Premises Liability Lawyer in Denver, CO
Our Experienced Team at Chalat Hatten & Banker Will Ensure Your Voice Is Heard
Premises liability cases arise when people are injured or killed on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions or negligence. In Colorado, property owners, landlords, tenants, and businesses alike have a duty and legal responsibility to provide a safe environment for their visitors. When a responsible party fails to take reasonable care and an individual is injured on a property owned or maintained by someone else, the victim may be able to hold the property owner liable. If you could benefit from the expertise of an experienced premises liability lawyer in Denver, CO, or a surrounding area, Chalat Hatten & Banker can help.
Premises liability law, as it relates to culpability, can be very complex. Our personal injury attorneys are very familiar with lesser-known statutes and case laws and know first-hand how the application of these can provide a strong case for our clients. Talk to our team if you or a loved one has been severely injured due to dangerous conditions, a slip-and-fall, or an accident on someone else’s property. One of our premises liability lawyers will determine the strength of your claim and ensure you have the best chance at a successful case. Contact us to schedule a free initial case review with our skilled legal team today.
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How The Process Works
A careful case review will be performed by your lawyer to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Then the conclusions of this review are presented to you in a thorough, understandable manner.
For more details: Litigation Process.
What Is Premises Liability? Are There Different Types?
Premises are the land and buildings belonging to a landowner, usually a business or organization, or private property owner. Premises liability is the legal responsibility of the landowner for injuries suffered by persons on the property. Premises liability is the legal responsibility of the landowner for injuries suffered by persons on the property. Premises liability cases include all types of accidents, from tripping in a neglected parking lot’s pothole to merchandise falling from high shelves in big-box stores. We are not just slip-and-fall attorneys at Chalat Hatten & Banker. We represent clients in all areas of premises liability claims throughout the state of Colorado, including:
- Slip and falls
- Trip and falls
- Snow and ice accidents
- Icy pavement
- Swimming pool accidents
- Animal bites
- Negligent security
- Falling merchandise
- Defective premise conditions
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Toxic fumes or chemicals
- Negligent security
- Faulty sidewalks
- Lighting issues
- Dangerous conditions
Who Can Be Liable for Injuries?
Any of the following may be held liable for injuries involved in a premises liability claim:
- Owner of the property
- Owner of the business on the property
- Tenant responsible for the property
- Manager of the store
- Manager of the apartment building
Do I Have a Premises Liability Case?
Generally speaking, you have grounds for a premises liability claim in Colorado if the property owner didn’t take reasonable efforts to keep you safe on the property. However, the amount of care a property owner is liable for depends on why a visitor is on the property. Or in other words, the exact steps a property owner needs to take depends on the visitor’s purpose for entering the property in the first place. There are three statuses, or classifications, of people who enter onto property: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Landowners owe the highest duty of care to invitees. In these cases, the landowner has an obligation to remediate any known dangers or ones they should have discovered with the exercise of reasonable care. A licensee, on the other hand, gets an intermediate standard of care. These types of visitors may recover if a landowner actually knew about a dangerous condition and failed to address it. Landowners are only liable to trespassers for “willfully or deliberately” causing injury. Setting a trap would be an example of deliberately trying to cause injury.
Many details need to be investigated to determine if you have a basis for a slip-and-fall claim or any other premises liability claim. These may include: Was the property owner aware of the dangerous condition? If not, should they have been aware of it? What did the property owner do about the dangerous condition? Did the property owner warn people or take steps to prevent injury? And finally, while it may seem intuitive, one of the biggest issues in premises cases is whether the responsible party is a “landowner.”
Any case in which an injury occurs on someone else’s property could theoretically become a premises liability case. These cases require a lawyer familiar with the nuanced differences in standards of care and with the many ways that courts apply the term landowner. These claims require a thorough understanding of both the statutes and the recent Colorado case laws if they are to succeed.
How We Build Your Premises Liability Case
At Chalat Law, we have helped clients recover millions of dollars in premises liability and slip and fall claims. We are known for developing creative, winning strategies and employing innovative techniques to build a case. We maintain close working relationships with medical experts and experienced forensic engineers. And, through over 30 years of practice, we have a keen understanding of the science of momentum analysis and the use of technology to fully develop the story of the accident.
