Slip and Fall Lawyers in Denver
Slips and falls can happen anywhere in Denver. In a city this busy, with so many things going on, the risks to passersby, customers, residents, and pedestrians can be significant. While you must take care and look where you are going, property owners do not have blanket permission to do whatever they want, especially when they invite you on the property.
The second someone opens their place of business to customers, you become an invited guest. If you can prove that the person responsible for the premises was to blame for your fall, you can recover financial compensation.
When you need an attorney to take up your cause and help you get paid for your injuries, call Varner Faddis Elite Legal today. We have a track record of fighting for our clients to get checks, whether they come from a settlement or jury award. We have obtained $590,000 for a client in a premises liability case, so please contact us to learn about how we might help you.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents can happen in many ways:
- The Denver area receives nearly 50 inches of snow annually. Homeowners must clear snow from their walkways. If they do not clear snow and ice in a reasonable amount of time, they must pay for your injuries if you slip on their walk. The same thing goes for residential complexes where the landlord has a legal obligation to clean the common areas.
- You can slip in the aisle of a grocery store such as King Soopers or Walmart. Employees or customers can drop and break a jar of liquid that spills onto the floor. If the store does not clean the damage in a reasonable amount of time or place warning signs, they can be liable.
- Parts of Denver (especially the Central Business District) seem like a constant construction zone – someone may leave debris on the sidewalk, and you may trip. City sidewalks can also be in poor shape, and the city can be liable for injuries when they do not keep the sidewalks in reasonable condition.
- Apartment landlords need to keep common areas and stairwells in good repair. Leaving equipment around or failing to fix broken banisters can cause falls.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Even though people think of slip and fall accidents as common, nothing is typical about your injuries. All it takes is a body part hitting against the ground or another hard object or a fall at an awkward angle to severely injure you.
People suffer significant injuries in falls, and they may never be the same again.
Some slip and fall injuries can include:
Approximately three million people need treatment in an emergency room every year because of fall injuries. These hospital visits can get expensive. Any time you are in the ER, you can expect a bill for thousands of dollars. Even your share after insurance costs can be thousands of dollars. These totals do not account for necessary future medical care.
Insurance Companies Make Your Life Harder
Insurance companies take a very skeptical view of slip and fall cases. They try to take advantage of the perception that these are common injuries to deny liability and reduce the size of your settlement check. Even though millions of people are injured in falls each year, it does nothing to get the property owner off the hook when they have been careless.
Notwithstanding the common refrain that accidents happen, they should not occur due to the property owner’s carelessness. Then, an accident becomes negligence, and you can recover financial compensation.
Nonetheless, the burden of proof falls on you, which makes slip and fall cases more complicated than the average personal injury case. You should not let the difficulty stop you from pursuing financial compensation. If someone else was responsible for your injury, they must pay you damages. When you are on someone else’s property, they owe you a legal duty, regardless of whether they gave you a verbal invitation to be there.
People can owe duties to others by:
- Having a public sidewalk in front of their homes
- Opening their store for business
- Owning an apartment complex that rents out residences
- Having facilities that the public can use
When Someone Else Must Pay for Your Injuries
While the legal theory behind slip and fall cases sounds simple, it can be more difficult in practice.
There are two ways that you can hold a property owner or the person who controls the premises liable for slip and fall injuries:
- If they create the dangerous conditions themselves, they are responsible no matter how long the condition existed before your injury.
- If someone else created a dangerous condition (for example, a customer breaks a jar with liquid), they have a reasonable amount of time to fix it or place a warning around it.
In every personal injury case, what is reasonable depends on the circumstances. In the second example, a property owner may claim that they did not know about the dangerous condition and can not fix it. However, only so much time can pass before they get treated as if they knew. Pretending not to know about something or just not checking the premises frequently enough are not excuses.
How to Prove that Someone Else Was Responsible for Your Fall
Nonetheless, there is quite a bit for you to prove in your slip and fall case. You can always count on an insurance company to deny liability unless you come with solid evidence in your claim. You will not get the benefit of the doubt.
The problem is that you can lose slip and fall evidence very quickly.
