Slip and Fall Accident Season – Protect Yourself
It’s that time of year again in Colorado where the weather conditions make it particularly slick and dangerous to be out and about in town. Here are some tips that can help you and others stay safe from the elements this winter season.
We have extensive experience working with clients who have fallen due to snow and ice conditions in Colorado. Colorado is particularly dangerous due to the weather patterns, frequent freeze/thaw cycles, and the variable frequency and duration of the storms. These factors make it particularly difficult for businesses to stay on top of their obligations to their customers to protect them from avoidable hazards created by the weather. This by no means excuses businesses who fail to reasonably protect the people they invite into their stores from the dangers created by their unreasonable mitigation of snow and ice on their premises.
So what are some common ways people get injured this time of year? We get calls from people who slip and fall on sidewalks and parking lots covered in snow and ice, falls on black ice, falls on wet indoor flooring from snow tracked inside, slipping down icy stairs, and many other potential hazards. The key to protecting yourself and others is to wear appropriate footwear, be very cautious of where you are walking, ensure appropriate lighting conditions so you can see where you are going, and keep a lookout for dangerous conditions especially those that are not being appropriately managed by the land owner. While it is difficult to protect yourself from conditions you can’t see or are difficult to avoid, these steps should provide you the best chances of not falling. If you do see something that is dangerous, be sure to notify the business owner of the condition so they may take appropriate steps to mitigate the dangerous condition for the benefit of your fellow customers and neighbors.
It is important to note that we have not, and know no attorneys who have, successfully resolved a slip and fall case without having to file a law suit. However, we have successfully resolved many of these cases in litigation achieving great results for our clients. Insurance carriers believe that they can convince a jury in every case that the injured person is to blame for their injuries because everyone has fallen on snow and ice before so for some reason it inherently must be this person’s fault. Wrong. These cases are very difficult to prove (as they should be) against land owners who do the right thing and take the reasonable measures to protect their customers and neighbors from falls on snow and ice. It is unfortunate that people fall and get injured but if they fall in a location where the snow and ice has been mitigated, shoveled, and graveled, sometimes no one is responsible for the accident. However, it is often the case that the company didn’t do what they promised, didn’t mitigate the snow and ice, didn’t come back out after the ice thawed and froze again the next night, and they are responsible for creating the dangerous condition that caused the fall. People have a right to be safe and protected from these dangerous conditions by the businesses that welcome them onto their premises so they can earn a profit.
Colorado law protects landowners in these types of situations but not when they have unreasonably failed to protect people from dangerous conditions on their premises that they knew or should have known of. This is a high standard that companies of all sizes every year fail to abide by and unfortunately people continue to get seriously injured as a result. Doing nothing in response to Colorado weather, which unfortunately occurs quite often, is not acceptable and many injuries are entirely avoidable with appropriate planning to mitigate the hazards caused by snow and ice.
Do not automatically blame yourself if you have fallen on snow and ice and are injured. We are more than willing to investigate the specific facts of your case and let you know our thoughts so you may make an educated decision for yourself on who may be responsible for causing your injuries. Call us for a free evaluation of your case.
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