When someone is injured by a dangerous condition on the property of another, the property owner may be responsible for the damages. Property owners have a duty of care to others who are on the property for the benefit or interest of the property owner. When the property owner fails to keep the property in a safe condition, the owner should be liable for any accidents.
After a premises liability accident, the property owner, manager, or insurance company may try and deny responsibility or blame it on the accident victim. This is where the experience of premises liability lawyers can help make sure you are protected after an injury accident. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will investigate your case, handle the insurance company, and work to get you the maximum compensation after a premises injury accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Common Premises Liability Accidents
Most premises liability accident claims involve visitors or customers to a property. When a dangerous condition or hidden danger causes an accident, the property owner may be responsible for the damages. Examples of premises liability accidents include:
- Slip or fall on a slippery surface,
- Trip on loose carpeting,
- Broken or missing stair railings,
- Electrical shock from unprotected wires,
- Dog bite injuries,
- Elevator accidents,
- Improper lighting and hidden dangers,
- Failure to warn individuals about known hazards, and
- Burn injuries.
Premises Liability Accidents in Colorado
Under Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) § 13-21-115, property owners are legally responsible for the condition of their property. This law allows injury victims to file an action against landowners and persons in possession of the property for dangerous conditions. Premises liability in Colorado is based on the legal status of the individual on the property of the landowner:
Property owners have the highest standard of care with respect to invitees. Under Colorado statute, an invitee means "a person who enters or remains on the land of another to transact business in which the parties are mutually interested or who enters or remains on such land in response to the landowner's express or implied representation that the public is requested, expected, or intended to enter or remain.”
Generally, an invitee may recover for damages caused by the landowner's unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers of which he actually knew or should have known.
If the property is classified as agricultural or vacant land, for property tax purposes, the invitee may recover for damages caused by the landowner's unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers of which he actually knew.
The most common example of an “invitee” would be a customer to a business. This would include a restaurant patron, grocery store shopper, patient in a doctor's office, or renter in an apartment building. If the landowner does not exercise reasonable care to protect against dangers the owner knew or should have known, the property owner is generally liable for any damages.
“‘Licensee' means a person who enters or remains on the land of another for the licensee's own convenience or to advance his own interests, pursuant to the landowner's permission or consent. "Licensee" includes a social guest.”
A licensee may recover for damages caused by the landowner's unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to dangers created by the landowner of which the landowner actually knew. A licensee may also recover for damages caused by the landowner's unreasonable failure to warn of dangers that are not ordinarily present on the property of the type involved and of which the landowner actually knew.
Examples of a licensee could include a guest of a party, pizza delivery driver, or plumber who is called to fix a leak. If the property owner does not warn the licensee of known dangers, the property owner may be liable for accidents or injuries caused by dangerous conditions.
A trespasser is a person who enters or remains on the land of another without the landowner's consent. A property owner has the lowest duty of care to trespassers. The property owner is generally only liable to a trespasser for “damages willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner.”
Damages Covered in Premises Liability Claims
The damages in a premises liability accident generally depend on the seriousness of the injury. A minor accident may involve medical bills and a couple of days off of work. A serious or fatal injury can involve extensive damages, including:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of a limb,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of earning potential,
- Future medical care, and
- Loss of consortium.
After an injury accident, it is important to consider all the damages suffered to make sure any settlement offer covers your injuries. The insurance company may try and offer a small settlement to get you to just accept their offer. Before accepting any settlement, make sure you understand the full extent of your injuries to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Talk to your Denver premises liability accident lawyer about your case and how to to get the maximum compensation available.
Time Limit to File a Premises Liability Claim
Time can fly by after an injury accident. It may take months to go through the process of contacting the property owner, filing a claim, and getting medical treatment. Unfortunately, there is only a limited amount of time to file a premises liability claim. Most Colorado premises liability cases have a statute of limitations of two years. However, claims against the city, county, state, or federal government may be shorter. Talk to your premises liability attorney as soon as possible after an accident to make sure your claim is filed in time to get compensation.
Denver Premises Liability Accident Lawyers
The attorneys at accidentdenver.com have successfully represented their clients and families in Colorado who were injured in an accident on someone else's property. Our attorneys understand how the property insurance companies operate and will fight to get the maximum compensation available for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.