Your best chances of proving liability come when you obtain:
- Pictures of the scene of the accident that show the condition at the time you fell
- Eyewitness testimony from someone who saw the dangerous condition or your accident
- Maintenance logs that can indicate whether and when the property owner inspected the property
- Video Camera footage (which may exist if you were injured in a business or a parking lot)
The best thing is when someone else sees what happened and can testify about it. The firsthand story from an objective third party goes a long way in making your claim more credible.
It is no easy task to gather the proof and present it to the insurance company or a court. First, you may be dealing with injuries of your own that prevent you from taking an active role in your case. Second, the defendant may have possession of these sources of evidence, and they do not want to hand them over to you.
The Defense Will Not Take You Seriously Without a Lawyer
When you approach an insurance company on your own in a slip and fall case, you can expect that they will not take you seriously. They will notice when you come with an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle slip and fall cases. Unfortunately, common does not mean easy, and you can expect a fight on many fronts in your case.
In your slip and fall case, you may encounter one defense that you were clumsy and the accident was your fault. Insurance companies use this as a common tactic to avoid paying for damages that their policyholders cause. Even if you are partially to blame for your accident, you can still recover financial compensation.
The insurance company may also claim that the danger was open and obvious, and you should have seen it. This defense is another way they try to explain clear-cut negligence and point the finger at you.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident Injury
There are two essential things to do after being injured in a slip and fall accident. You must do both of them quickly before you lose valuable time.
The first thing is to see a doctor after your injury. Insurance companies are skeptical of these injuries. They may even claim that you are making up your condition and are not really hurt. Alternatively, they may argue that your injuries came from something other than the accident.
When you visit a doctor, you will get a medical diagnosis of your injuries. The closer it is to the actual accident, the more credible your claim is when you say you receive your injury in your fall.
Hiring an attorney will help you navigate the legal process. The longer you wait to hire an attorney and start the claims process, the more difficult it will be for you. In addition, delaying hiring an attorney will mean that you lose crucial evidence needed to prove your claim.
Without an attorney, you can end up with nothing or far less money when the insurance company unfairly tries to blame you. Slip and fall cases are often as much about defending yourself as they are about proving someone else liable.
How an Attorney Helps Your Slip and Fall Case
When you hire a slip and fall attorney, they will:
- Speak with you and explain how you may obtain financial compensation for your injuries
- Assemble the evidence necessary for you to meet your burden of proof
- Prepare and submit your claim to the insurance company or file your lawsuit in court
- Estimate the value of your damages, so you have a starting point in negotiations
- Tell your side of the story and defend you when someone tries to blame you for your injuries
- Negotiate a settlement agreement or explain your damages to a jury
This list shows why legal experience is a must for your slip and fall claim. Insurance companies will not make it easy on you, and they will throw every challenge in your way.
Denver Slip and Fall FAQs
What happens if the insurance company denies my claim?
The insurance company is not a substitute for a jury, who is the real decision-maker for your legal rights. If the insurance company denies your claim, you can always file a lawsuit against the defendant in court. Insurance companies generally know which cases they need to settle and when they have a better chance of winning in court. However, it does not mean that an insurance company will not wrongfully deny your claim.
What will a slip and fall accident lawyer cost me?
Like every personal injury lawyer, a slip and fall attorney works for you on a contingency basis. You will not need to write them a check, nor will you need to pay them as your case progresses. You only need to pay a lawyer if you win your case. Then, the firm will take the money directly from the proceeds of your settlement or jury award.
How long will my slip and fall case take to conclude?
It is hard to give you a precise estimate other than to say that the legal process will take time to unfold – sometimes even years. You do not want it to be over too quickly because it means that you have taken an early settlement offer that was for too little, or the insurance company denied your claim. You should be patient and let your lawyer work for you. The important thing is to begin the process as soon as you can.
Call a Denver Slip and Fall Lawyer
When you call Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC, you’ll talk to one of our attorneys – not a computer, assistant, or paralegal. Our founding partners dedicate their personal time and attention to each case. You’ll benefit from focused, results-oriented attorneys to help you obtain the best compensation for your slip and fall case in Denver. Contact us now for a free consultation.
6025 South Quebec St.
Centennial, CO 80111