Too many falls happen because of negligence. Falls can happen nearly anywhere, on both private and public property. Some are in homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities; others might occur in grocery stores, schools, parking lots, or malls.
There’s much at stake in any personal injury claim, including slip and fall claims. Maximizing your compensation and protecting your rights is essential to your case. The best way to ensure you do this is to hire a Denver slip and fall attorney.
However, you don’t want to risk your case to just any attorney. Choosing the right one can make or break your entire case. You need a slip and fall attorney who is experienced and has a proven track record of helping injured parties get the compensation they deserve for their claims. So, how do you find the best slip and fall attorney in Denver?
Why You Need a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall in Denver?
After suffering a slip and fall-related injury, you may not know how to file a successful injury claim. For example, you might not know what types of evidence you need to establish your claim or where to obtain such evidence. By hiring an experienced Denver slip and fall attorney, you’ll have an advocate by your side who is well-versed in what evidence is necessary to support your claim and how to access it best.
A slip and fall attorney also typically has access to or even a relationship with medical experts and other professionals that they can call upon to help prove your injuries and damages. They know what types of professional experts to call on. With their help, your lawyer can increase the chances you’ll receive maximum compensation for your slip and fall injuries.
Most slip and fall claimants cannot assess the potential value of their claim. Unfortunately, insurance companies take advantage of this, expecting claimants to settle for much less than they are entitled to receive. When you work with a knowledgeable Denver slip and fall attorney, they will know what your claim is worth and can use their experience and negotiation skills to get you the best settlement possible. Your lawyer can help ensure that all liable parties are accountable to maximize your recovery.
Financial stress is common among fall victims. However, most reputable Denver slip and fall lawyers provide free initial consultations. If you decide to hire them, they work on contingency fees. As such, they only get paid when you receive compensation for your claim. You won’t owe them anything upfront or while your case is ongoing. When you receive a settlement, they’ll receive a predetermined percentage of it.
When Should You Contact an Attorney after a Slip and Fall?
Once you have received medical care and are medically stable, your next priority should be meeting with a Denver slip and fall attorney. The sooner you obtain legal counsel, the better the outcome of your case.
Colorado has a two-year statute of limitations. This means you have two years from the day your accident occurred to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you fail to file within this legally-imposed deadline, you won’t be eligible to use the legal system to pursue compensation for your slip and fall injuries.
With a well-versed lawyer on your side, you can ensure that your case can be filed on time. You should also remember that under Colorado law, if your case is against a government entity, you only have six months to give notice of a claim.
Contact a Denver slip and fall attorney so:
- Your attorney can deal with the insurance company for you.
- Your attorney can protect you from common insurance company tactics to devalue or deny your claim.
- They will know what types of evidence to collect and can collect it while it’s still fresh and available.
- You can focus on recovering from your injuries while your legal team focuses on obtaining justice and compensation in your case.
How to Find the Best Denver Slip and Fall Attorney for You?
Ask for Referrals
Ask friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, clients, professionals, and anyone else you might feel comfortable asking who helped them with a past personal injury. Even if they haven’t experienced such a legal matter, they may have contacts with other types of attorneys who can recommend an excellent Denver slip and fall attorney.
Often, word-of-mouth referrals are the best way to find the right slip and fall attorney for you. With these types of referrals, you have the opportunity to ask questions and dig a little deeper into someone who might have first-hand experience. Find out what they liked about the attorney, if their personal injury settlement was satisfactory, and if they might use the same lawyer again.
Do Your Research
With the names of several attorneys, it’s time to sit down and do some research. Look at their websites. Do they appear to have experience handling slip and fall cases? Do they offer free consultations? You can also perform a search for their reviews. What are their clients saying about them? Did they have good results using their representation? What did or didn’t they like about the attorney?
Review Attorney Ratings
After you find some Denver slip and fall attorneys you want to learn more about, review their ratings. No matter how you find a lawyer, always check with their state and local bar association to ensure they are in good standing. Some state bar associations might also have a referral list to help you find a reputable attorney.
Online rating directories provide information about the attorney’s practice and standing.
Typically, these types of ratings are objective and gauge their reputation and skills.
- Avvo Ratings is one of the most used directories for finding legal counsel. It provides ratings, law school attendance, and contact info. It also tells you if the state bar association has ever disciplined the lawyer.
