Whether you are shopping at a store or visiting a friend at their apartment complex, you have the right to expect that your safety is a priority for the parties in charge of maintaining the property. Unfortunately however, many people suffer serious injuries in slip-and-fall accidents due to negligent maintenance of the property. If you are the victim of a slip-and-fall, you may be entitled to damages.
Dangerous property conditions can cause slip-and-falls
There are many reasons why someone may slip and fall on a property, including dangerous conditions or hazards on the property. Some of these conditions may include:
- Improperly tiled floors or uneven carpet
- Cracks or holes in the pavement
- Broken steps
- Poor or non-existent lighting
- Debris or spills on the floor
- Ice and snow on pavement or floor
Who can I sue?
In order to recover damages after a slip-and-fall, you will need to file a lawsuit against the parties liable for your accident. These parties may include anyone that had control over the dangerous condition that caused your accident and should have known of the dangerous condition but failed to take reasonable steps to remedy it. In most cases, the property owner, store owner, or landlord of the property. In cases involving employee negligence, the employee’s employer is typically vicariously liable for the employee’s negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
What damages can I recover?
As the victim of a slip-and-fall, you may be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. These damages will typically include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement or disability
What if I was partially at-fault?
While property owners have a duty to reasonably inspect and maintain their premises, you as an invitee or guest also has a duty to act responsibly and walk with care. The reality is that many slip-and-fall accidents are partially caused by the negligence of the victim. If you were texting while walking, ignoring posted warning signs, or tripped over your own shoelaces, you may have contributed to your own accident.
However, just because you were partially at-fault for your injuries, does not mean you cannot recover compensation. Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence law, meaning that anyone who is less than 50 percent liable for their own accident may still recover damages for their injuries. The amount you receive will be reduced based on the percentage of negligence attributed to you. For instance, if you were 30 percent liable, your damages will be reduced by 30 percent.
A personal injury attorney can help you
Establishing that another party is responsible for your slip-and-fall can require a great deal of evidence and expert testimony. An attorney specializing in personal injury law can help build your case and give you the best chance at recovering compensation for your injuries.