Tag: slip and fall

How Non-Delegable Duties Affect Premises Liability Cases

How Non-Delegable Duties Affect Premises Liability Cases

Premises liability is a legal concept that states property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property. If a property owner fails to fulfill this legal obligation, he could be held liable for any injuries that are sustained on his property as a result of hazardous conditions. However, some property owners try to place the blame for an accident on a third party. When this happens, the “non-delegable duties” legal concept often comes into play. Here’s what you should know about this legal term:

What Are Non-Delegable Duties?

Property owners often claim they delegated the duties of maintaining safe conditions on the property to a third party. Therefore, if an accident occurs, the third party is liable for the victim’s injuries, not the property owner. But, it’s important to understand that this defense strategy will not hold up in court.

Property maintenance and security issues are classified as non-delegable duties. This means a property owner cannot transfer liability for an accident related to maintenance or security to a third party.

An Example of Non-Delegable Duties

Many property owners hire landscaping companies to maintain the landscaping on their property. If someone trips over a tree stump hidden in the grass and breaks their arm, the property owner may tell the victim that it’s the landscaping company’s fault. However, the landscaping company cannot be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Even though the property owner hired the landscaping company to take care of the landscaping, property maintenance is a non-delegable duty. This means regardless of who is hired to help with this duty, the liability still falls on the property owner if an accident occurs.

The victim’s premises liability claim would still be filed against the property owner, who may be ordered to compensate the victim for his injuries. However, the property owner could seek reimbursement from the landscaping company that was hired to maintain the property. If the property owner chooses to do this, the case would be completely separate from the victim’s premises liability claim. The victim would not be involved in the property owner’s efforts to seek reimbursement.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Proving liability in these cases can be challenging, which is why it’s important to seek help from our experienced personal injury attorneys. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Recovering Compensation For Slip and Fall Accidents When Warning Signs Were Present

Recovering Compensation For Slip and Fall Accidents When Warning Signs Were Present

Slip and fall accidents typically occur because of a dangerous condition on someone’s property. Since property owners are legally obligated to maintain safe conditions on their property, they are often held liable for slip and fall injuries. But, what if the property owner attempted to warn the victim about a hazardous condition prior to the accident? Here’s what you should know about liability in slip and fall accidents when warning signs were present:

How Warning Signs Can Affect Slip and Fall Cases

A property owner cannot always escape liability simply because he had a sign on his property warning visitors of a hazardous condition. If the warning sign could not have possibly been seen by the victim prior to the accident, the property owner can still be held liable for the victim’s injuries.

For example, let’s say there is uneven flooring at the entrance of a retail store. The property owner knows this is a hazardous condition, so he puts a warning sign up by the front door. However, the sign can only be read by people who are already inside the store. Therefore, the sign does not warn customers who are entering the store of the hazardous condition. In this case, the property owner would still be liable.

The warning sign is also ineffective if it is too small or unreadable. For instance, if the handwriting on the sign is sloppy and illegible, the property owner cannot argue that the victim was warned about the hazardous condition.

Documenting Warning Signs After Slip and Fall Accidents

The size, location, and readability of a sign can all affect whether or not the presence of the sign will impact your ability to recover compensation. But, it’s difficult to prove that a warning sign was ineffective because of its size, location, or readability without evidence. Because of this, it’s important to take photos of any warning signs present at the scene of a slip and fall accident. Photograph the warning sign from up close and afar to capture the size, location, and readability. These photos can be used to prove that the warning sign was ineffective and the property owner should still be held liable for your injuries.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm at once. Let our attorneys poke holes in the property owner’s defense strategy so we can recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Most Common Defense Strategies Used in Slip and Fall Cases

The Most Common Defense Strategies Used in Slip and Fall Cases

Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their properties to ensure that visitors do not injure themselves. Because of this legal obligation, property owners are often held accountable for slip and fall accidents that occur on their property. But, this does not mean that property owners immediately take the blame for every injury sustained on their property. Many property owners put up a fight in an attempt to avoid liability in a personal injury case. How? Here are some of the most common defense strategies used in slip and fall cases:

“You’re to blame.”

A property owner can only be held liable if his negligence led to the victim’s slip and fall injuries. Therefore, many property owners will try to escape liability by proving that it was actually the victim’s negligence that caused the slip and fall accident. For example, if a grocery store customer is too distracted by her phone to notice the “Wet Floor” sign, she may be found partially or totally responsible for her injuries if she slips on the wet floor.

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means victims can still recover compensation for their injuries if they were less than 50% responsible for the accident. But, if a victim is determined to be partially responsible, he will not receive as much compensation. This means defendants can use this strategy to lower the amount of compensation they owe the plaintiff.

“You were trespassing.”

Trespassers do not have the same rights as legal visitors. Trespassers can only recover compensation for injuries deliberately caused by the property owner. If a trespasser is hurt in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, the property owner is not liable unless he deliberately created a safety hazard to hurt the victim. Therefore, property owners can use this as a defense in slip and fall cases in order to escape liability.

