Colorado Springs Slip-and-Fall Accident Lawyers
While an accident can strike at any time, we expect business owners to maintain their property in a manner that makes it safe for the public. This is especially true in office buildings, shopping centers, malls, retail stores, parking lots, and other commercial spaces. Unfortunately, many owners and property managers are careless with their duties or are willing to cut corners to save money. This puts everyone in danger.
Thankfully for residents of Colorado Springs, our state has strict laws that require businesses to exercise all proper caution when it comes to public safety. If they fail to do so, and a patron slips and falls, the patron is entitled to be compensated for his injuries. That's where a premises liability lawyer at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., comes in.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall, call us today at (719) 475-2555 to learn more about your options.
A slip-and-fall is loosely defined as just what it sounds like: a person slips on a surface and hits the ground, resulting in an injury. But it's part of a broader category of accident that would include trips, stumbles, and any scenario where someone falls and is injured.
In general, these falls are caused by an unseen hazard, whether it's a wet floor, ice, or an object left in someone's path, that a customer, guest, or tenant was unaware of. Examples of hazards that we see on a regular basis in Colorado Springs include:
- Dim lighting
- Failure to clear snow or ice in a timely manner
- Cables or electrical wiring across a path
- Uneven flooring
- Narrow stairs
- Spilled liquids
- Missing or broken handrails
- Torn carpet
- Debris or objects left in pathways
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Loose floorboards or welcome mats
- Open cabinets or drawers in a walkway
In many instances, rather than fix the problem, property owners will attempt to warn visitors, for instance, by placing a wet surface sandwich board or hanging a sign. This might work as a temporary solution, but only if the sign is prominently located in a manner that a person cannot fail to see it.
When that hazard is not fixed in a reasonable amount of time, and it causes someone to slip and fall, the victim has a right to compensation.
When we speak to clients, we often hear that the property owner claimed it was “just a fall.” But after receiving an emergency room bill, learning they needed physical therapy, and having to take time off work to recover, they found that these “falls” added up. In serious cases, victims may be left with debilitating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI); spinal cord injuries (SCI); multiple broken bones, including hip fractures; and soft-tissue damage. In our experience, fall victims can also suffer wrongful death.
And serious falls happen more often than you would think. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five falls results in a catastrophic injury. Falls are the most common cause of brain injuries. The National Floor Safety Institute determined that over one million people have to go to the emergency room due to a slip-and-fall every year.
These accidents can be especially serious for older adults, with an estimated 26% of adults 65 years and older reporting falls in Colorado alone, which has resulted in roughly $478,000,000 in medical costs in a single recent year. When you add in a catastrophic injury, a single fall can change a person’s life.
It is important to remember that you may have more legal options that you think after a fall. If your injury occurred at someone else’s home, business, or property, then that person may be responsible for the damages you have suffered.
Slip-and-fall accidents are governed by an area of the law known as premises liability. According to the Colorado Premises Liability Act in C.R.S. § 13-21-115, landowners have a responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. If they are unable to quickly fix an unsafe situation, they must warn all visitors of the hazard. Failing to warn a customer, guest, or tenant of a known danger can make a property owner liable for the victim’s injuries. In addition, if the property owner should have reasonably been aware of the danger, such as by performing regular inspections, then they can also be found liable in a premises liability claim.
In Colorado, compensation for a slip-and-fall claim can include:
- All medical expenses, including past and future bills, surgeries, medication, and physical therapy
- Lost wages if you had to take time off work
- Lost earning potential if you had to change careers or jobs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Colorado does have damage caps on non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. As of January 2020, the cap is $613,760, which can be increased by the court upon clear and convincing evidence to a maximum of $1,227,530. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we always advocate for the maximum available award to give our clients the best chance at recovering comfortably.
After a fall, our team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can sit down with you in a free consultation. Depending on your accident, you may be eligible for compensation from a negligent property owner. To get you the money you need to heal, we will work to determine how they acted negligently and caused your injuries.
Slip-and-fall accidents are typically covered under liability policies, including homeowner’s insurance and business liability insurance. But the insurance companies that oversee these policies may try to convince you to accept a lower settlement amount. Attorney Philip Shadwick has seen firsthand how major insurance companies operate and the thought processes they use when evaluating claims. This allows him to provide accident victims with the knowledge they need to recover full compensation.
Typically, to recover compensation in a slip-and-fall claim, you must prove that:
- The property owner was aware of a safety hazard on the premises, or reasonably should have been aware of the hazard;
- The property owner did not fix the safety hazard in a timely hazard or warn guests of the danger;
- You were legally allowed to be on the property;
- You suffered a fall and were injured due to the hazard; and
- Your injuries resulted in damages.
Property owners have a duty to make sure their homes and businesses are free of safety hazards to protect their guests. They have no excuse for allowing a customer or visitor to be injured, especially if they were aware of the danger. Even if they were not, you should not have to bear the costs of an injury alone, and The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can fight to get you the compensation you need to heal.
If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall on someone else's property, it's important to consult an experienced Colorado Springs premises liability attorney as soon as possible. The sooner we can examine the circumstances, the sooner we can begin building a case on your behalf, and the more likely we will be to successfully recover your damages.
The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., is dedicated to helping accident victims throughout Colorado Springs and holding negligent property owners accountable. We account for every cost you have suffered, from your medical bills to your lost wages to the trauma of your injuries. We can include all of this in your claim and advocate for the maximum possible award. Contact us today at (719) 475-2555 to schedule a free consultation.