and send them to you.
You should also seek medical attention as soon as possible. Be sure to keep all the documentation and paperwork you receive from your doctors, as it may be used as evidence in the event of a lawsuit.
Step #3: Establish proof that the accident directly led to your injuries
Once you have established proof of an injury through documentation, it is imperative to link the injury or injuries to the accident. Failure to establish this link will likely result in a dismissal of your case, since the defendant can simply argue that the injury you sustained is from a pre-existing condition.
Having proof through documented evidence, as well as testimonial from expert witnesses, can be crucial to establishing causation and liability.
Step #4: Prove that the defendant had a legal responsibility for safety which they failed to uphold
A property owner cannot always be held responsible for every accident that occurs on their premises. Many causes of slip and falls are considered normal and necessary dangers of public life (i.e. drainage gates, steps, area rugs, etc.). Moreover, a property owner or occupier cannot be held liable for immediately picking up or cleaning up every slippery spot on the floor.
With that said, property owners do have a legal responsibility to maintain a reasonably safe environment for visitors and customers, and failure to do so can be cause for a lawsuit. For a property owner to be considered legally responsible for a slip and fall injury, at least 1 of the following 3 statements must be true:
- The owner of the premises or an employee caused the spill, worn spot, or other slippery or dangerous surface or item responsible for the accident.
- The owner or an employee knew of the dangerous surface or item, but did nothing about it.
- The owner or an employee should have known of the dangerous surface or item because a “reasonable” person in charge of a property would have discovered it and taken the appropriate actions to remove or repair it.
Liability in slip and fall cases is often decided by “common sense.” For example, was the property owner negligent, or was the accident simply caused by unforeseen circumstances or the plaintiff’s carelessness?
Step #5: Use expert witnesses, building plans and other evidence to strengthen your claim
When it comes down to “he said, she said” in court, judges and juries ultimately decide a verdict by looking at the evidence presented by both sides. Not only does strong evidence increase the likelihood of a successful lawsuit, but it can also help both parties reach a settlement out of court.
Expert witnesses can use their expertise in physics, medical care, and other areas that apply to a case to help prove that an accident could reasonably lead to a serious injury such as yours. For instance, if a slip and fall accident occurred on a wet surface, an accredited “tribologist” can be brought in to determine whether or not the floor has an acceptable level of traction.
Slip and fall FAQ: Common questions and answers
Q: When is a store liable for my slip and fall injury?
Slip and fall accidents that happen in stores are routinely a result of tripping on a wet floor, a loose rug or mat, damaged carpet, a fallen object or a box. Or, sometimes the business may have poor lighting, damaged or inadequate steps, an ice accumulation at the entryway or a variety of other issues that should have been corrected.
In order to determine if the store is liable for your slip and fall injury, several questions must be asked. These are the questions that our slip and fall attorneys will likely ask when discussing your case during the initial consultation:
- Did the store cause the spill, hole or dangerous situation?
- Was the store reasonably aware of the situation but failed to take the appropriate actions?
- Were you, the customer, acting in a reasonably careful and cautious manner, or could carelessness on your part be blamed for the incident?
- Was the slip or fall caused by unsafe conditions?
- Does the store have a regular schedule for cleaning and inspecting their premises to make sure everything is safe for the customer?
- Did the store put up a barrier or warning about the dangerous area to warn customers of a potential hazard?
- Was the object that you tripped over in a safe and reasonable location?
- Did poor or broken lighting contribute to your injury?
- Have other people been hurt over the same issue?
- Did the store know about the hazard but fail to fix it in the proper time?
Q: How should I handle an insurance company in a slip and fall claim?
After a slip and fall injury claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will probably want to ask you a lot of questions about your own conduct. For instance, they may ask questions such as:
- Were you as careful as you should have been?
- Did you have a good reason for being in the dangerous area in the first place?
- Were you trespassing where you should not have been?
- Were you doing anything that could have distracted you, such as texting while walking, running or jumping around the store?
Be sure you carefully recollect and examine your own behavior so that you are prepared to answer these questions.
Q: What is the statute of limitations on a slip and fall?
According to Colorado’s statute of limitations (Colorado Revised Statutes Section 13-80-102), most personal injury victims—including slip and fall plaintiffs—have 2 years from the injury in which to file a claim. This deadline is strict, and there are rare exceptions. For this reason, it’s vital you consult with an experienced attorney near you as soon as possible so that we have time to look into and properly prepare your case.
Q: Do I have a slip and fall case?
The only way to determine if you have a legitimate case is to speak with an attorney about your specific matter. The issue of fault will require close examination by a legal expert to determine whether or not you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent store for their injuries.
Proving fault in these types of cases can be difficult and needs to be handled by an experienced slip and fall attorney. If you or a loved one have been injured due to negligence of an individual, store or other establishment, contact our Denver slip and fall lawyers immediately for your free consultation.
“I had the privilege of working with Stephanie Tucker. She was an excellent attorney, she kept me up-to-date on everything going on in my case from beginning to end. I really enjoyed working with her. I would definitely recommend her services to others because she proved that she really cares about her clients and wants to do what she can to help. Thank you Stephanie and Babcock Law firm!”
Meet Mack Babcock, A Skilled Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Ready to Fight for You
The Babcock Law Firm is highly experienced in personal injury litigation for slip and fall accidents. Lawyers working on the side of the national corporations that may be at fault will do everything they can to make winning your premises liability case next to impossible. And this aggressive litigation demands aggressive representation.
Fortunately, we’re in your corner.
We know how the other side operates. Colorado attorney Mack Babcock, founder of The Babcock Law Firm, formerly represented insurance companies and large corporations. Now, he uses his unique experience to help everyday Coloradoans who are injured in slip and fall accidents obtain the settlements they deserve.
When you’re in need of a slip and fall accident attorney, consider our law firm. We fight relentlessly to make sure our clients know they have a slip and fall accident attorney they can rely on.
Schedule a Free, No-Risk Consultation to Discuss Your Colorado Premises Liability Case
We invite you to discuss the details of your slip and fall case with our experienced Colorado premises liability lawyers. We serve Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Golden, Thornton, Westminster and other Colorado cities. If your case falls within our practice area and we feel our representation can benefit you, a knowledgeable attorney will meet with you for an in-depth consultation, at no charge.
We’re here to help you secure a successful settlement for your Colorado slip and fall claim.