Queener Law had a major win for against a corporation that let snow and ice on a sidewalk get in the way of safety for a slip and fall client with permanent injuries! Our client worked and rental space at the building pictured here. She ran her own small business and depended on her business to pay her bills and support herself. Since buying the building, the corporation – which owned buildings all over Jefferson County, Colorado – did no upgrades to the building when it was purchased in the 1970s… or since.
The rain drainage downspouts were not only in disrepair, but they are no longer up to code. They pour water across the sidewalk, allowing it to freeze and cause a very dangerous condition for guests and renters. The downspouts and drains also froze over in the winter, causing them to burst and leak. Burst and leaking pipes pour water onto the sidewalk and create huge patches of black ice. In addition to failing to do any upkeep or maintenance on the downspouts and drains, the property owners also did nothing to take care of the lighting on the building. The lights on the south side of the building were out, making the sidewalk extremely dark at night, the same sidewalk with black ice.
Our client was walking to her car after a long day of work on an evening in February, came around the corner by the leaking, frozen downspout, and fell. Even laying on the icy sidewalk in the dark, she knew her wrist was badly fractured. Unlike my client who faithfully paid her bills and rent, the property owners who spent decades ignoring their building refused to pay their bill. They dragged our client through four years of litigation before a Jefferson County Jury finally held them accountable. While nothing will give our client her career back or the ability to use her wrist the same way again, having a jury award her a six-figure verdict showed her that the corporation was finally being held responsible for their decades of negligence waiting for a victim.
Slip and Fall Injuries
If you slip and fall on black ice in Colorado and are injured, it is your own fault… Right? Slip and fall injuries are climbing in Colorado as mild winters fade into history and the population grows in our state. According to the Denver Post, in 2019, injuries due to slip and falls on black ice soared due to residents simply letting their guard down. But is that because the pedestrian is letting down their guard? To the contrary. Slip and fall injuries account for over one million hospital visits in the US annually according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of this Colorado not only has local ordinances about snow and ice safety, but our legislature saw fit to draft an entire Premises Liability Act to protect slip and fall victims.
Black Ice Law
City and county ordinances mandate that property owners, both commercial and residential, clear sidewalks and entryways of snow and ice quickly. But that is not where they duty to protect the community ends. In addition to those mandates, the Premises Liability Act requires that property owners consider measures like pre-treatment, continuous treatment, and post-storm treatment. The most common injuries sustained by our clients as a result of slip and fall incidents on ice are serious fractures, including to the wrists and spine. We have also represented multiple fall victims with traumatic brain injuries who sustained their trauma due to a fall on ice. Property owners must have a plan in place to take action to prevent, treat, and eradicate snow and ice dangers. And when that does not happen, and a person is injured as a result, the property owner must be held accountable for that injury.
Queener Law has been litigating against property owners for black ice slip and falls for decades. Our team has holding property owners accountable down to a science. That said, we also tailor all cases to your specific needs. Each of our slip and fall injury victims is assigned a partner, a paralegal, and a paralegal assistant who will work with them the entire way through the process. No assembly lines, no passing the file along. You and your team will be together from start to finish, every step of the way. We know your name, we know your case, and we know your specific needs. Our team will visit the site, hire the right team of experts for your specific circumstances, and build your case around you. The negligent property owner cannot be allowed to dictate the path ahead. We will keep you in the driver’s seat, with our team riding passenger.
Registered Nurses Aide on Staff
Your injuries and medical bills can feel so overwhelming, complicated, and lonely. You may feel like no one understands you or you can’t even wrap your mind around it all. Our team is uniquely capable of helping you through this. We have a Registered Nurses Aide on staff just for this reason! Sandra Prone, the first point of contact when you call our office, is a Registered Medical Assistant and State Registered Nurses Aide. She has spent 10 years working in medical facilities. She has reviewed medical records and billing, and listened to folks just like you talk about what matters most to them. Now, she is here to listen to you.
Our clients’ injuries range from soft tissue injuries to their neck and back to spinal injuries to fractures and tears to traumatic brain injuries or worse. In our combined decades of experience in working with victims of negligence, we have found that having an ear to hear you and a heart and mind that understand can mean everything to the success of the relationship between our team and our clients. Sandra uses her decade of experience with patients to help our clients navigate their way through their treatment patterns and healing process. Another important part of representing injury victims is collecting and managing their medical history and expenses. This involves everything from past and current medical records and billing, future projections, and health insurance payments. Sandra is also uniquely suited to oversee those aspects of our clients’ journey. Her experience as a Registered Medical Assistant and State Registered Nurses Aide has exposed her to the complexities of the medical records and billing world. She amazes us every day with her ability to get to the bottom of medical billing inconsistencies and missing documentation. It is a incredible relief for our clients to be able to turn over these stresses to Sandra and have faith in her knowledge and understanding, releasing that burden from themselves.
