Slip and fall accidents are an unusual area of personal injury law. These accidents can cause surprisingly serious injuries, including broken bones, neck and back injuries, head injuries and others, and deciding fault in a slip and fall accident depends on a wide variety of factors. Take a look, and if you think you may have a slip and fall case start looking for a Pueblo personal injury lawyer.
Basics of Fault
Essentially, determining fault in a slip and fall case rests on two basic assessments. One is how much, if any, the injured person’s own carelessness or lack of attention may have contributed to the injury. It is not unusual for floors and ground surfaces to wear with age and collect water or other slippery substances now and then, and property owners can clean and repair them only so quickly. There are also tripping hazards that serve other purposes, like vents, drains and curbs. The other assessment is whether the property owner was negligent and failed to do something that would have made the area safer.
There are no hard-and-fast rules- deciding liability depends on the combined behavior of everyone involved in the accident. However, there are three things that you can try to prove which fulfill the requirements for declaring the property owner legally responsible for your injuries. If the owner (or one of their employees) directly caused the thing you slipped on, such as a worn or damaged piece of flooring or a spill or spot of something slippery, then the owner is responsible. If the owner or employee did not actually cause it, but knew about it and neglected to take steps to make it safer, then the owner is responsible. Finally, if the owner or employee could have known about the slipping hazard by taking some “reasonable” action, then the owner is responsible.
Carelessness on the Part of the Plaintiff
Your own behavior before and during the slip and fall accident affects the likelihood of winning your case. If you should have noticed the tripping hazard, either because it was visible or because there were warnings posted, you will probably be considered partly responsible. The same thing may happen if you were behaving carelessly, such as running, jumping, climbing or doing other activities that distracted you from your surroundings. If the owner would not have expected people to be walking in the area of the slip and fall hazard, they may not be considered liable, especially if you were not supposed to enter the area where you fell. It is important to discuss all these details with your Pueblo personal injury lawyer before going forward with the case.
Negligence on the Part of the Property Owner
Earlier we mentioned “reasonable” actions that property owners are supposed to take in order to maintain their property safely. A judge or jury will decide most negligence cases according to “reasonableness.” If the tripping hazard was there for a long time before you slipped on it, if bad lighting made it harder to see, or if the property owner failed to regularly clean and repair the property, they will probably be considered to have been negligent.
If you believe you have a slip and fall case in the Colorado Springs area, you should discuss your situation with a Pueblo personal injury lawyer you trust. Contact Heuser and Heuser for more information or to schedule a consultation.