Slip and Fall on Ice at Apartment Complex
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When temperatures drop during the winter season, conditions may become hazardous. For instance, sidewalks, pavements, and driveways may accumulate ice or frost and become extremely slick. This hazard increases the chances of an accident involving a slip and fall on ice. Such accidents can occur almost anywhere, and may result in serious injury and possible financial burden. This article will discuss important aspects of a slip and fall accident, including what you should do following a slip and fall on ice, common injuries resulting from these types of accidents, and how legal action can be pursued.
If you would like to learn more about your rights following a slip and fall injury, or to learn more about filing a claim and slip and fall on ice settlements, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
What to Do if You Fell on Ice
Victims of slip and falls are often embarrassed, confused, and disoriented in the immediate aftermath of an accident. Unfortunately, many victims forget or decline to take important steps which may help not only their health, but the viability of a future claim. Listed below are several important steps that should be taken following a slip and fall on ice, including a slip and fall on ice at apartment complex.
1. Take a picture of the situation before it melts
One of the most common mistakes following a slip and fall on ice accident is forgetting to take a picture or video of the scene of the accident. Failure to document the accident in this way could mean forfeiting potential evidence which may have been used to strengthen you claim.
After regaining your composure following a slip and fall accident, be sure to document the scene of the accident by taking several photos of the immediate and surrounding area. If possible, try to take a photo of the exact area where you suffered the accident. Photos of the surrounding area may also be helpful if there are no warning or caution signs in place. Finally, be sure to take photos of any injuries which you may have sustained.
2. Seek medical evaluation by a professional
Of course, safety is always a priority. Slip and fall accidents can result in a variety of injuries. Many of these injuries, such as a broken arm or wrist, are immediately apparent. However, some injuries, such as lower back injuries, may not manifest until hours, days, or even months after the accident. Many slip and fall victims make the mistake of neglecting to seek treatment because they feel fine immediately following the accident. However, it is strongly encouraged that you seek proper medical attention following any slip and fall injury.
3. Contact an Attorney
After receiving medical attention, you should consider contacting a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney may invite you to discuss the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident. Based on this information, the attorney may be able to provide you with an opinion regarding your best course of action. An attorney may also be able to gather important evidence by conducting investigations and speaking to witnesses. Finally, an attorney may advocate on your behalf in negotiation and settlement discussions with insurance companies or other parties.
Common Injuries from Slipping on Ice
S;ip and fall accidents involving ice or slick surfaces can occur almost anywhere and can lead to several types of injuries. Some of the more common slip and fall on ice injuries include:
One of the most common types of injuries in a slip and fall accident is a back injury. Such injuries often occur due to the harsh impact on landing, which can cause vertebrae to shift, thereby leading to dull, radiating pain throughout the entire back and spine. In extreme cases, vertebrae may crack or fracture, leading to temporary or permanent paralysis.
Head/Neck Injuries and Concussions
Many times, the victim of a slip-and-fall accident hits his or her head on the floor or pavement after landing. This can lead to head injuries such as concussions, skull fractures, or bruising. As in all cases, it is very important to seek medical attention after sustaining a head or neck injury.
Many hip fractures occur as a result of slip and fall accidents. In general, the older you are, the more likely you are to sustain a hip fracture in a slip-and-fall accident. These types of debilitating injuries may require surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
Sprains and Fractures
This general class of injuries can include sprains, strains, and fractures to various body parts including the knees, hands, wrists, feet, and ankles. Because a slip and fall on ice accident can result in forceful impact between the body and the ground, it is very common for bruising or sprains to occur in one or several of these areas.
Liability for Accidents on Ice
In order to understand the concept of liability for slip and fall accidents involving icy surfaces, it best to first familiarize yourself with the concept of premises liability.
