Denver Slip and Fall Case Process
Slip and fall cases are classified as premises liability cases under the Colorado Revised Statute. A person has to plead the Title 13 action of the Colorado Revised Statute which is the Colorado Premises Liability Act. There are multiple steps or phases involved in the Denver slip and fall case process. There is the initial slip and fall incident, the reporting, and setting the claim up, and then after that, the plaintiff is going to seek the treatment that is necessary for them to either recover from their injuries or get to the point where a doctor says, that the injury has healed as much as it can, or that it still needs time to heal. If you have been involved in a slip and fall incident, work with a skilled slip and fall lawyer that could help you navigate the slip and fall case process.
Starting the Slip and Fall Case Process
To initiate the slip and fall case, the plaintiff’s attorney files a complaint where they lay out actual allegations that establish the liability and then claim for damages of the plaintiff. That gets served on the actual defendant rather than the insurance company and it usually gets passed from the defendant to their insurance company, and then an answer is filed where the defendant will either admit or deny a plaintiff’s allegations in the complaint.
At that point, the next step is that the person is in the records phase where they need to gather all of the records and all of the support for their slip and fall claim. If they have anything establishing liability, such as an incident report, photographs, any photos, any additional proof that shows why they are liable and then all support for the person’s causation and damages like the medical records and bills which are big things for establishing that. If a person missed any time from work recovering, of course, the person needs pay stubs to support that as well. Once a person has all of that, the person has a demand that they send to the insurance company.
Following the demand that an individual might send to their insurance company, the person and their lawyer may begin the negotiations portion of the Denver slip and fall case process. Then, if a person is able to resolve it in the negotiations prior to filing a lawsuit, then basically that is where the actual claims process will end. From that point, the attorneys and the court work together to set deadlines on a case such as the trial date and when certain things are due to the court such as in expert disclosures in which the parties identify who they are endorsing to bolster or support their case. From there, parties go through discovery which is basically getting the other side all of the information that that party has to support the claim so that each side can really evaluate the merits of the other side’s case.
Where Will a Slip and Fall Case Be Heard?
Almost all of the time, a slip and fall case is going to be heard at the district court level. There are the state courts that are broken down into small claims court which has a very low recovery threshold where a person is limited to a very small amount. The next court up is county court which, again, has a fairly small recovery threshold that the county court is limited to $15,000 in recovery, and almost always, plaintiff’s attorneys are seeking more than that if the injuries are severe enough.
From county court, it bumps up to district court which hears all of the other slip and fall lawsuit cases. Anything over $15,000 is going to be heard at district court. Sometimes, a case will get removed to a federal court. If the defendant is an out-of-state corporation, they have the ability to remove it to federal court which certain defendants like to do because they think that the federal court venue is more favorable to them as far as the jury that is going to be selected.
Parties Involved in Slip and Fall Cases
A lot of the times, premises liability cases are a little bit more complex because there are landowners and so there is a property owner and maybe that property owner has leased it to a tenant who has then subleased it. There can be numerous parties that they have to sort out before determining who is actually liable in a slip and fall case.
Most of the time, it is apartment complexes, it is the big-box stores or smaller-box stores, department stores, grocery stores, those are the typical parties are seen in these cases. Almost always, the plaintiff is a single person because it is very hard to imagine two people being injured in a slip and fall. If one person falls, hopefully, the second person would have seen that and not have fallen. If an individual needs help to establish the liability of the at-fault party or need help navigating the Denver slip and fall case process, they should speak with a lawyer that can advocate for them.
How an Experienced Denver Slip and Fall Lawyer Could Help
The biggest thing that experienced slip and fall lawyers do is as much investigation as possible. Whether it be prior to filing a lawsuit or during the discovery phase, they want to get as much information about what the entity or entities they are suing, what they knew at the time of the slip and fall. They want to be either interviewing or deposing their employees, asking for records of prior claims that have been made for this same type of thing on their property, seeing if they have done anything differently after the slip and fall to change or to lessen the likelihood that people are injured in the same manner. Those are the big three things that experienced slip and fall lawyers try to really work hard and establish liability.