How do I prove my Fault Slip from a Slip & Fall Accidents?
The Best Premises Liability Injury Law Firm
You’ll have to show that a property owner caused your slip and fall injury to get fair compensation. Learn how to prove causation in a premises liability claim.
Slips, trips, and other fall-related injuries account for the vast majority of injury-related missed workdays and the over 8 million annual visits to emergency rooms.
Some types of fall-related injuries for which the victim is not eligible for compensation. In contrast, the property owner of the accident may be held liable. Injuries sustained may entitle you to compensation from the property owner.
If you were hurt on someone else’s property, you would most likely have to deal with the owner’s insurance company to get compensated. If you want to collect that money, you’ll need to show that the property owner’s negligence led to your fall.
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Premises Liability and Accidental Falls
When a company or government organization opens its doors to employees, guests, and customers, it assumes the duty of ensuring the safety of those who enter. The legal concept of “premises liability” is complex, and it is from there that this duty arises.
Inviting guests, employees, and other legal visitors to private property all fall under the same obligation for the safety of anyone on the property.
Many homeowners realize the importance of taking care of their properties and honestly attempt to do so. There are, however, always outliers.
It’s not uncommon for business owners to put off maintenance or refuse to implement improvements. That’s why keeping public spaces free of hazards like broken glass, loose wires, and other potential trip and fall risks is important.
It takes more than a simple slip and fall injury to warrant financial compensation from a business or property owner under premises liability regulations.
An injured party must show four things to win a compensation case:
- Your fall was due to a property hazard
- You were hurt because of what happened.
- The property owner has a responsibility to address the danger.
- The property owner’s neglect of the hazard that led to your injury
The first component is what we call “causation.” The burden of proof of causality in slip and fall claims often falls on the plaintiff, who may not be familiar with the methods used by insurance adjusters and attorneys.
Evidence of causation is crucial in personal injury cases because it proves that the victim was hurt because of the dangerous condition or the owner’s carelessness.
In law, “negligence” refers to the failure to behave following what an objectively reasonable person or organization would have done in the same circumstances. The property owner’s negligence in a slip-and-fall lawsuit occurs when the owner knew of the hazardous condition but did nothing to correct it or warn visitors.
Even if the owner was unaware of a hazard on the property, they are still negligent if they should have been aware of it by reasonable means, such as regular inspections.
If you were hurt because of a broken surface or a box, you’d need to establish that the box, the spill, or both were the direct cause of your injury. An owner’s negligence in removing a hazard may also be established as a cause of your injuries through the use of causation.
If you can establish that the property owner was at fault for your injuries, the court or the owner’s insurance company may decide to award you damages.
The actual cause and the proximate cause are the two components of causation. Any victim of a slip and fall accident must prove both of these.
The Meaning Of “Actual Cause.”
In the context of accidents, “real cause” refers to the true reason something went wrong. Icy sidewalks, a maze of tripping hazards, or rotting floors are all precipitating factors in accidents.
Experiment to Find the Root of the Problem
The but-for test is one technique to determine if a property owner was truly to blame for a slip-and-fall accident. In many damage claims, the but-for inquiry is utilized to determine causation.
The but-for test
considers whether or not an injury would have occurred “but for the behavior (or hazardous condition) of the property owner.”
If you answered “yes,” your injuries were not caused by the property owner’s actions or the hazardous condition.
If you answered “no,” the unsafe condition or the owner’s actions likely caused your injuries.
Specifically, a shoulder injury is attributable to the use of a basket.
Lisa enters a grocery store. The lobby was just vacuumed by one of the staff members. He knocked over a stack of shopping baskets as he was tidying up. Lisa fails to notice the potential danger and falls over one of the baskets. She trips and dislocates her shoulder as a result.
In this case, the basket is responsible for Lisa’s wound. What if Lisa had fallen in the store if not for the basket on the floor? The “but-for” criterion is not met because the response is “no.”
An Establishment, Like a Restaurant A knee sprain cannot have this as its actual cause.
