Seeking damages for an injury claim involving slip and fall is unfortunately not always as easy as it probably should be. There’s a world of complications that can be involved, from proving liability to insurance issues.
The first problem you’ll face, however, is determining who is responsible in the first place. Is it a private individual? Is it a business? Is it the city itself? Learn about slip and fall accidents, who holds responsibility when you fall on the sidewalk, and when it’s a good idea to call a personal injury attorney.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are the single most common source of injury there is. Most of them occur due to icy conditions in the winter months, but they can also be caused by loose gravel, broken pavement, spills or a range of other hazards. When these hazards should’ve been noticed and addressed, that’s when an injury case can come into play.
Determining liability for a slip and fall accident can be tricky. If you are in a private residence—visiting a friend or relative, for example, they usually hold responsibility for keeping the premises safe for visitors. If you’re at a store, auto garage or other private business, the business is likely responsible.
Things can get more complex if it’s public property or a shared unit. At an apartment building, for example, who is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk? Is it the tenants, the landlord, or a third party? Likewise with a city sidewalk, is the city responsible for maintaining it, or do they contract with an outside service provider? In addition, do they have immunity from prosecution for such issues?
Another issue that comes into play in a fall accident is negligence. You have to prove that the responsible party was, in fact, negligent and put you in danger. That means that they somehow violated an established duty to provide you and other pedestrians safe passage, and failed to do so. That failure, in turn, resulted in you getting hurt.
Consider the example of an icy surface. When did the ice happen? Is there a current ongoing ice storm that created the hazard? If so, the responsible party can hardly have had time to fix or address the issue. If on the other hand, it happened two days ago and all the surrounding sidewalks are clear, you may have an argument for negligence.
When to Call a Personal Injury Attorney
Any time you get seriously hurt and need to seek damages to help you pay for your medical bills lost wages, pain and suffering and other major problems, it’s important to talk to a personal injury attorney. Premises liability suits can get complicated very fast, and defendants will fight to avoid paying out major claims. The right attorney will protect your right to compensation, will help ensure that you are seen as the victim in the case, and will give you the best chance at a high-value settlement. If you’ve been hurt in Colorado and you need help in your case, call the attorneys at Heuser & Heuser for help today.