If You Have Had a Slip and Fall Accident
By: Jessica Prochaska- Burg Simpson Shareholder and Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
A Colorado slip and fall personal injury claim is filed in civil court and seeks compensation for the victim’s injuries. This type of claim alleges that a property owner failed to address a dangerous or hazardous condition that they knew or should have known about causing an accident.
Slip and fall accidents in the U.S. result in millions of emergency room visits each year. According to the National Safety Council, about 9.2 million people were treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries in 2016, and more than half of all slip and fall accidents were caused by hazardous walkways, such as slick or wet floors, icy sidewalks, and uneven surfaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four older adults report a fall each year. But slip and fall injuries can happen to anyone at any time.
If You Have Been Injured
- If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, your priority is to take care of yourself. If you have been seriously hurt, you should immediately seek medical attention.
- Your next step is to thoroughly and accurately document the scene of your accident. Use your cell phone, or enlist the assistance of someone nearby, to take pictures or videos of the location where the accident occurred. Seek to capture the conditions of the entire area where you slipped. Your documentation of the area where your accident occurred can provide important evidence to show the conditions that existed at the time of your injury.
- If there is a property owner or manager at the location of your injury, make sure to report your injury so that they are aware that an accident occurred. Obtain their name and contact information so that you can follow up with them.
- If you were in a public space at the time of your injury, seek to acquire a copy of any available video recordings documenting your fall.
- Secure the full names and contact information of any witnesses who were present at the time of your injury.
- If you were seriously injured, your final step is to contact an experienced slip and fall personal injury attorney to protect you and your legal rights. At Burg Simpson, we will meet with you to discuss the details of the incident and gather the evidence necessary to get you the help you need and obtain the compensation you deserve.
- If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, or a trip and fall accident, call Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh and Jardine. We handle slip and fall accidents and we are here to protect you and your legal rights.
Who is Responsible for Your Injuries?
Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their property is maintained and kept in a reasonably safe condition. When potentially unsafe conditions exist, the property owners must provide adequate warning to prevent injuries. If you were injured due to an unsafe condition, inadequate security or maintenance, or a defect in construction, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the property owner.
Premises liability cases arise when a person is injured or killed on someone else’s property due to an unsafe condition. In Colorado, legal actions filed against landowners for slip and fall or trip accidents are generally within the scope of the Colorado Premises Liability Act, C.R.S. § 13-21-115. The term “landowner” in this context refers to the individual or organization that is legally responsible for the condition of the real property and/or the activities conducted on the property.
There are three classifications of potential slip and fall claimants:
The duty a property owner owes to someone visiting the property depends on the classification of the visitor. Property owners generally have a duty to take reasonable care to protect the visitor from known dangerous conditions that exist on the property. If the owner was aware of a condition on his property that would pose a danger to the visitor, the owner must take reasonable care to either eliminate the dangerous condition or warn visitors that a potential danger exists.
- The first category is called an “Invitee.” An invitee is someone who enters the landowner’s property at the invitation of the property owner. An invitee in on the landowner’s property for the benefit of the property owner. A repair person or a landscaper is an example of an invitee.
An invitee may recover damages caused by the landowner’s failure to exercise reasonable care to protect the invitee against dangers on the property.
- The second category is called a “Licensee.” A licensee is someone who is on the real property of the landowner with the landowner’s permission, but is on the property solely for their own benefit. A dinner or party guest of the landowner is an example of a licensee.
A licensee may only recover damages caused by the landowner’s failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to the known dangers that existed on the property.
- The third category is a “Trespasser.” A trespasser is a party who is on the landowner’s premises without the landowner’s consent.
Trespassers may only recover for damages that were willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
To receive compensation for a slip-and-fall injury, your lawyer must prove the following:
- The property owner was responsible for the unsafe condition that caused your injury;
- The property owner knew or should have known that the unsafe condition existed and failed to repair the condition;
- The property owner knew or should have known about the condition and did not provide adequate warning signs;
- The property owner had a duty to provide safe conditions for licensees and invitees.
Schedule a Consultation Today
Premises liability cases are fact specific, and your claim will depend how your injury occurred and your relationship to the property owner. Our lawyers at Burg Simpson will review the details of your case and determine if the property owner is liable for your injuries. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be entitled to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Physical Impairment
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, the lawyers at Burg Simpson will meet with you to answer questions and explain your legal rights. It is important to work with an experienced trial attorney, and Burg Simpson can represent you in your personal injury case against the property owner who was responsible for your fall.
Trial Lawyer Jessica Prochaska
Shareholder Jessica B. Prochaska currently focuses her practice on personal injury claims but also has experience in pharmaceutical mass torts and complex commercial litigation. Ms. Prochaska is a highly-skilled and experienced attorney who is committed to protecting the best interests of those who have been harmed by the negligence of another party. As a dedicated champion for her clients, Jessica fights to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions, maximize financial recoveries, and provide her clients with the best possible outcome to their legal matter. Jessica’s effective strategy for legal advocacy includes her formidable skills as a negotiator and a litigator and her commitment to providing her clients with the compassionate and personalized service they deserve.
Originally from Washington, D.C., Jessica Prochaska received her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and her J.D. from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Ms. Prochaska has been consistently recognized for her skill and ability by the National Trial Lawyers Association – Top 40 Under 40, from 2015 through 2019.