Joe is strolling through a garage. There is a fast food establishment at one end of the parking lot, and it is cold outside. Next to it is a quick-stop convenience shop. Someone bought a bottle of water from the store, spilled it in the parking lot, and the water froze into a patch of ice, all of which went unnoticed by Joe.
Joe trips and falls on some ice since he didn’t notice it, injuring his knee. The injured diner holds the eatery responsible in his mind.
In this case, Joe did fall because of ice, but that was not the restaurant’s fault.
Would Joe have been wounded if the fast food business hadn’t acted the way it did? A resounding “yes” is the correct response.
Someone went to the convenience shop to buy water rather than ordering it at the restaurant. Also, that guy accidentally spilled the water, and the freezing temps finished the job. Joe’s fall and injuries were not the fast food restaurant’s fault.
Claims involving trips and falls may not fare well under all but-for criteria. Injuries may have more than one cause.
Take the case of Frank, a drunk customer at Curly’s Tavern, who suffers an injury when he slips on a drink that had been left on the floor. Frank undoubtedly fell due to a beverage spill. The bartenders should’ve mopped up the spilled beer earlier.
To suggest that Frank wouldn’t have been hurt if it weren’t for the tavern’s actions is not entirely true.
The evidence suggests that Frank’s intoxication level was high enough to be staggering before his fall. He wouldn’t have fallen to the floor after such a minor slip if he weren’t so drunk.
Even if Frank’s situation were to pass the but-for test, it would not be conclusive.
Significant Factor Analysis
Some states adopt the substantial-factor test instead of the but-for test to determine the cause of personal injury claims because the but-for test may not provide a definitive answer.
The substantial-factor test for slip and fall claims asks:
To determine liability in slip and fall cases, courts examine whether the property owner’s actions played a “substantial role” in the victim’s injuries.
If “yes” is the reply, it can be concluded that a real cause exists. If the answer is “no,” there is likely no underlying cause.
To evaluate the validity of your injury claim, a claims adjuster will look into the available evidence. Similarly, if you sue the landowner, a judge or jury will decide your case based on the evidence you give.
The Cause of the Sprained Knee Was Probably Not the Customer’s Behavior at the Restaurant.
In the previous illustration, Joe injured his knee after slipping on a patch of ice. Ice developed when a customer at a neighboring convenience store accidentally spilled their drink. There’s a nearby eatery to the convenience store.
Joe submits a claim to the restaurant’s insurer after sustaining an injury. Where the accident occurred is known as the “substantial factor test” state.
To their credit, the insurer will dismiss Joe’s claim because the fast food joint’s actions did not contribute significantly to the accident that led to his fall. Because it didn’t sell the water that caused the customer’s injuries, the restaurant played no role.
A Definition Of “Proximate Cause”
Foreseeability is central to the concept of the legal cause, also known as the Proximate Cause. Foreseeability is given great weight in slip and fall claims, with property owners only being held liable for injuries if it is determined that they might have foreseen the consequences of their acts.
Real Estate Owner as an Illustration Injuries to the mail carrier was not the direct result of anything.
At her house, Jane is raking the wet leaves. In the front of her house, she makes a leaf pile. Since a gravel walk leads from her driveway to the door, she doesn’t have to worry about the leaves blocking her entrance.
Jane hesitates before picking up the leaves. The leaves are still lying in a mound on her lawn a week later. As this happens, the damp leaves seeps through the pile and onto the grass below.
Eventually, a mailman does make his way to Jane’s house to drop off a box. Her front yard looks more interesting than the gravel path, so he takes it. He trips on the moist grass as he walks through the leaf pile, landing on his lower back.
At some point, the mailman will submit a claim to Jane’s insurer. Causation is cited as the reason for the insurance company’s denial of the injury claim.
