Dangerous Conditions On Someone Else’s Property Can Lead To Liability
Premises liability claims arise when a person is injured due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property. These claims can encompass injuries due to trip- and slip-and-falls, negligent security and workplace accidents.
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: Individuals 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; there is always 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 reduced quality of life.
Common locations for premises liability-related injuries include:
- Private property
What To Do Following A Premises Liability Accident
If you are injured on someone else’s property, the first thing you should do is to seek medical attention. Even if you don’t think you are hurt, getting a proper medical opinion can protect your potential personal injury claim and your health. You should then report the accident to the property owner and document the scene of the fall. Before you speak to an insurance company, be sure to contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Colorado’s Statute Of Limitations
In Colorado, you have two years to file a personal injury case after a premises liability accident. However, if your accident occurs on public property, you must send a letter within 180 days from your accident. This leaves you a very short time to gather evidence, obtain records and build a solid case. It is vital to seek legal representation as soon as possible to get ahead of it and collect the evidence you need.
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, the 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 in which you can help your attorney prove your case, and several of them have to do with what happens right after the accident. You can assist your lawyer 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 Because Of A Property Owner’s Negligence? Call Us.
At Shafner Injury Law, we have decades of experience recovering damages for people who are injured because of a property owner’s negligence. We have taken these cases to trial and won. We work on a contingency fee basis and collect nothing unless you win, too.
For a free consultation, call us at 720-800-4715 or fill out the online form.