- Lawyers.com, owned by Martindale-Hubble, has established a reputation for providing reliable information. You’ll find lawyer contact info, peer reviews, and client reviews.
- Super Lawyers is part of Thomson Reuters and gives contact information, education, and biographical information for attorneys.
Schedule a Consultation
Once you narrow your list to just a few potential Denver slip and fall attorneys, schedule a consultation with them. You should have the opportunity to meet with them or at least speak with them on the phone before you hire them.
A consultation gives you a chance to find out if:
- You can build a rapport with them
- They understand your case and how high your stakes might be
- They can appreciate your concerns
- They can answer your questions
- They’ve helped injured parties in similar situations as yours before
- They have the experience you are looking for
- They work on contingency fees (see below)
During this consultation, it will be crucial for you to discuss your case and the specific details of your slip and fall and injuries. You want to be sure the lawyer you hire has extensive knowledge and experience settling and litigating cases similar to yours. If they don’t, you’ll likely want to keep looking.
The Best Slip and Fall Attorney Isn’t Necessarily the Most Expensive
It’s easy and natural to be drawn to more expensive law firms. Society conditions people to think that if a service or a professional is more costly, they must be better. Just because an attorney charges a lot of money for their services doesn’t mean they are the best or have a history of satisfied clients. Don’t judge a slip and fall attorney simply by what they charge.
Most personal injury attorneys work off of contingency fee arrangements only. This means that you don’t pay them anything upfront. You only pay them if and when they collect compensation on your behalf—either through a settlement or a court award. When this happens, their fees come from your compensation, and they receive payment. However, if they don’t obtain any money in your case, you owe them nothing.
Only Hire an Attorney With Slip and Fall Experience
Even if they came with high praises, you will not see a general practitioner if you needed cancer treatment. They can be the best general doctor, but without specialized education, training, and experience, they aren’t likely the best choice if you want to beat cancer.
The same holds for attorneys. You can hire the best lawyer in Denver. However, if they don’t have much experience with slips and falls, your odds will decrease.
They need to understand slip and fall cases, how Colorado courts work, the specific details in a claim that make it valid, and what your injuries and damages are worth. You need a skilled lawyer who isn’t afraid to stand up to the party responsible (or their insurance company) for your slip and fall and hold them accountable for their actions or inactions.
Property Owner Negligence Causes Slip and Falls
Property owners and those responsible for maintaining the property’s condition have a duty of care to keep their property free of any hazards. If they were or should have reasonably been aware of a safety issue, it’s their responsibility to keep others safe.
For example, suppose they are unable to correct a hazard immediately. In that case, they have a duty to keep others away from the area or to provide a warning. For example, a store employee mopping a floor during business hours posts a wet floor sign to warn others.
Status of the Injured Party
The standard of care depends on the injured party’s status in relation to the property. For example, people on another’s person’s property can be either an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser.
When someone is on the property for the property owner’s benefit or on a property open to the public, they are an invitee. The owner must take reasonable care in maintaining the property to keep it safe for invitees.
Licensees are people who have express or implied permission to be on the property. Social guests are licensees unless the owner asks them to vacate the premises, at which point they become trespassers. Property owners or their agents must fix or warn of any dangers they know about on the property that the licensee might not be aware of.
A trespasser is unlawfully on or stays on the land of another after being asked to leave. Generally, under premise liability laws, a property owner doesn’t owe a duty of care to trespassers. However, they must not willfully or wantonly harm the trespasser.
Who Can You Hold Liable for Your Slip and Fall?
The amount of compensation you receive will, in part, depend on who is liable for your fall.
Your lawyer can generally hold property owners liable if they or their agent or employee:
- Created a dangerous condition by spilling liquids, tearing flooring, or otherwise creating a hazardous floor or ground surface area
- Became aware of the dangerous condition but took no action to fix the danger or warn individuals on the premise of the danger, such as roping the area off or using warning signs
- Should have reasonably known about the hazardous condition, meaning a reasonable property owner or caretaker should have observed the situation and taken the necessary steps to correct the danger, such as cleaning up a spill or ensuring stair railings are secure
The good news is that you don’t have to determine how your fall occurred or who is responsible. When you hire the best personal injury lawyer in Denver, they will take on these important tasks. If you or someone you love recently suffered a slip and fall injury, seek legal representation.