In this case, Jane was the culprit in the carrier’s misfortune. Would they have fallen otherwise if she hadn’t intervened? “No” is the correct response. Was Jane mostly responsible for the harm that was done? Yes. If Jane hadn’t raked the soggy leaves into a heap and neglected to remove them, the water wouldn’t have soaked into the grass.
However, Jane’s actions were not the direct cause of the incident. If the pile of leaves wasn’t in the way, no sane person would worry about someone sliding and falling. The result of Jane’s actions was beyond her control.
Jane did not proximately cause the mail carrier’s injuries because she had no way of knowing that the carrier would be going through her grass to get to her front door.
Everything can change due to intervening factors.
An intervening cause is an additional factor contributing to the victim’s injuries after the property owner took action. The presence of an intervening cause typically absolves property owners of responsibility in slip-and-fall lawsuits.
Let’s pretend that the clerk at your local supermarket has just put up a notice indicating that the floor is wet and is now removing it to retrieve a mop. Someone could easily slip and fall on the wet floor if a customer who isn’t paying attention lets her youngster run off with the wet floor sign. The fall victim was injured, and the child’s intervention contributed.
If a customer slips and falls in a wet area of a grocery shop and the store knows about it but does nothing to clean it up or post a warning sign, the store may be held accountable for any damages. In this case, the store is not to blame because an outside factor—the theft of the wet floor sign—intervened.
An outside factor may mitigate or eliminate the homeowner’s responsibility for a slip-and-fall accident.
Evidence-Gathering In An Attempt To Establish Causation
You should contact the business or homeowner you think is at fault for your injuries if you want to pursue compensation for them. The property owner’s insurance company is who you should contact most of the time.
There must be proof of cause and effect for any insurance claim to be successful, whether it’s against a homeowner’s insurer or a business liability insurer. You should be prepared to provide evidence of both direct and contributing factors.
You should start collecting evidence immediately following a slip and fall and continue doing so while you are recovering from your injuries. Find proof that the property owner is indeed liable for your injuries.
The Sources From Which You Can Collect Critical Information
Photographic evidence and witness accounts are often the most compelling evidence of causation.
Examples in Stills and Moving Pictures: The first step is to document the hazard that caused your accident, whether it was ice, an impediment, or anything else. You can even take it a step further by photographing the immediate vicinity of the accident. Taking photos and films of the other damaged and uncared-for parts of the property is one way to demonstrate the owner’s general disregard for the property.
To get the best possible documentation of your accident, don’t be reluctant to go back to the scene at a later date (unless the site owner has revoked your invitation).
If you visit the accident site again, keep an eye out for signs that the property owner has made any changes to the area. Observe and document any noticeable changes to the landscape. These alterations may be used to prove that the owner was aware of the danger posed by a particular item or circumstance.
Observations at Length: While the details are still fresh in your mind, write them down. In great detail the events leading up to your accident, the injury itself, and the aftermath. Describe whatever you could see and hear.
An “I’m sorry!” from the property owner or an employee is expected. A “statement against interest” such as “I was meant to clean that up and got called to help in the back” can establish causality.
Written or videotaped testimony from witnesses who saw the event and know what caused the fall is also helpful. Having eyewitnesses to an accident might be crucial in establishing its legitimacy. Therefore, they can be used as evidence to establish causality.
However, it’s not always easy to round up reliable witnesses. You must acquire their details and verify that they witnessed something of value. You should avoid getting too close to them, however. As soon as possible following your accident, speak quickly with each witness and focus on gathering complete statements later.
Medical records, police reports, and incident summaries are all additional sources of information that might help establish causality. Get multiple copies of anything you report on. Place the original with your other vital accident documents.
Make sure you have a copy of any report and read it carefully. Underline the text on the copy that relates to the circumstances surrounding your accident. Notify the report’s writer in writing of any inaccuracies or misleading assertions they may have made. You should file away a copy of your letter or email detailing the incident.
Working with an attorney can increase your chances of a successful claim.
A local attorney specializing in slip and fall injuries can be invaluable, even if you don’t intend to take your case to court.
