A slip and fall accident is one of the most common types of accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics slip and falls account for more than 1 million ER visits annually. About five percent of those who suffer a slip and fall will suffer a fracture of some type, usually in the hip, or wrist. At least half of all accidental deaths in the home are the result of a fall, usually a slip and fall at ground level rather than a fall from an elevation.
When You Fall at Home
While many falls occur in a public place, such as a grocery store or restaurant, others occur on the premises of a rented or leased home. If you have fallen and injured yourself at your apartment or rented home, you may be wondering what a landlord’s responsibility in slip and fall accidents is? The answer to that question depends on where you fell, as well as the precise reason why you fell. Slip and fall claims stemming from a fall in your home or on the grounds of your home are known as premises liability claims. As with virtually all types of personal injury cases, you must be able to show there was negligence involved in your slip and fall, and that your resulting injuries are due to that negligence.
More specifically, you must be able to show your Colorado landlord was negligent—the mere fact that you slipped and fell does not prove negligence. Your landlord must have either directly caused, or failed to prevent the condition responsible for your fall. You will also have to show that your landlord knew—or should have known—about the dangerous condition and failed to remedy the situation. As an example, assume your water heater has been leaking, leaving puddles on the floor surrounding the water heater. Maybe you notified your landlord as soon as you were aware of the leak.
The landlord ignored the problem, even though you told him two more times. You slipped and fell as a result of the leak. Your landlord had knowledge of the problem, as well as plenty of time to correct the situation, yet did nothing to take care of the leak. In this case, you likely have a good slip and fall claim. If, however, you knew of the leak, but failed to notify the landlord until after your slip and fall, then the landlord had no opportunity to act in a reasonable manner to fix the leak.
Further Reading: 5 Common Mistakes After a Car Accident
Slip and Fall Cases Can Be Tough
Even if it is clear that your landlord is liable for your slip and fall, it is important to remember that slip and fall cases are not that easy to win, since jurors often believe people should simply be more careful, watching where they are going. You may have experienced a slip and fall outside, perhaps as a result of snow on the sidewalk from your front door to the street. In this case, while the property certainly belongs to your landlord, your actual lease agreement will probably dictate who is responsible for your slip and fall.
As an example, perhaps your landlord lives in another town, and your lease specifically states you are responsible for shoveling your sidewalk. If this happens to be true, then you are unlikely to collect a settlement for your slip and fall injuries. If you want to ensure your slip and fall case is strong, make sure you have documentation of every time you told your landlord about the hazardous condition, and that you take photos of the accident scene, as well as any bumps or bruises you sustained due to the hazard, and even your clothing, if a garment was torn when you slipped and fell.
The most common causes of a slip and fall is a cracked or elevated sidewalk, icy sidewalks, missing handrails, wet, slippery surfaces, or inadequate lighting. Premises liability lawsuits may also be brought because of a falling tree, a dog bite, or a swimming pool accident. Your landlord’s attorney may attempt to say the fault was yours due to personal factors such as poor vision, wearing improper shoes or even excessive weight. Because of this, it is extremely important that you speak to an experienced Colorado premises liability attorney as quickly as possible following your slip and fall accident.
Contact Our Boulder Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Boulder, or anywhere in the state of Colorado, you need a law firm on your side that can win these complex cases. Boulder slip and fall accident attorney Debbie Taussig can hold your negligent landlord responsible for your injuries and protect your rights to compensation every step of the way. Call today for a free initial consultation and review of your case. Call 303.442.0176 or fill out our confidential contact form.