Premises Liability Lawyer
Premises liability case arises when a person is injured or killed on someone else’s property due to an unsafe condition. 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.
Premises liability law, as it relates to culpability, can be very complex. Our attorneys are very familiar with lesser-known statutes and case law and know first hand how the application of these can provide a strong case for our clients.
If you or your loved one has been seriously injured due to a dangerous condition or accident on someone else’s property, contact us. A premises liability lawyer will determine the strength of your claim and ensure you have the best chance at a successful case.
What is Premises Liability?
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.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
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; we represent clients in all areas of premises liability claims 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?
- 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 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 dangers that are known. Or, should have been 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 it. Landowners are only liable to trespassers for “willfully or deliberately” causing injury. Setting a trap, for example, would be an example of deliberately trying to cause injury.
Many details need to be investigated in order to determine whether you have a basis for a slip and fall claim or any other premises liability claim. These can 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.”
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Any case where an injury occurs on someone’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 courts apply the term “landowner.” These claims require a thorough understanding of both the statute and the recent Colorado case law 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. Including, a $6.5 million judgment against Ford Motor Company. 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 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 premises liability attorneys and legal experts examine a variety of 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 Case Determined?
A premises liability accident often involves serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis or death. Medical expenses for internal injuries and broken bones can easily run into six-figures. Often, victims need expensive treatment and rehabilitation over a long-term period due to the nature of the injuries suffered in many slip and fall claims. Other expenses which arise include future medical expenses. These are often coupled with a loss of income if the victim was previously employed
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 owed a duty only against intentional harm. The technical differences are very important. And your premises liability lawyer must determine what the status is of the injured person in your case.
Your civil attorney must also be intimately familiar with other laws pertaining to premises liability. These can include the limitations on 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How This 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.