Our team of experienced premises liability attorneys in the Denver metro area will examine various evidence when investigating your case, such as:
- Existing maintenance inspections, procedures, and policies
- Negative safety reports or failed inspections
- Analysis from surveillance videos
- Compliance with safety regulations
- Past lawsuits and settlements
- Poor or non-working lights
- Photographs from the accident scene
- Medical records documenting your injuries
How is the Value of My Premises Liability Case Determined?
Victims of a Denver slip and fall accident are entitled to a range of recoverable damages. A premises liability accident often involves serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, paralysis from a spinal cord injury, or death. Medical expenses for internal injuries and broken bones can easily run into six figures. Often, slip-and-fall victims require costly treatment and lengthy rehabilitation due to the nature of their injuries. Other expenses which arise include future medical expenses. If the victim was previously employed, these are often coupled with a loss of income. Other damages that can be recovered with the help of an experienced slip and fall attorney include pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
The amount of money a premises liability victim is able to recover depends on the exact circumstances of the accident, including the severity of the injuries and the actual economic losses suffered after. The most effective way to determine the value of your case is to contact the personal injury lawyers at Chalat Hatten & Banker to discuss your specific situation.
Understanding Colorado Laws on Premises Liability
Colorado Premises Liability Act
Most states have a premises liability statute that provides the duty of care owed by the landowner to others on their property. In Colorado, this statute is the Colorado Premise Liability Act (PLA), C.R.S. §13-21-115. Under this statute, the duty of the landowner depends upon the status of the injured party: whether a trespasser, a licensee (for example, social guests at your house), or an invitee (a person on the property for the purpose of conducting business, like a customer in a store). Each classification is owed a different level of duty. For example, an invitee is owed the higher duty of care, a licensee a more limited duty of care, and a trespasser is owed a duty only against intentional harm. The technical differences are important. And your premises liability lawyer must determine what the status is of the injured person in your case
Your premises liability attorney must also be intimately familiar with other laws pertaining to premises liability. These can include the limitations on the liability of public agencies and governments under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) and various statutes which govern recreation providers, such as the Colorado Ski Safety Act. Other statutes pertaining to horseback riding stables and dude ranches and dog-bite cases also have interplay with the Premises Liability Statute and may have overlapping or intersecting applicability.
Pro Rata Negligence
Colorado recognizes pro rata liability. This means each defendant is responsible only for the percentage of liability allocated to it by the jury. In any personal injury action, plaintiffs generally name as defendants all parties who may share liability.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for slip and fall, premises liability, and other non-auto personal injury cases in Colorado is two years.
What is a “Licensee”?
“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, such as your dinner guest or your neighbor who comes over for coffee. A licensee may recover only for damages caused either by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to dangers created by the landowner of which the landowner actually knew; or by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to warn of dangers not created by the landowner which are not ordinarily present on the property of the type involved and of which the landowner actually knew.
What is an “Invitee”?
An “invitee” is defined as 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. That means that your plumber is an “invitee,” as you would be as a customer of a store – whether you buy something or not. A more stringent duty of care is owed to invitees. 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.
What type of cases fall under the Premises Liability Act?
“Slip and fall.” A slip and fall can result from unmanaged ice and snow, an oil or petroleum leak, spilled products at the store – such as the infamous banana peel, or spoiled vegetables, or a stair step without a non-skid surface.
“Trip and fall.” A trip and fall case can result from an out-of-code stairwell, an unlit stairwell, uneven steps, a wrinkle in carpet, items on the floor, a botched linoleum or tile floor, a bad curb or pothole on a private drive.
Ladder, climbing, or do-it-yourself work at a neighbor’s home – such as helping with tree-trimming, lawn work, roof repair, or indoor work.
Guest injuries, such as lit candles catching hair or clothing on fire; chairs breaking; banisters breaking, or railings breaking on elevated patios.
Consult Our Experienced Premises Liability Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one have been injured on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions or negligence, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Consult our premises liability lawyers in the Denver metro area today to schedule a free case review. We encourage all prospective clients to review our resources, testimonials, and case reviews to see how we may be of assistance with your claim.