The law states that every landowner owes a basic duty of reasonable care to individuals who come onto his or her premises. This duty applies to anyone who owns property, whether it be commercial and residential. Premises liability is a legal theory of fault which holds a landowner responsible for injuries that occur to another person while the person is on the landowner’s property. Under the law of premises liability, a landowner’s negligence may entitle an injured party to compensation for the injured party’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The exact duty of care owed by a landowner to another person depends on the type of relationship between the landowner and the person. In general, individuals who come onto a landowner’s property can be separated into three broad categories: licensees, invitees, trespassers. The duty of care owed by a landowner to a person depends on whether the person is a licensee, invitee, or trespasser.
A licensee is a person to whom a license is granted by the landowner. In general, a licensee is on the property for his or her own amusement. This person is licensed to remain on the property only with the landowner’s consent. Typical examples include guests at a party or a family friend visiting a relative. In these cases, the landowner has a duty to warn the licensee of any dangers on the property known to the owner but not to the licensee.
An invitee is an individual who has been offered an express or implicit invitation onto the property, either for a mutual benefit or for something that is being conducted on the property. A typical example is a customer of a store or business. A landowner owes a high duty of care to an invitee. This means that the property owner must take the extra step of inspecting the premises and making sure it is safe.\
A trespasser enters onto another person’s property without the landowner’s permission. Although a landowner is still under a duty to not cause harm to the trespasser, the landowner does not have a duty to keep his land in reasonable condition for the trespasser or let the trespasser know of dangerous areas.
Filing a Claim for a Slip and Fall Accident
Not every slip and fall accident results in serious injury. Some accidents may lead to nothing more than temporary embarrassment. However, many of these incidents do result in some sort of prolonged or permanent disability. If you wish to receive compensation for injuries and damages sustained following a slip and fall accident, you may need to file a lawsuit against the person or entity who may be held liable for your injuries. Listed below are three important components that comprise the claim filing process.
1. Contact an Attorney
The first step in the claim filing process is to contact a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney may gather the facts of your case and provide his or her legal opinion. If necessary, the attorney may begin the formal process of filing a complaint against the at-fault party.
The investigation phase of a slip and fall claim may involve the attorney collecting critical evidence which may be used to establish that the property owner should be held legally responsible for your injuries. The investigation phase of the claim filing process may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing surveillance footage, combing through paperwork, and accounting for each of your damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
3. Settlement and Lawsuit
Finally, it may be necessary to litigate your case in a court of law. Prior to litigation, you may have the option of accepting a settlement from the at-fault party or the party’s insurance company. At this stage in the claim filing process, the attorney may use his or her advocacy skills to help you negotiate a fair settlement. If it is not in your best interests to accept a settlement offer, your case may proceed to trial.
How Much is My Case Worth?
If a lawsuit is brought against a property owner following a slip and fall injury on the person’s property, that person or the person’s insurance company may face the possibility of having to compensate the victim for the harm suffered, otherwise known as “damages.” The damages that may be awarded to a victim of a slip and fall accident can be separated into two general categories: Economic damages and Non-Economic damages.
Economic damages are damages that can be quantified or calculated. The primary forms of economic damages involved in a slip and fall accident lawsuit may include:
• Medical bills
• Rehabilitation costs
• Pharmacy costs
• Lost income (present and future)
• Loss of earning capacity
Medical bills include costs incurred by the victim for hospital stays, doctors’ appointments, pharmacy costs, and physical therapy. Lost income includes the time the victim missed from work due to the injury. If the injury prevents or impairs the victim’s ability to work in the future, lost income may also include the victim’s loss in earning capacity.
Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses which cannot be quantified. Instead, non-economic damages subjectively evaluated by a jury. Although this class of damages may be harder to calculated than economic damages, non-economic damages may be more valuable than economic damages. Types of non-economic damages may include:
• Pain and suffering
• Emotional distress
• Loss of consortium
Tell Zinda Law Group About Your Situation
At Zinda Law Group, our Colorado personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to help you navigate a slip and fall claim. In addition to helping you assess the strength of your claim, our team may help you identify the correct party to pursue legal action against. If necessary, our attorneys may also be able to represent you in a court of law to help seek maximum compensation for your losses.
If you would like to speak with an experienced Colorado personal injury lawyer, or to learn more about the claim process, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free case evaluation.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.