Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys Serving Boulder, CO
Slip and fall accidents occur every day and can cause serious bodily injury. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. These injuries can limit mobility, daily activities, and the ability to function without assistance. Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can be especially traumatic and have life-long consequences.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property. If you slip and fall on someone else’s improperly maintained property, you may have a slip and fall claim. An experienced slip and fall lawyer can help you understand your options. The personal injury lawyers of Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. have decades of experience helping slip and fall victims and their families in Boulder and throughout Colorado.
Slip and fall cases fall under the legal doctrine of premises liability and specifically Colorado’s Premises Liability Act C.R.S. 13-21-115 et. seq. Premises liability is an appropriate cause of action for injuries caused by an unsafe or defective property condition.
In Colorado, a victim must prove that a property owner actually knew of, or in certain circumstances should have known of a hazardous condition on their property, and failed to remedy the condition. This duty depends on the relationship between the owner and the injured person. Business visitors, for example, are owed the highest duty of care, whereas trespassers are owed a minimal duty of care.
The injured person must also show that a breach of the property owner’s duty resulted in injury and that there is actual damage. A slip and fall accident lawyer can help you determine the presence of each of the required elements of a premises liability claim.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
There are many types of injuries and accidents that could fall under premises liability, including:
- Slips and falls,
- Inadequate lighting,
- Poorly maintained sidewalks,
- Negligent security,
- Dog or other animal attacks,
- Swimming pool accidents,
- Elevator accidents,
- Supermarket accidents,
- Wet floors,
- Snow and ice accidents,
- Defective stairways,
- Toxic fumes or chemicals,
- Fire and safety code violations,
- Ceiling collapse, and
- Amusement park accidents.
This is not a complete list. There are plenty of other incidents that could fall under this umbrella.
Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents
When it comes to proving fault for a slip and fall claim, there are several things to take into consideration.
Was your accident caused by tripping or slipping on something that a reasonable person would expect to find there? Smooth surfaces can naturally become slightly uneven over time. Things like drainage grates may be inconvenient, but when installed properly, they can do more good than harm. Caution signs will not stop your fall, but they may reduce the property owner’s liability.
It can be difficult to determine when someone is legally responsible for a slip and fall accident and whether the property owner was careless. A slip and fall lawyer is crucial for helping you collect evidence and prove liability.
Determination of Liability
Colorado law pertaining to actions against landowners asserts that for a property owner to be legally responsible for a slip and fall injury, one of the following must be true:
- The owner of the premises or their employee knew about the dangerous condition and did not address the hazard;
- The owner or an employee of the premises should have known about the hazardous condition because a reasonable person taking care of the property would have discovered and repaired it or disabled use of the hazardous area; or
- The owner or employee of the premises caused the hazard to exist.
Liability often hinges on common sense. Terms like “reasonable” and “should have known” are subjective. An experienced slip and fall attorney can help gather facts for trial clearly demonstrating a lack of reason. If a settlement cannot be reached, a judge and jury will determine who was at fault.
Whom to Sue in a Slip and Fall Accident
If a property owner acted unreasonably in allowing the conditions that caused the accident, you may have a slip and fall claim.
Many slip and fall accidents occur in stores or other businesses. Whom you file the lawsuit against depends on the circumstances of the accident. If something was structurally wrong with the building or permanent fixture on the property, your case will be against the landlord or property owner.
If the accident occurred due to negligence of the business owner or an employee of the business, the claim will be against the store owner or the store itself, depending on its business structure. In certain circumstances, a contractor or management company may also be liable.
Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations are laws that impose a specific time limit on how long a person has to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for a slip and fall claim in Colorado is set at two years from the date of the accident. It is important to file your claim as soon as possible to avoid loss of evidence and witnesses.
Choosing a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Colorado
Proving fault in a slip and fall case takes skill and expertise. With more than 30 years of experience, the personal injury attorneys at Sloat, Nicholson and Hoover, P.C. have obtained more than one hundred million dollars in verdicts or settlements for clients in the Boulder area and throughout Colorado. We strive to provide compassionate and diligent representation to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us to schedule your free initial case consultation with a slip and fall accident lawyer.