One of the first thoughts that may cross your mind after a slip and fall accident is filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. Many slip and fall victims successfully recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But, this does not mean that every person who slips and falls will automatically be compensated. Here’s how you can tell if you have a valid slip and fall claim:
You Were Not to Blame
Were you partially or totally responsible for the accident? In Colorado, personal injury victims can recover compensation as long as they were not more than 50% responsible for the accident. A slip and fall plaintiff who was illegally on the property at the time of the accident may hold more than 50% of the blame, which means she will not be able to recover compensation. It’s best to talk to an attorney about the role that you could have played in the accident to determine if it will affect your ability to recover compensation.
The Property Owner Was Negligent
Property owners are often held liable for slip and fall accidents due to premises liability laws. These laws state a property owner must maintain safe conditions on his property to protect his guests from harm. Therefore, if a slip and fall accident occurs because of an unsafe condition on someone’s property, the owner can often be held liable.
However, the victim must be able to prove that the property owner’s failure to maintain safe conditions was negligent. To do this, the plaintiff must prove one of these conditions is true:
- The owner created the safety hazard that caused the accident.
- The owner knew about the safety hazard that caused the accident, but did nothing to fix it.
- The owner should have known about the safety hazard because a “reasonable” property owner would have.
The first two conditions are straightforward, and can typically be proven through surveillance camera footage, witness testimony, and other evidence. But, proving that an owner should have known about a condition can be a bit more complex. This is typically proven by showing the hazard existed for a long period of time or was located in a place that should have made it obvious to the property owner. If an attorney believes it is possible to prove the property owner is liable, then you may have a valid slip and fall claim.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather the evidence we need to prove liability. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.