An attorney specializing in personal injury should always be consulted when seeking compensation for a serious injury. You may need a qualified lawyer to get anywhere with the insurance company even after you’ve fully recovered from your injuries.
You may have to deal with tricky legal terms like “proximate cause” and “actual cause” while suing for compensation for an injury. Without a subpoena, your lawyer cannot obtain the evidence of causality you need.
An experienced personal injury attorney will know exactly where to look for evidence that can help your cases, such as surveillance footage from the day you were harmed, documentation of any violations of building codes, and any records of similar accidents.
Most personal injury lawyers will provide free initial consultations to those injured in slip and fall accidents and will only get paid if they win their case. Unless and until your injury claim is settled or your case is won in court, your attorney will not get any payment from you. The benefits of hiring a competent lawyer are free to investigate.
You May Be Able To Seek Compensation From The Property’s Owner If You Sustain Injuries In A Slip-And-Fall Accident On Their Property.
When someone is hurt because they slipped and fell, whose fault is it? When people slip and fall on a wet floor, faulty stairs, or an uneven ground area, hundreds of them are wounded annually, some of them terribly. When an accident occurs on private land, the owner is sometimes to blame and other times not.
If you’ve been hurt this way, it’s important to remember that accidents like spills and falls on the floor or ground and the uneven wear and tear of everyday use are all part of life. Some buried things, such as drainage grates, serve a role once they are there.
In other words, expecting a property owner (or occupant) to quickly remove all potentially hazardous substances from a floor is not always reasonable.
Similarly, a landowner is not necessarily held accountable when a visitor trips over something a reasonable person would have known to be present and thus avoided. Everyone is responsible for maintaining awareness of one’s surroundings at all times.
However, homeowners should use caution when caring for their properties. Cases hinge on whether the property owner acted diligently such that slipping or tripping was not likely to happen and if you were careless in failing to see or avoid the thing you slipped and fell. Consider these guidelines if you’ve been hurt after slipping or falling, and you’re not sure if it was your fault or someone else’s.
Acting As A Guide In Determining Responsibility
One of the following must be true for you to be held legally responsible for injuries sustained as a result of slipping, tripping, or falling on another person’s property:
The owner or an employee of the business must have negligently allowed the slick or hazardous surface or object to exist.
Someone in charge of the building or working there must have been aware of the hazardous floor and done nothing to remedy the situation.
A “reasonable” person maintaining the property would have seen the hazardous surface and either removed it or had it repaired. Therefore the owner or an employee of the business should have been aware of the problem.
Although the third scenario occurs most frequently, it is less plain and dry than the first two because of the nagging phrase “should have known.” Common sense is commonly used to determine fault in such situations. The standard by which judges and juries decide whether or not a property owner or occupier was careful is whether or not the measures taken by that person were reasonable.
Questions Of “Reasonability”
The reasonableness of the defendant’s conduct is a key element in any negligence claim. When deciding whether or not a property owner is “reasonable,” the law looks at whether or not the owner takes reasonable measures to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the property consistently. The property or company owner may be responsible for your injuries sustained in a slip and fall if you ask yourself the following questions:
If you fell because of a damaged carpet, floor, or ground, or a wet or loose area, did the owner know about the hazard for a long enough time to fix it?
Does the property owner perform routine checks, cleanings, and repairs? What evidence does the owner have that maintenance is being performed consistently if any?
Is there a reasonable explanation for why the thing you stumbled over or slipped on should have been on the floor or ground?
Could the thing have been relocated, covered, or otherwise rendered safe if the original justification for its presence no longer applied?
Is there a less hazardous alternative location for the item, or a more secure way to install it, that wouldn’t have caused as much trouble for the property owner or manager?
Could a warning sign or barrier have been installed to keep people from tripping?
Was there an issue with the illumination that led to the mishap?
You may have a valid claim for compensation if the answers to any of these questions are in your favor. You should still consider whether your negligence played a substantial role in the mishap.
