Slips, trips, and fall accidents are some of the most common causes of injuries for Colorado residents. This can involve slipping on an icy sidewalk, tripping over torn carpet in an office, or falling downstairs after the stair rail breaks. A simple fall may not look that dangerous, but it can cause serious damage when the injury victim lands on their back, spine, or hits their head.
If you or a loved one suffered a fall injury, experienced Colorado personal injury lawyers can help make sure your rights are protected. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your case, handle the insurance company, and work to get you the maximum compensation after a personal injury accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Slip and Fall Accidents in Colorado
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can happen anywhere, including your own home, on the sidewalk, at school, at work, or at the grocery store. Some of the most common causes of slip, trip, and fall accidents include:
- Fall on a bus or light rail from a sudden stop or start,
- Slipping on worn stairs,
- Tripping over items improperly stored in a hallway,
- Tripping on torn carpet,
- Tripping over broken concrete,
- Tripping on uneven sidewalks,
- Slipping on food or liquid at a restaurant,
- Slipping on waxed or wet floors,
- Slipping on an icy sidewalk or parking lot,
- Tripping over a pothole,
- Falling down broken stairs,
- Knockdown from a jumping dog,
- Falling because of improper lighting, and
- Falling from rickety handrails.
Many slip, trip, and fall accidents are preventable but when someone else is responsible for causing the accident, that person may be liable for damages. Under Colorado personal injury law, the injury victim can seek compensation from the party responsible for causing the accident. Damages in a slip and fall accident can include medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Premises Liability and Slip and Fall Accidents in Colorado
In many slip and fall injury cases, it is the property owner who is ultimately responsible for accidents that occur on their property. Property owners have a duty of care towards invitees or people who are on the property to conduct business. This generally applies to customers in a store, diners at a restaurant, or a client in an office. Property owners owe invitees a duty of reasonable care when an invitee is on their property. A property owner is liable for any injuries caused to an invitee by a condition on the property that the owner:
- Knows or should have known about that involves an unreasonable risk of harm to invitees;
- Should expect that the invitees will not discover the danger or fail to protect against it; and
- Fails to exercise ordinary care to protect them against the danger.
For example, an office manager notices a wobbly stair on a stairway. The office manager makes a note to call a handyman to fix the step by the end of the day. When the office manager goes out to lunch, one of the tenants takes the stairs but falls because of the wobbly stair. The office manager may be liable for the injuries because the office manager knew about the broken step, may not expect individuals to discover the damaged step, and did not do anything to protect others against the danger.
Store or Restaurant Slip and Fall Injuries
Restaurants and grocery stores are common locations for slip and fall injuries. There are a lot of liquids and foods passing through the space that could be dropped or spilled on the floor. Customers and patrons may not be aware of the spill and could easily slip on the food or liquid, causing a serious injury. Restaurant or store managers should take steps to prevent customers from falling by immediately cleaning up any spills and warning others about the slip hazard in the meantime.
For example, a grocery clerk is carrying a carton of eggs to the registers but while rushing, the clerk drops the eggs, leaving a slippery spot on the floor. The clerk goes back to get more eggs and brings them to the customer. The clerk then helps a customer take the groceries out to their car. Another customer unknowingly steps on the egg spill and falls, suffering an injury.
The store manager said it is not the store's responsibility because the manager never knew about the spill. However, an employer is generally liable for the negligence of the employee. The clerk knew about the spilled egg and did not immediately report it to the manager, did not warn others about the spill, and did not take actions to immediately clean up the spill. The clerk may have been negligent but under vicarious liability, the store may be liable to the injury victim for their damages.
Icy Sidewalk Injuries
Icy sidewalks or ice from dripping pipes or gutters are not uncommon in Denver. After a snowstorm or sub-freezing temperature, property owners may not immediately get around to chipping away ice, shoveling snow, or putting down salt. However, Denver City ordinance requires property owners to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks. Failure to clear icy sidewalks can result in a fine but if a person slips and falls because of the icy sidewalk, the property owner may be liable for any damages.
Workplace Slip and Fall Injuries
Many slip and fall injuries occur in the workplace. Slip and fall accidents on the job may be handled differently than other slip and fall injuries. If the accident occurred while an employee was working, instead of a personal injury claim, the employee may have to file a workers' compensation claim. Workers' compensation provides benefits and medical care but generally does not allow for a personal injury claim.
However, some accidents that happen on the job may be available for a personal injury claim, such as for injuries to customers or vendors instead of employees. If you have any questions about whether your injury should be handled as a workers' comp claim or personal injury claim, talk to the accidentdenver.com attorneys for answers and advice.
Injuries and Damages in a Slip, Trip, or Fall Accident
Slip and fall accidents can cause a lot of damage, even if the fall is only from a couple of feet. Some people, including young children and older individuals, may be more prone to serious injury in a fall. Injuries in a slip, trip, or fall can include:
- Broken bones,
- Broken hips,
- Head injury,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Spinal injuries,
- Back injury, and
- Hand and wrist injury.
Damages in a slip, trip, or fall include the losses suffered by the injury victim. In a personal injury lawsuit, the injury victim can seek compensation for damages, which may include:
- Medical bills,
- Future medical treatment,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Loss of earning capacity.
The person responsible for the accident and their insurance company may try and pay less than the full cost of the accident. Before you accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, make sure you understand your rights before signing away your legal remedies. Talk to your accident Denver lawyer to make sure you have someone on your side to fight for what you deserve.
Time Limit to File a Personal Injury Claim
There is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury claim. Most Colorado personal injury claims have a statute of limitations of two years. This leaves only two years from the date of the accident or injury to file a lawsuit. If your claim is filed even one day late, your case may be denied. However, the time limit may be longer or shorter, depending on the parties involved. Contact your accident Denver lawyer as soon as possible after a fall injury to make sure your claim is filed in time.
Denver Slip Trip and Fall Injury Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients and families in Colorado who were injured in slip and fall accidents. Our attorneys understand how the property insurance companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.