“You knew the risks of coming onto my property.”

The assumption of risk defense can also be used in a slip and fall case. This defense comes into play when the victim knew that participating in a certain activity was risky, but decided to do so anyways. If she was injured as a result of the activity, she may be held partially or totally liable since she knew of the risks beforehand. For example, let’s say a property owner warns his guest that the stairs leading up to his house are slippery from a recent rainstorm. The guest walks up the stairs anyways, slips, and injures herself. In this case, the guest knew of the risk involved and chose to engage in the activity anyways, so she may be held partially or totally liable.

These defense strategies may be common, but they’re not always effective. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, let the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight to hold the property owner accountable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Questions to Expect During A Slip and Fall Deposition

Questions to Expect During A Slip and Fall Deposition

At some point in a slip and fall case, the defense attorney may ask you to attend a deposition, where you will be asked questions about the accident while under oath. A deposition does not take place in a courtroom, but it can still be intimidating for slip and fall victims. To make yourself more comfortable, it’s best to learn what questions to expect during a slip and fall deposition so you feel fully prepared. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

What happened?

Slip and fall victims will be asked to describe the events leading up to the accident. The defense attorney will want to know every detail—no matter how small—about the accident. You may be asked detailed questions about what you were carrying, which foot slipped first, and which direction you were looking in when the accident occurred.

What were you wearing when the accident occurred?

A defense attorney will want to know exactly what you were wearing when the accident occurred. What kind of shoes did you have on? Were they difficult to walk in? Are they slip-proof? Were your pants too long? The answers to these questions can help the defense attorney determine if your clothing or footwear could have caused the accident.

Can you describe your medical history?

Slip and fall victims should expect to be asked a lot of questions about their medical history. The defense attorney may start out by asking something broad such as “Can you describe your medical history?” Then, he will get more specific by asking detailed questions regarding your healthcare providers, medical conditions, and history of injuries.

What injuries did you sustain in the accident?

Next, the defense attorney may move on to asking questions about the injuries that you sustained in the slip and fall accident. You may be asked dozens of follow-up questions about the symptoms that you experienced, the medical treatment you received, medical expenses, and your recovery.

Some of these questions can be fairly detailed, so it’s possible that you won’t know the answer off of the top of your head. If you don’t know the answer to a question, there’s nothing wrong with saying that you don’t know or remember. Admitting that you don’t have the answer is much better than making something up that can be used against you later on.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Slip and Fall Hazards at Hotels and Resorts

Common Slip and Fall Hazards at Hotels and Resorts

No one ever expects to get hurt while on vacation, but unfortunately, many slip and fall accidents happen at hotels and resorts. Don’t let an accident ruin your rest and relaxation—look out for these common slip and fall hazards at hotels and resorts:

Weather Conditions

Hundreds of guests travel in and out of large hotels everyday. If it’s raining or snowing outside, these guests will carry water, mud, and sludge into the hotel on their shoes and clothing. Unfortunately, employees often fail to clean the mess that is made around the main entrances of the hotel or resort, which creates a dangerous slip and fall hazard.

Poor weather conditions can also create hazards outside of the hotel or resort. For example, if the staff fails to salt the steps leading into the building, a guest may slip on a patch of ice and seriously injure himself.

Mopped or Waxed Floors

The employees at hotels and resorts work hard to keep the property sparkling clean, but sometimes a deep clean causes slip and fall accidents. If the floors inside a hotel or resort have recently been mopped or waxed, they may be slippery for a while. To avoid liability, the hotel or resort should have signs up that warn guests about the slippery floors ahead, but many places fail to put these signs in place. As a result, guests lose their footing on the newly cleaned floors and injure themselves.

Parking Lots

Hotels and resorts often have huge parking lots to accommodate all of their guests. Sadly, many slip and fall accidents happen in these parking lots before the guests even get the chance to check into their room. Guests may encounter cracks in the sidewalks or potholes that cause them to fall in the parking lot. It’s also possible that inadequate lighting in the parking lot could contribute to the accident since it’s much harder to spot hazards in the dark.

Flooring

A number of flooring hazards could cause guests at a hotel or resort to slip and fall. For example, guests could easily trip over torn carpeting or slip on a rug that isn’t secured in place. Guests could also lose their balance if the wooden floorboards inside a hotel or resort are uneven. To prevent these slip and fall accidents and avoid liability, hotel and resort property owners must do their part to ensure every inch of the flooring is in good condition.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will gather the evidence that we need to prove the property owner should be held liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can A Landlord Be Responsible For Slip and Fall Injuries?

Can A Landlord Be Responsible For Slip and Fall Injuries?

One term that arises in every slip and fall case is “premises liability.” Premises liability is a legal concept that describes a property owner’s responsibility to maintain safe conditions on his property. This legal concept applies to all property owners—even landlords. Can a landlord be responsible for slip and fall injuries that occur on his property? In some cases, yes. Here’s what you need to know:

Proving Negligence

Property owners—including landlords—are not automatically responsible for slip and fall injuries. In order to prove liability, you must show that the landlord was negligent, and that his negligence directly led to your injuries.