Carelessness On Your Part
In every instance involving a fall on ice or snow, you will have to determine whether or not your carelessness had a role in the incident. By applying the standards of “comparative negligence,” you can evaluate how reasonable it was for you to act in the moments leading up to the accident.
An insurance adjuster will likely ask you reflective questions about your actions after making a claim, so it’s important to think about these beforehand.
Did you have a good purpose of being there, which the owner ought to have known about?
Could a vigilant observer have spotted the hazard and averted it, or would a cautious traveler have been able to keep their footing and avoid falling?
Were there any signs indicating the area could be risky?
When you fell, were you running, jumping, or playing around in a way that made you less stable?
Think about what you were doing and describe it clearly so that an insurance adjuster can understand that you were not careless; you do not need to “prove” to an adjuster that you were careful.
Read our piece on defenses in personal injury cases to find out how your negligence could weaken your case. Check out the Slip and Fall Claims & Premises Liability section of our Knowledge Base for more general information on these types of claims.
CONSEQUENCES OF SLIPS AND FALLS MAY BE PERMANENT
Injuries Sustained From Slips And Falls Can Cause Permanent Damage And Impairments.
When was the last time you fell in public? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the greatest cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among persons aged 65 and older. Knowing the causes of falls and the measures that may be taken to prevent them is crucial if you or a loved one is entering or has reached this age bracket.
Anyplace, including your home, driveway, or yard, is vulnerable to a fall. Malls, grocery stores, libraries, theaters, restaurants, offices, golf courses, swimming pools, and even hospitals and doctors’ offices are all common places where they happen.
Risks For Falls And Slips
Slipping on trash or wet pavement, or stumbling over an impediment, are the most common causes of falls.
Health problems like medication-induced dizziness, for example, changes in eyesight or hearing that create a loss of depth perception or imbalance, osteoporosis that weakens bones, and osteoarthritis that produces foot or leg pain, can also contribute to a person’s inability to walk normally.
Poor illumination, loose floor coverings, or a lack of suitable handrails or grab-bars are just some examples of environmental circumstances that might contribute to falls.
When people think of injuries sustained from falls, hip fractures are often the first thing that comes to mind. Arm and hand fractures, as well as a leg, foot, and ankle breaks, are prevalent.
Scary injuries that can result from a fall include those to the head and spine; a recent paper published in the Journal of Neurotrauma highlighted an alarming rise in spinal cord injuries sustained by the elderly due to such accidents. Minor injuries from falls might include cuts, bruises, and the inevitable blow to one’s self-esteem.
Severe Injuries From Falling Over
The costs associated with treating injuries sustained in falls might quickly become prohibitive. Loss of income if the victim is still employed is also a possibility. The loss of mobility and independence is compounded if the dread of future falls causes the person to avoid going out altogether. Many seniors who may otherwise be unable to remain in their own homes end up having to move into an assisted living facility.
The good news is that numerous methods are available for lowering the likelihood of a fall and the injuries it may cause. A visit to the doctor is the first order of business. Explain any close calls you’ve had with falling and go through your medication list with him.
Talk to your doctor about any dizziness or unsteadiness you’ve been experiencing while starting a new drug. Also, make sure your prescription glasses are up to date by seeing an eye doctor.
Maintain a healthy weight. Activities that aid in weight loss can boost physical fitness in other ways, too. Your doctor can help you choose what kind of exercise is appropriate for you to perform on your own, and they may also be able to suggest a group exercise program or health coach who can modify an exercise plan to meet your needs.
You Should Take Precautions To Avoid A Slip And Fall.
Use whatever means you have available to help you get about. Put on sturdy, low-heeled shoes with rubber soles and secure laces or Velcro straps. Keep your cane, walker, or wheelchair with you if your doctor has prescribed one. Whether you’re at home or out and about, always make use of handrails and grab-bars.
Be careful to rise carefully from a seated or sleeping position, as doing so too quickly can cause dizziness. You should check the weather report or just look outdoors before venturing out so that you may avoid slippery sidewalks and parking lots.
