Slip and fall accidents happen at all times of the year, but the winter months are fast approaching when hazards like snow and ice make the risk even greater. Thousands of people every year are injured in this kind of accident and many happen in front of businesses, in parking lots or in other public or private places owned by others.
People injured in this way often wonder if they’re able to file a lawsuit to have their injuries covered. The truth is it can be a little complicated and tricky. Learn how slip and fall cases are handled when ice and snow are a factor, when you can file an injury lawsuit, and how a qualified premises liability attorney can help.
No Automatic Responsibility
Many people assume that if they’re injured on someone else’s property—especially a business—that the property owner is automatically responsible. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There are certain things that need to be proven under premises liability law to allow you to file an injury case and get compensated for the injuries you suffer.
In order to successfully file a lawsuit in a slip and fall accident you’ll need to prove that the property owner was liable for your injury. There are a number of factors that can go into this process. The first is to demonstrate that they are in violation of the “reasonable person” standard; that is, that they knew about and had an obligation to fix the hazard that resulted in your accident, and failed to do so.
For example, if you’re walking across a parking lot when sleet begins falling from the sky, and this sleet causes you to fall, there’s not much the property owner could have done to prevent the problem. If, on the other hand, it’s been days since an ice storm hit, and the lot was never salted, nor efforts to remove the ice made, you might have a case. However, many large retailers subcontract snow and ice removal out and have indemnity clauses in their contracts.
Pursuing an Injury Lawsuit
Pursuing a settlement in these injury lawsuit cases can be difficult. Naturally, the owner of the property will fight your claims that they are responsible, and their insurance company will likely have a lot of tricks to avoid paying out. They could try everything from using confusing documents to get you to sign away your rights, to bullying tactics to get you to acquiesce to lowball offers.
That’s why it takes an experienced and knowledgeable person in your corner to stand up to these tactics, defend your rights, and get you both justice and the compensation you deserve. When you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you could be entitled not only to your past medical bills but a sum to cover future expenses, your lost wages, lost future potential earnings, pain and suffering and a litany of other issues.
Your best bet any time you’re injured is to contact a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney. If you find yourself in this situation in Southern Colorado, don’t go it alone. Contact the injury lawyers at Heuser & Heuser for a free evaluation of your case and to start on the road to getting compensated today.