Nothing is worse than being faced with suffering, financial losses, and medical bills when you were injured on a property because of the negligence of someone else. A simple slip and fall can result in serious injury, forcing you to lose work and miss out on important life events. One injury can wreak havoc on your finances and your personal life. Fortunately, under Colorado law you can take steps to receive compensation for losses and suffering caused because of the negligence of a property owner. In Colorado, the right to go after someone who caused you harm because of a negligent condition on their property falls under the “premises liability” laws.
A premises liability claim is how you receive compensation from the party who was responsible for your injury. Generally, as long as you were not a trespasser on the property when the injury happened, you can make this type of claim successfully. While trespassers can file a premises liability claim, because they were on the property illegally, they would have to prove that the owner purposely caused their injury. That can be more difficult.
“Dangerous and unsafe” conditions
As a premises liability claimant, you have to prove that there was a dangerous condition on the property that made things unsafe and caused your injury and that the owner new or should have known about the unsafe condition. This includes both physical and environmental factors, although physical factors are the most obvious. A stairway without a proper railing, loose carpeting, a damaged or slippery floor, or snow or ice all over a walkway is all physical factors that could cause someone to slip and fall. Other examples include a malfunctioning elevator, poorly or improperly maintained pools or spas, and faulty equipment such as exercise equipment in a communal area.
Environmental factors aren’t always as obvious as physical ones. A stairway that has its steps and step edges painted a similar color, for example, could cause someone to trip because they can’t clearly see where the stairs end. It’s not a physical factor because the stairs aren’t broken or in poor condition; it’s the unsafe environment the stairs create that could lead to a fall. Inadequate lighting can be another environmental factor, as someone could trip and fall or walk into something because they can’t see clearly. Poor lighting can also make a space unsafe if there is any type of high crime trend or wave in the area.
Other cases of premises liability aren’t so cut and dry. As reported by UPI, for example, a judge involved in the wrongful death lawsuits against Cinemark brought by families of victims in the Aurora movie theater shootings recommended the cases be brought forth under premises liability laws in the state (http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/01/26/Judge-Aurora-suits-under-liability-law/UPI-64921359225527/). In these cases, the families argued that Cinemark should have been aware of other criminal activity nearby and therefore should have created a safe environment by having locked, monitored exits and sufficient security personnel.
If you’ve suffered an injury on property owned by another person, business or organization that has been negligently maintained you don’t have to suffer in silence. Contact an experienced premises liability attorney today for the help you need to get your life back on track and recover from your injuries.
Do you have questions about your case? We’re here to help! We offer free consultations daily and have free resources on our website for you to download.