If you are a single person living alone, you must regularly communicate with friends, relatives, and neighbors. It’s comforting to know that if you do happen to fall, someone will come to look for you if they haven’t heard from you in a while.
If you or a loved one take the necessary precautions to avoid a fall, you may be able to avoid any serious injuries, but if you are hurt due to someone else’s carelessness, you should know that you have legal recourse.
Slip-And-Fall Accident Attorneys With The Ferocity Of A Warrior
Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers is an elite firm for civil trials and personal injuries. Our accident attorneys have over 115 years of experience between them, and they specialize in helping victims of slip and fall accidents. We have dealt with more than 10,000 cases involving personal injuries.
Furthermore, we have dealt with over seven hundred fifty instances involving falls and are familiar with the strategies used by insurance defense lawyers to get just a nominal settlement. Several of our cases have settled for more than $1 million, and many more have settled for more than $500,000.00.
Colorado attorney Jeremy D. Earle, JD, has successfully tried many cases to verdict. Board-certified specialists make up fewer than 2% of the Colorado Bar. Jeremy’s Board Certification indicates he is a very competent trial practitioner.
Insurance companies know that if they don’t make a fair offer to a Warrior Personal Injury Lawyer client, they’ll see us in court. Thus we feel that Jeremy’s experience and track record lead to larger settlement offers.
Jeremy D. Earle, J.D. has been the primary attorney in over a thousand cases involving serious and frequently catastrophic injuries. His peers have chosen him for inclusion in Colorado Legal Elite (published in Colorado Trend’s magazine) on three separate occasions.
We can take on even the largest corporations using the resources of our law firm. We have litigated cases against every major motor insurance provider, Bloomin Brands (owners of Carraba’s and Outback Steakhouse), Walmart, Target, Publix, Cash & Carry, Walt Disney World, Hyatt, and Marriott.
To ensure an even playing field, we will hire top-tier experts to document the damages you’ve sustained. Fill out our online contact form or call our Colorado Springs, CO office at 719-300-1100 to arrange a free consultation with a member of our legal team at Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF A SLIP AND FALL ACCIDENT CAN BE DISASTROUS BRAIN TRAUMAS.
Slip & Fall Accidents And Traumatic Brain Injuries
Common injuries sustained from falls include sprains, sprains to ligaments, and tendons that are strained or torn. However, even relatively minor falls can result in serious head injuries, such as concussions, or even more severe brain damage that can permanently affect a person’s quality of life.
Victims of slips and falls should investigate the circumstances surrounding their accidents to determine who, if anybody, is at fault and then see a personal injury attorney discuss their legal options.
Brain Injuries From An Accident
The brain is protected from direct touch with the interior of our skulls by a cushion of fluid. However, the brain can still contact the skull due to jarring motion. The penetration of the skull by a foreign object, such as a bullet or metal stake, can potentially cause traumatic brain damage. Brain injuries can range from minor to severe, depending on how hard your head was hit.
Concussion And Other Symptoms
Even while a concussion or other mild brain injury probably won’t kill you, you should still see a doctor. Mild trauma is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Momentary loss of consciousness (for a few seconds or minutes);
- Sleep disturbances, such as excessive or inadequate sleep;
- Sensitivity to sound or light;
- Blurred vision or other sensory problems, such as ringing in the ears;
- Difficulty concentrating.
Symptoms of mild to moderate brain damage are often shared by victims of moderate to severe brain trauma. However, they could experience additional signs and symptoms, including
- Headaches that worsen
- Inability to wake up
- Numbness in their fingers and toes
- Slurred speech
- Unusual behavior, such as combativeness
See a doctor as soon as possible if you’ve taken a hit to the head and have any of these symptoms or if they don’t go away after a few days.
Falling And Slipping
Using your arms and hands to block your fall can prevent serious injury to your head or body. You can damage yourself in several ways when you fall, including
- slamming your head into a fire hydrant or a tree because you tripped over a crack in the sidewalk;
- falling while shopping, and hitting your head on a shelf or countertop.