You can have faith, when you call Queener Law, that you are not just in the hands of a team with years of legal experience. You are also in the hands of a team with years of experience in the medical field. We have all your bases covered so we can go to battle for you fully armed and prepared.
Brain Injury Survivors: Leaving Victim Hood Behind
Over the years, Queener Law has been trusted to work with brain injury survivors across the country. The Queener Law family has our own personal experience with brain injuries, and we have felt our own great losses and fought through our own great survivals. We understand what it means to have your life forever changed in an instant by a head injury. We also know what it means to feel like no one understands. For brain injury survivors who are suffering because of the negligence caused by someone else there are two major phases of understanding beyond the hurdle that all head trauma survivors face – relearning your life with your family and friends. For victims of negligence, you also have to compete with the medical treatment phase and the litigation phase.
Phase 1: Medical Treatment Phase
You know your body better than anyone. Even doctors. Doctors may have a list of letters after their names, and they may be at the top of their fields. But unless they are specifically trained and experienced in working with brain trauma, no matter how hard they try, they just won’t get it. They can run every test in the world, prescribe every anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication, send you to therapist after therapist, or tell you to get more rest. And all of those things may take the edge off. But does that make you feel like you again? You need a specialist. You need someone who will listen. And someone who will understand. You need help finding the right medical team that can hear what you describe and allow it to set off light bulbs in their minds from their experience. You need the team that is equipped with the latest technologies, therapies, and treatments for the specific trauma you have – a team who will treat the injury, not the symptoms.
Specialists in traumatic brain injuries should also know that you are not the only person they should hear from. Sometimes you don’t even know how to articulate what’s going on or how you have changed since your injury. True brain injury specialists know that they must also reach out to your family, your friends, your coworkers, even your favorite coffee barista or mail carrier to get a full and complete picture of the uniqueness of your life. Only then can they craft the proper treatment plan for you.
Phase Two: Litigation
The second, and often most trying phase, negligence victims face is the litigation phase. Think about how difficult it is to get through to your family, friends, and physicians about your injuries. Now try to express how you feel to a suit hired by the person who is trying not to be held accountable. Or to a box full of strangers you are asking to award you money for all you have gone through and the fight you have ahead of you. It cannot be understated the importance of having a team behind you who has learned through experience how to articulate to the opposition the concrete changes you have experienced, to paint a clear picture of what your life used to look like and hang it next to one of what it looks like now.
Queener Law has decades of experience working with families as they navigate this phase. We have helped them find the right medical teams and helped them learn how to express themselves to their community in a way that sets them up for the compensation they require to face their future. We have also faced these same phases in our own lives. There is no part of this process that we have not experienced on a personal level ourselves. What makes us uniquely capable of working with brain injury survivors is that we live amongst them every day. Some of us grew up with them, some of us are growing and learning with them now. We will not ask you do to anything alone, and we will not recommend to you anything we have not experienced ourselves. You are a negligence victim and a brain injury survivor. Let us help you become a survivor of both.
Be Heard About Protected Bike Lanes
Bike lanes and multi-modal transportation seem to be finally on the radar as a priority for the City and County of Denver. We have seen more protected bike lanes popping up and plenty of attention given to what to do about scooters and e-bikes with respect to our roads and sidewalks. Denver is looking at the South Central Community in June, hoping to build a better connection for cyclists and multi-modal users from South Denver through Capitol Hill. The City and County have asked users and neighborhood dwellers to complete this survey to make sure their priorities are heard as the plans are drawn. The survey is based on a recommendation from Denver Moves: Bikes to install a bike lane along N. Washington Street / N Clarkson Street. The debate currently stewing is whether bike trails, protected bike lanes, or the bike lanes from the days of old are the best measure. As cyclist deaths and bike wrecks have been on the rise and gaining more attention in the area, advocates have been pushing for further protection for cyclists. The proposed protected bike lanes would provide a physical barrier between bikes and vehicles with clear demarcations of territory. We have seen several of these pop up in the Downtown area in recent months. The current survey is open through June 7 and seeks your opinions on protected bike lanes versus separate trails or shared streets. Click here to be heard!
The local government has set some goals in the face of the increase in severe injuries and fatalities suffered by cyclists in recent years. Denver Vision Zero has become a part of the charge, and 2030 is the goal date. By that finish line, Denver City and County Department of Transportation & Infrastructure plans to accomplish the following:
- Increase Walk & Bike Commute Mode Share by 15%
- Make 100% of City and County households within ¼ mile of a High Comfort Bikeway
- Increase Miles of Bikeways by 125 miles
- Eliminate… completely… Traffic Deaths and Serious Injuries
While these are tall orders, particularly the later, they are nonetheless noble. As a community, we can help support these goals by participating in surveys like the one contained herein, as well as engaging in Bike to Work Days and multi-modal use in general. Higher usage of protected bike lanes and trails, as well as higher participation in surveys and community outreach and awareness events signals to the local government that this is a priority for the citizens of Denver, as well.