When Property Owners Fail to Provide a Safe Environment
Colorado property owners must make a reasonable effort to maintain the safety of their property for visitors. When an accident occurs on the property and results in injury to a visitor, the property owner may be liable for the visitor’s injuries. By inviting and allowing others onto their property, owners are frequently liable for any harm visitors experience due to unsafe conditions. If you experience an injury due to an unsafe condition while visiting a public place or someone’s private property, you need to contact a Ft. Collins personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Understanding Colorado Premises Liability Law
Anyone who owns, leases, or manages a property where people are allowed or invited to enter is required by law in Colorado to do the following:
- Maintain the premises in a safe condition
- Promptly correct any potential hazard
- Provide clear warnings and barriers to keep people from harm
To establish liability, the plaintiff must prove the property owner owed a duty of care, breached that duty, and the plaintiff suffered damages as a direct result.
Common Premises Liability Scenarios
There are many different situations for a potential liability lawsuit. Here are just a few examples of common situations that often make property owners liable
- Slip and fall accident
- Animal and dog bites
- Inadequate security
- Exposed wires
- Fire hazards
- Swimming pool injuries
- Defects in elevators or escalators
- Retail store, restaurant, or hotel liability
- Inadequate maintenance and lighting
Slip and fall accidents happen on wet floors, by tripping over torn carpet, or falling on steps without handrails. In each of these examples, the slip and fall was preventable; it’s often negligence on behalf of the property owner not to dry the floor, repair the carpet, or to install a handrail. Their failure to take proactive steps in order for visitors to avoid injury makes them liable for the visitor’s injuries.
Defining a Visitor
When it comes to premises liability law, it is important to understand the difference between a licensee, invitee, and a trespasser. The status of the person injured on the property may affect the level of the duty of care and the according liability.
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.
Invitee means a person who enters or remains on the land of another to transact business in which the parties are mutually interested—for example, a visitor to a retail store or restaurant.
In either event, both licensees and invitees are protected under the law for injuries due to unsafe conditions on the premises; property owners owe a duty of care to visitors, customers, and guests to ensure the property is free of hazards.
Property owners are rarely liable for injuries sustained by trespassers. Those with no permission or invitation to be on private property usually have no claim when injured. This rule is a bit more flexible when it comes to a child trespasser, however; a child trespasser requires an extra duty of care in regards to “attractive nuisances” such as swimming pools, trampolines, or similar conditions.
According to the American Red Cross, children ages 1-4 most often drown in home swimming pools. Other property water hazards include garden ponds and wells. Property owners aware of or who should be aware of the potential for a child trespasser must make reasonable accommodations to prevent harm to the trespasser.
Experienced Premises Liability Investigators
Premises liability law is complex, and insurance companies rigorously fight claims. The experienced legal team of the Tenge Law Firm, LLC knows how to investigate an accident, prepare a case, and most importantly, represent a client’s interests before insurers, defendants, or the court. When you hire the Tenge firm to represent you, our associates typically begin by determining the circumstances of your accident, including:
- If your accident was caused by a hazard on the property
- The party responsible for the condition of the premises
- If the owner or operator of the property knew or should have known of the hazard
- How long the hazard existed
- If there have been similar other incidents or complaints in the past
- Whether there were witnesses to the accident and what they observed
If you’ve been injured due to an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
$675,000—TRIP AND FALL INJURY AT RETAIL STORE
The Tenge Law Firm, LLC represented an older woman who sustained a trip and fall at a retail store, suffering a fractured hip. She had surgery, and was confined to an inpatient facility for several weeks.The retailer originally denied liability for her fall, but the Tenge Law Firm, LLC ultimately resolved the claim for $675,000 on behalf of our client.
- Multiple settlements for the insurance policy limits of $200,000 to clients with other types of accident-related injuries.
- More than $5 million recovered in each of the last three years.
- Nearly $30 million recovered in the last seven years alone.
While every case is unique and it isn’t possible to guarantee an outcome, our track record illustrates our commitment to providing clients with effective, passionate representation.
Speak with a Fort Collins Premises Liability Lawyer
The Tenge Law Firm, LLC is a client-centered practice with a twenty-plus year history of obtaining results for victims of premises injuries in the Ft. Collins area. Founded in 1992 by attorney J. Todd Tenge, the firm has a proven track record of success with personal injury lawsuits.
If you’ve experienced an injury or lost a loved one due to a property owner’s negligence, call (970) 212-4777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation now.