- You slide on a damp floor and land flat on your back,
- Unable to break your fall with your hands or arms; You fall on someone else’s property and hit your head on a table or chair;
It is possible to sustain a traumatic brain injury from a blow to the head in any of these situations. Immediate medical care could be crucial to your recovery.
Treating Brain Injuries From Accidents
The extent of your injury and the damaged brain areas will determine how you are treated. Your doctor may recommend bed rest if you’ve had a minor concussion to prevent further head trauma.
It is possible to utilize OTC medications (such as ibuprofen or Advil) or get a prescription for a stronger painkiller from your doctor. Overall, after seven to ten days, most minor concussions heal independently.
Treatment for severe brain injuries must be more extensive. Any impairment to the areas of the brain responsible for certain actions, such as speaking or regulating emotions, will have corresponding effects on motor abilities and how you act. Traumatic brain injury patients frequently require the following treatment modalities:
- Occupational therapy helps them get back to work, whether it’s their previous job or a new one.
- Help with communicating through speech and language therapy
- Rehabilitation through physical exercise helps maintain mobility and independence.
- Medication and counseling to help them keep their friends and family in their lives
Half of those who have severe traumatic brain injuries may require surgery to treat bleeding in the brain (called a “hematoma”) or to mend injured brain tissue (called a “contusion”). The right treatment can help some people with disabilities.
Still, others may have to live with their impairments for the rest of their lives, which can harm their cognitive abilities, such as their memory and ability to express themselves verbally.
What Circumstances Give Rise To A Claim For A Fall Injury?
With age comes a heightened risk of falling. However, you can only file a lawsuit against the businesses or individuals directly responsible for your injuries. Property owners and operators in Colorado are obligated to ensure the safety of their patrons.
The property owner may be obligated to identify safety issues and address them, or at the very least provide you with adequate warning. There are numerous ways in which property owners can fail to meet their responsibilities:
The store proprietor sweeps the floors but doesn’t use any warning device. Patrons, we have moist floors!
The landlord of an unsafe building neglects to maintain the stairs.
When a visitor trips because a homeowner neglected to secure loose floor tiles or planks, the homeowner is to blame.
Proving that the property owner knew or should have known about the danger is crucial to a successful negligence action. Owners must not bury their heads in the sand and refuse to address the issues that arise. Instead, they take full responsibility for the condition of their properties and the safety of everyone they invite there.
The rules change if you trip and fall on someone else’s property without permission. Except in the case of minors, landlords owe no obligation to trespassers beyond the duty not to willfully hurt them.
However, landlords are obliged to warn minors about potential risks on their properties and take reasonable steps to keep them away from those dangers.
TBI Victim Seeking Financial Compensation
Some persons who suffer from traumatic brain injuries are left unable to work and in excruciating pain despite the high cost of their treatment. In most cases, the negligent party will pay monetary damages to the victim of a slip and fall accident for:
- Present Medical Costs
- Potentially Expensive Future Medical Care
- Help for the disabled
- Ache and agony
- Payouts lost
- Potential future income lost
- The pain of separation
Whether or not the responsible person has insurance, the extent of your injuries, and your compliance with medical advice will all factor into how much, if any, the compensation you may receive. If you’ve been hurt and want to know what kind of compensation Colorado law may entitle you, it’s in your best interest to speak with a personal injury attorney.
Get In Touch With A Colorado Springs Accident Lawyer Right Away
Although a traumatic brain injury can drastically alter your life, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Warrior Personal Injury Lawyers represent those hurt in slip and fall accidents and seek justice for their suffering. Call us at 719-300-1100 to schedule your no-cost initial consultation.
WHAT EFFECT DOES COMPARATIVE NEGLIGENCE HAVE ON A SLIP AND FALL CLAIM?
When The Plaintiff Partially Causes Their Fall, What Happens Then?
