Dangerous Conditions Can Lead to Liability
Property owners can be found liable to an invitee if a hazardous condition exists on their property that they either knew or should have known existed, and failed to address. Dangerous conditions can be caused by many things, including building code violations, inadequate maintenance, poor lighting, wet floors, and absent security.
Colorado Premises Liability Law
In Colorado, premises liability claims are governed by the Premises Liability Act, C.R.S. §13-21-115. The act divides injured persons into three categories for the purposes of recovering damages:
- Invitees: people who are on a property to conduct business
- Licensees: people who are on a property to advance their own interests, including social guests
- Trespassers: people who are on a property without the landowner’s consent
The highest duty of care is owed to invitees; however, there is a high duty of care whenever a property owner invites others onto their property.
TYPES OF PREMISES LIABILITY CASES
Most premises liability cases are brought against property owners when slipping or tripping hazards, like wet or damaged floors, loose throw rugs, cables, or snow and ice, cause someone to fall and become injured. For severe or permanent injuries, recovery can include current and future lost wages and medical expenses, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.
COMMON LOCATIONS FOR PREMISES LIABILITY RELATED INJURIES:
- Private Property
WHAT TO DO FOLLOWING A PREMISES LIABILITY ACCIDENT
When you have been injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, you should seek medical care as soon as possible, even if you are not sure you are hurt. Not only is this important to protect your health, but it is also important for the purposes of documenting your claim. You should also report the incident to the property owner or manager, and take pictures of the scene of the fall. If you have an injury requiring medical care, you should contact a Denver personal injury lawyer before speaking to any insurance agent or company.
COLORADO’S STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The statute of limitations for premises liability cases in Colorado is 2 years. However, if the fall occurs on public property, a special letter must be sent within 180 days. There are a few exceptions, but generally the time to obtain records and build a case is very short. It is important to get legal representation early so your attorney has time to gather evidence. Surveillance videos, in particular, are often only kept for a certain length of time.
How to Win a Premises Liability Case
Premises liability claims are based on the argument that the property owner was negligent. To win, your Colorado premises liability lawyer will have to prove:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
- The defendant breached that duty of care.
- The plaintiff sustained injuries.
- The injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of duty.
In other words, in most cases your attorney will have to prove that a hazardous condition was present on the property, property owner knew or should have known about it and mitigated the hazard, and the hazard caused you to become injured.
There are many ways you can help your attorney prove your case, and several of them have to do with what happens right after the accident. You can help your attorney by seeking medical attention, taking pictures of the accident scene, getting the contact information of any witnesses, and reporting the incident to property management.
Injured Due to a Property Owner’s Negligence?
CALL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
At Shafner Law, we have decades of experience recovering damages for people who are injured due to a property owner’s negligence. We have taken these cases to trial and won. We work on a contingent fee basis and collect nothing unless you win, too.
For a free consultation, call Shafner Law at (303) 796-0555 or fill out the Case Form below.
Additional Premises Liability Resources