How did you injure yourself? Identify the hazard that caused you to slip and fall, and then determine how it got there. For instance, let’s say you slipped on a puddle of water inside your home that has formed because of a leak in the roof. Next, ask yourself if the landlord knew about the hazardous condition that caused your injuries. Did the landlord know about the puddle of water on the floor? It’s unlikely, unless he had recently been inside your home. But, did he know your roof was leaking? Tenants typically notify their landlords immediately when the roof is leaking so the landlord can arrange to have it fixed right away. If the landlord knew about the roof, you may be able to argue that he should have known about the hazards the roof would cause, such as a puddle of water inside your home.

Timing will always a play a role in proving negligence. When did you tell your landlord about the leak? If you had just told him a few hours prior to your accident, then the court may find that it’s unreasonable to expect him to have fixed the roof leak so quickly. However, if it has been weeks and he has not made an effort to fix the problem, then this may be considered negligence.

To put it simply, a landlord is negligent when he knows or should have known about a hazardous condition on his property, but does not take action to fix the issue.

Terms of the Lease

If you want to take legal action against your landlord, you should provide your attorney with a copy of your lease. There may something within the lease that could affect your personal injury claim. For instance, if you slip on ice that has accumulated on the walkway up to your front door, you may want to file a claim against your landlord. But, if the lease specifically states that the tenant is responsible for maintaining the outdoor area, then you may not have a claim.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident on a rental property? If so, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Proving a landlord is liable can be tricky, but our attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience to handle this challenge. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents occur when a visitor on someone else’s property falls and injures himself due to a hazardous condition. There are countless hazards that could cause you to lose your balance and fall while visiting someone else’s property, however some are more common than others. Here are some of the top causes of slip and fall accidents:

Stairs

Slip and fall claims often arise from injuries that occur on defective stairs. Property owners must pay close attention to their stairs to ensure the flooring material is in good shape. If the flooring is worn down or torn, it could create a safety hazard that leads to a slip and fall accident. Property owners should also be careful when waxing or polishing the stairs, as this can make the floors slippery and create a potential hazard. Finally, property owners have an obligation to remove debris from the staircase and ensure there is a handrail for visitors to use while they walk up and down the stairs.

Floors

One of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents is a wet floor. Floors can become dangerously wet when there is a spill, water leak, or when the floors have recently been polished or waxed. In the event that there are wet floors, a property owner should take action to either dry the floors or put up signage or barriers to prevent visitors from slipping. Carpeting can also create a potential hazard if it is torn, worn down, or bulging in some areas.

Weather Conditions

If ice or snow begins to accumulate in an area where visitors often walk, property owners should remove it to prevent injuries. In some cases, visitors may create potential hazards by coming inside a building with wet shoes or clothing and dripping water onto the floor. Even though visitors have created this hazard, it’s still up to the property owner to take care of it.

Inadequate Lighting

Slip and fall accidents that occur in parking lots at night are often blamed on inadequate lighting. The victim may be unable to see uneven sidewalks, potholes, or cracks before it is too late. To prevent this from happening, property owners must add lighting to outdoor areas where visitors walk.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today for the legal representation that you need to recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Who is Liable in Slip and Fall Accidents?

Who is Liable in Slip and Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere including grocery stores, hotels, amusement parks, and even in a friend’s home. These sudden accidents can often lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, muscle strains or sprains, head trauma, and spinal cord damage. If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the responsible party. But, who is liable in slip and fall accidents?

The Property Owner

The legal concept of premises liability plays an important role in slip and fall cases. In the state of Colorado, property owners are required to maintain safe conditions on their property. If a property owner fails to do so and a guest is injured as a result, the property owner could be held liable for the injuries.

However, a property owner is not automatically found liable for every injury that occurs on his property. It must be proven that the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and did not take action to remedy the situation.

For example, let’s say a grocery store employee accidentally spills a cup of water on the floor and fails to clean it up. The puddle of water remains on the floor for hours, until you slip and fall on it while leaving the store. In this case, the property owner may not have known about the hazard. However, an attorney may be able to prove that he should have known about it because it was present for hours before the injury occurred.

The Victim

The person who was injured in the slip and fall may be partially or totally liable for his own injuries. For instance, he could have been distracted at the time of the accident, and thus unable to avoid hazards in his path.

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. This means you may still recover compensation for your injuries even if you are partially to blame, as long as you are not 50% or more responsible.

Using the examples above, say you could have avoided the slip and fall accident in the grocery store if you hadn’t been distracted by your cell phone. It may be determined that you are 30% responsible and the property owner was 70% responsible. In this case, you will only receive 70% of the compensation awarded to you. If you were found to be 50% or more liable, you would not receive any compensation.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s imperative you seek legal representation at once. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to learn how we can prove the property owner was liable so you can recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.