Slip-and-Fall Lawyer in Grand Junction
What You Should Know About Premises Liability in Colorado
A majority of personal injury cases we see in Colorado are due to slip, trip, and fall accidents.
Slip-and-fall accidents can be caused by many things: crumbling sidewalks, wet floors, loose carpet edges, ice and snow, debris, etc. Property owners and managers do have a legal obligation to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors. When they fail to do so, the victim may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.
Unfortunately, the burden of proof in these cases falls on the injury victim (the plaintiff). It’s important to have an experienced Colorado premises liability attorney if you want to get adequate compensation for your injury and the resulting losses. For more than two decades, Peters & Nolan, LLC, has been helping injury victims recover money for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and much more. To find out your legal rights and options after a slip-and-fall, call our Grand Junction personal injury attorneys at (970) 243-4357 for a free case evaluation.
Proving Liability for a Slip-and-Fall
When proving liability for a slip/trip and fall, the following criteria generally need to be met:
- The owner or manager of the property caused the hazardous condition that caused the injury, and did not attempt to remedy or repair it, did not warn visitors about it, and took no action to keep visitors away from the hazard.
- The owner or manager of the property knew about the hazardous condition, but did not repair it, warn visitors about it, or take steps to keep visitors away from it.
- The owner or manager of the property should have known about the hazardous condition, yet did not repair it, did not warn visitors about it, and did not take steps to keep visitors away from it.
Example: The manager of a grocery store orders the floor mopped. A reasonable, competent manager would also order an employee to put out signs and barricades to keep customers away from the wet floor. Failure to do so would make the manger negligent, and therefore, liable for any resulting injuries.
However, a slip-and-fall injury victim may also share some liability if:
- He was acting recklessly when the accident occurred.
- He was trespassing when the accident occurred.
- He should have been able to avoid the accident.
Example: An aisle in a grocery store has been freshly mopped. Employees put up barricades and “wet floor” signs to keep shoppers out of the area until the floor dries. If a shopper ignores the warnings and enters the aisle anyway, falling and breaking his hip, he would be liable for his injuries. It’s possible that the store would still be partially liable depending on the circumstances.
Modified Comparative Negligence in Colorado
In determining liability in a slip-and-fall claim, Colorado adheres to the concept of modified comparative negligence. This means that the property owner or manager must be at least 50% to blame for the accident in order for the injured party to get compensation through the courts. If the plaintiff is found to be 50% or more liable for his injuries by a judge or jury, he can collect nothing.
Modified comparative negligence also means that compensation for an injury directly reflects the amount of liability of each party. For instance, after a trial, the jury finds that a property owner is 75% liable for the plaintiff’s injuries, but the plaintiff is 25% liable. If the jury awards the plaintiff $100,000, he can only collect $75,000 from the property owner.
Remember, suspecting that you might be partially at fault for your injuries does not bar you from bringing a premises liability claim in Colorado. Needless to say, a skilled lawyer can make a big difference in presenting a case to a jury.
Why You Need an Experienced Grand Junction Slip-and-Fall Attorney
As you can see, proving liability in a slip-and-fall injury claim can be complicated. This is why it is so important to have an experienced premises liability attorney handling your case. For over 20 years, Andrew J. Peters and Andrew J. Nolan have been helping injured clients in the Western Slope get the compensation they deserve. Call (970) 243-4357 for a free consultation. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, you pay no upfront fees or out-of-pocket expenses. We only get paid if we win your case.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.