According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as broken bones or head injuries. These injuries can make it difficult or impossible to do everyday things or even go back to work. Our Colorado premises liability lawyers are dedicated to helping people obtain compensation for lost wages and medical bills. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a fall, we may be able to help you too.
What Type of Injuries May Lead to a Premises Liability Claim?
- Slip and falls
- Injuries from falling trees or branches
- Amusement park ride injuries
- Drowning in a pool
Is the Property Manager Responsible for Your Injury?
According to Colorado premises liability law, owners and occupiers of property who allow people to come onto their property may be held legally responsible for any accidents and injuries that happen. The property owner must make sure that their property is safe for the whole community by maintaining safe conditions and either repairing hazards or putting up appropriate warning signs if the hazard cannot be repaired immediately.
A property owner can be considered negligent if he/she creates an unsafe condition, such as slippery floors or construction hazards. Negligence on the part of the property owner may also result from failure to fix an unsafe condition after learning of the issue, such as uneven flooring, a water leak, or broken stairs.
Common Causes of Premises Liability Accidents
- Insufficient lighting
- Poor railings
- Uneven flooring
- Wet surfaces
- Loose wiring
- Unmarked obstacles
- Snow or ice on a sidewalk
What Properties Are Owners Liable for if You’re Injured?
- Rental Properties
- Shopping centers
- Parking lots
- Amusement parks
There are many other properties where the owner may be liable for your injuries. However, just because you were injured on someone else’s property, doesn’t mean the owner is always liable.
In order to win a premises liability case, you must be able to prove your injuries were a direct result of the property owner’s negligence. Contact one of our premises liability lawyers at Heuser & Heuser to find out if the property where you were injured is liable for your damages.
5 Tips to Protect Your Legal Rights
A slip and fall can be a traumatic event. Most people are not thinking about collecting evidence after spraining their wrist on a slippery floor. However, everything you do after your injury can positively or negatively affect your case. Following these tips will help your personal injury attorney file the strongest case possible on your behalf, so you have the best chance of obtaining fair compensation.
1. Never admit fault
The moments after an accident can be chaotic and cause you to say you weren’t watching where you were going, or that your shoes were to blame for your fall. However, admitting fault in any way can seriously hinder your chances of receiving compensation. Remain calm, and let the proper authorities determine who is to blame for your accident.
2. Inform the necessary authorities
If your accident happened on store property, you may need to file an incident report. Inform the store manager or security officer of your accident and file a report with them. If the manager or officer calls a superior, be sure to get a record from him/her.
3. Seek medical attention
If you need immediate medical attention, call 911. Your safety is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, some injury symptoms can take a few days after the accident to become noticeable. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor even if you believe your injuries are minor. Be sure to save all medical records, as they will be vital to your case.
4. Collect evidence
Taking photographs of the hazard and gaining statements from witnesses can increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries. Record what the property owner said and don’t sign anything without a lawyer present.
5. Contact an experienced attorney
A property owner, representing attorney, or insurance agent may try to contact you, and even get you to sign a release form. Before speaking with the other party, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to avoid doing or signing anything that threatens your claim. Our attorneys at Heuser & Heuser will immediately start gathering information on your behalf to build a successful case.
Keeping these tips in mind could sway your chances of receiving compensation from slim to great. However, while these steps may help, it often takes an experienced slip and fall attorney to compile all of the right information and evidence needed to obtain compensation. You don’t have to go through this alone. Call our office today to receive help with your case.
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What if the Property Manager Fixes the Issue After Your Accident?
Premises Liability victims frequently wonder what will happen if the property manager fixes the problem that caused their fall soon after their accident. Not only has the manager seemingly proved their negligence, but the evidence of the hazardous environment is now gone.
If the owner fixed the problem right after you fell, that proves that their property was hazardous, making the owner negligent, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, in the state of Colorado, measures taken after the event that would have made it less likely to happen do not prove negligence.
However, now the evidence of the hazardous environment that caused your accident is gone and you’re still injured. What can you do?
Retaining a personal injury attorney as soon as possible will allow your attorney to get ahead of the game and start gathering evidence of the property owner’s negligence. If the owner claimed they couldn’t fix the hazardous environment, but repaired the issue soon after your injury, your personal injury attorney can submit those claims as evidence to prove they had the ability to make repairs all along.
While results will vary, this may give you a better chance at winning the compensation you deserve. Your Heuser & Heuser legal team will work with you to gather proof that your injuries were a direct result of the dangerous conditions.
How to Prove Negligence
Take lots of notes! Colorado law requires the victim to prove that the owner or occupant’s negligence caused the accident, so documenting every step of your injury will help your personal injury attorney build a compelling case against the owner. Prompt action will preserve and protect evidence that’s vital to your case.
What Should I Keep a Record Of?
- When you informed the owner of the hazard
- The owner’s response to your complaint
- Whether or not any action was taken to fix or mark the hazard
- When and how you were injured
- Photographs taken of the hazard
- Contact information and statements from any witnesses
- Shoes and clothing worn at the time of injury
- All interactions with the owner post-injury
- All medical expenses
- All lost wages
What if I Was Assaulted?
Premises liability may also include cases where a person is injured by a third person’s wrongful act, such as an assault. These types of cases may fall under what’s called “third-party premises liability,” a complex and dynamic area of law that can involve especially complicated legal issues. A Heuser & Heuser attorney can help you determine if a property owner can be held accountable for failing to provide adequate security against criminal acts.
What May Be Considered Inadequate Security?
The owner failed to:
- Properly train security personnel
- Supervise employees
- Warn about the potential for criminal activity
- Handle or prevent the assault in time to inhibit injury
- Provide sufficient lighting to prevent crime
Recovering After You Are Injured
According to the CDC, the average cost of a fall injury is $30,000. Even worse, an injury from this kind of accident may never fully heal, leading to long-term pain and impairment that requires protracted medical treatment.
What Can Recovery Look Like?
- Physical therapy
- Bed rest
- Multiple doctor visits
Your main priority throughout this process should be recovering from your injuries. One of our slip and fall attorneys will work with you to recover damages for your pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and other treatment, both now and in the future.
How Long Will It Take to Settle My Claim?
Every case is different. The time it takes your claim to settle will depend on many different variables, such as the severity of your injuries and the length of your recovery. While our team will work hard to get your claim settled, these cases often take time and patience to see through.
Call Heuser & Heuser Now
Should the unthinkable happen and you or a loved one dies from injuries suffered on a property, we will work hard to see that you are compensated.
The attorneys and staff at Heuser & Heuser make communication and accessibility a priority in every case we handle. We will take care of the day-to-day details, so you can focus on getting your life back to normal. You can trust that you’ll know where your case stands throughout the process and that your questions will be answered promptly.
The Heuser brothers have more than 30 years of experience in personal injury law in the state of Colorado with offices in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please give us a call at 719-520-9909, or complete our inquiry contact form.