Can the property owner deny responsibility if you get hurt on their premises due to a slip and fall? The answer may be “yes” under some circumstances (and in certain jurisdictions).
The law regarding responsibility for injuries sustained in slip-and-fall accidents warrants the first examination. We’ll then discuss how comparative and contributory negligence work in the court system and how they can apply to a slip-and-fall lawsuit.
Principles Of Slip And Fall
To win a slip and fall lawsuit, it is necessary to show that the property owner was careless in their ownership and/or maintenance of the premises. Negligence is defined as a lack of due care or improper action.
The fact that you fell on someone else’s property proves they were careless. However, just because a property may have been unsafe does not entail that the owner was careless. You’ll need evidence that the owner knew or should have known that the property was hazardous and did nothing to correct it.
Find out more about the process of proving fault after a fall.
The Rules Of Evidence And The Law Regarding Comparative Negligence
Whether or not the injured party (plaintiff) contributed to the accident (by their negligence) is central to the concept of comparative negligence. The term “comparative” negligence refers to the fact that, to render a verdict, the jury must consider both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s degrees of fault.
This is a defense that the defendant must assert. When suing someone, it is the defendant’s burden to show that the plaintiff was at least partially at fault; it is not the plaintiff’s responsibility to disprove any liability.
That’s why it’s so important for the defense to prove that the injured party was negligent in causing their harm, either by failing to take reasonable precautions or by deliberately putting themselves in harm’s way.
Explain The Functions Of Comparative Negligence.
Keep in mind that after deciding that the defendant was negligent, the judge, jury, or insurance company will evaluate the degree of comparative negligence the victim bears. The trial is necessary for a slip and fall lawsuit, but if the jury rules in favor of the defendant and decides that they were not negligent, the matter is done. If the plaintiff was at fault is not relevant.
If the jury concludes that the defendant was careless, they will also weigh whether the plaintiff contributed to the accident in any way. To add insult to injury, if the jury concludes that the plaintiff was likewise negligent, it must weigh that negligence against the defendant.
So, the jury may decide that the plaintiff’s injury was caused by 80% by the defendant’s negligence and 20% by the plaintiff’s carelessness. The plaintiff is regarded as 20% responsible for the outcome in this case.
The most crucial aspect of comparative negligence is that if the plaintiff is found to be partially at blame, the jury must lower the verdict by that percentage. Let’s examine how comparative negligence can change a plaintiff’s verdict.
Comparison Neglect Patterns
The laws regarding comparative negligence vary from state to state. Only a small number of states use “pure” comparative negligence. The plaintiff’s award under pure comparative negligence would be lowered by the plaintiff’s degree of fault.
So, the jury finds the plaintiff 70% at fault and the defendant 30%, and the plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in damages. In this scenario, the jury’s award to the plaintiff would be reduced to $30,000 (or 30% of $100,000).
“Modified” comparative negligence is the most typical form of this doctrine. If the plaintiff is more at fault than the defendant, the plaintiff will not be awarded any damages under this approach. This indicates the plaintiff is found to be 51% at blame, and the case is dismissed (gets nothing).
However, in “modified” comparative negligence jurisdictions, the plaintiff can still win even if both parties share the fault equally. If the plaintiff is awarded $200,000, but the jury determines that both the plaintiff and the defendant are 50% at fault, the judge will record a verdict of $100,000.
However, under the modified comparative negligence system used in some states, the plaintiff’s level of the fault must be lower than that of the defendant before they can recover damages. In those jurisdictions, the defendant wins if the jury concludes that fault is shared equally. A plaintiff in one of those states can only win if their share of the blame is 50% or less.
Dissent And Participating Negligence
Today, “contributory negligence” standards are only used by a minority of jurisdictions. The law regarding personal injury suits might be particularly severe in some states. Therefore, if the plaintiff was even slightly irresponsible in causing the underlying accident, the plaintiff would lose the case. If the plaintiff was even one percent at fault for their injuries, they would receive no compensation.
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