Slip-and-Fall Lawyers in Grand Junction
A majority of the personal injury cases we see in Colorado are due to slips, trips, and falls. Slip-and-fall accidents can be caused by many things: wet floors, loose carpet edges, ice and snow, debris, and other safety hazards. Property owners and managers have a legal obligation to keep their properties 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 injured victim (the plaintiff). But building a case on your own can be difficult. That is why it’s important to have an experienced Colorado slip-and-fall attorney on your side if you want to get adequate compensation. For more than two decades, Peters & Nolan, LLC has been helping injury victims all over the Western Slope 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.
After slipping and falling in a store or shop, the owner may be quick to try and brush the accident aside as “minor.” After all, people fall all the time. A small slip isn’t really that big of an issue, right? Wrong.
Slip-and-falls are incredibly dangerous. When we trip over something, such as a loose cable, a crack in the sidewalk, or an overturned carpet, we naturally reach our hands outwards to break the fall. While our hands may suffer some injury, this allows our faces and skulls to remain mostly unscathed. However, when you slip, you fall backward. The backward motion means that you can’t stop your head and back from slamming into the ground. Such a fall is likely to cause extreme damage, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spine damage
- Broken and fractured bones
- Knee damage
- Sprained ankles and wrists
- Severe bruising
- Fractured hips
These kinds of injuries, especially damage done to the brain and spine, can easily lead to lifelong injuries that require extensive surgery and physical therapy to properly heal. That costs a great deal of money, money which can be hard to acquire considering that you may have to take time away from work to heal. In fact, if they are severe enough, you may not be able to work again in the future. The only reason why a shop owner may try to convince you that the accident was minor is to keep you from filing a claim against them. Thankfully, with the proper evidence, you can do just that and recover the compensation you need to get proper treatment.
Unfortunately, proving liability is not as easy as simply demanding compensation. There are factors that must be met in order for a premises liability claim to be considered viable. Proving these factors will require some amount of evidence, such as security footage, eyewitness testimony, and medical records, but it isn’t an impossible task.
To prove a landlord is liable for your fall, one of the following criteria generally need to be met:
- The owner or manager of the property caused the hazardous condition that resulted in your 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 manager 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. However, it’s possible that the store would still be partially liable depending on the circumstances.
Of course, you should never immediately assume that you were the one at fault, even if the owner is trying to convince you that you were. A store or business has a responsibility to keep you reasonably safe, and that includes preventing slips and trips. Even if you were wearing precarious shoes or have a balance issue, negligent business owners should be held liable for your injuries. Especially considering the fact that Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state.
When 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 filing a premises liability claim in Colorado, even if the owner or their insurance adjuster tries to convince you otherwise. Thankfully, a skilled lawyer can make a big difference in presenting a case to a jury.
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 Grand Junction personal injury lawyer handling your case. Andrew J. Peters and Andrew J. Nolan have the experience, knowledge, and skill to secure proper compensation for your injuries in an insurance settlement or jury trial, if necessary. Call (970) 243-4357 for a free consultation regarding your slip-and-fall claim. 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.