Colorado Premises Liability Laws
If you have been injured on someone else’s property in Colorado Springs, you could be entitled to compensation. Slips, trip and falls, dog bites, sidewalk accidents and many other incidents fall under the area of law known as premises liability.
Premises liability claims are often complicated, and they can be difficult to prove. This is why it is critical that you consult with my law firm. I am Jeffrey Scott Lasswell. I am an experienced Colorado premises liability attorney.
If you’ve been injured on someone’s property, I will be there for you as your attorney throughout the entire injury claims process. I vow to fight tirelessly for the full compensation you deserve.
I take a full-service approach to Colorado premises liability cases. I will work closely with you as I get to know your case and your concerns. If you are having difficulty finding a doctor, I can help. If you have been offered a settlement by an insurance company that is less than what you deserve, I can review it and negotiate for more.
Schedule a free initial consultation with me today.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Premises Liability Claim?
Colorado’s law on premises liability is set out in the state’s statutes at § 13-21-115. Under Colorado law, a landowner must take all precautions to ensure visitors are protected. These efforts are known as “duty of care.” If this duty is breached and a visitor to the property is injured, the injured person may file a premises liability claim.
For a premises liability claim to be viable, it must include several elements that prove the property owner was negligent because of the owner’s actions or inactions. As your premises liability lawyer, I can help you prove these elements:
- The property owner knew, or should have known, that the property was unsafe.
- Despite knowing the property was dangerous, the owner failed to remedy or correct the unsafe condition.
- The property owner’s failure to take steps to ensure safety caused your injury.
- The injury led to your losses, and you are seeking compensation for them.
Your Rights Under Colorado Premises Liability Laws
In proving a premises liability case, you must show that you, as a visitor, had a right to be on the property when the accident occurred. Colorado law establishes three classifications of visitors:
- Trespassers have no legal right to be on a property. A property owner’s only duty to a trespasser is to not intentionally harm them.
- Licensees are visitors who enter a property for their own benefit. Property owners must take action to prevent injury to licensees from known dangerous conditions.
- Invitees enter the property for the benefit of the property owner. Invitees are typically on the property for commercial purposes. The business owner or property owner is responsible for addressing any hazardous conditions that could harm invitees.
What Is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?
An attractive nuisance is something on the property that draws children in but threatens them with harm. Property owners can be held liable when that attractive nuisance actually injures a child.
Common attractive nuisances include:
- Swimming pools not surrounded by fences and locked gates
- Outdoor playground equipment such as trampolines, playsets, jungle gyms and treehouses
- Abandoned vehicles that children play in or are capable of being set in motion
- Industrial water hazards, such as irrigation canals where rainwater collects
- Discarded older appliances such as refrigerators, chest freezers, and clothes dryers into which children might climb and hide
- Construction zones with heavy machinery and piles of dirt
- Power lines and high-voltage towers
- Railroads tracks and freight cars
In order to hold a landowner responsible for a child’s injury, all five of the following criteria must be met:
- The landowner knows, or should know, that children could trespass on the property.
- The condition on the property could possibly cause serious injury or death to children.
- The children involved are too young to understand the risk of the dangerous condition.
- The cost required to remedy the dangerous condition is minimal compared with the risk to children.
- The landowner does not take reasonable steps to eliminate the danger posed by the condition.
When Can a Government Agency Be Held Liable?
Colorado law limits when government entities may be sued. Examples of those entities include schools, libraries, fire stations, police stations and recreational facilities. Before Colorado premises liability laws can be invoked against a public entity, it must be established that the public entity can be sued.
It is critical that you contact me as soon as possible after an injury caused by a governmental entity or employee. According to Colorado law, if you suffered an injury due to an act or inaction of a government entity, you must file a written notice within 180 days after the injury was first discovered. If you do not file the notice within that time period, you lose your right to file a lawsuit for damages.
Claims against the government are typically barred under the theory of sovereign immunity. However, in some cases that immunity may be waived. Under Colorado law, the government may waive immunity in injury claims arising from several scenarios. They include:
- The operation of a vehicle by a public employee while in the course of employment
- The operation of a public hospital or correctional facility
- The operation and maintenance of a public water facility, electrical facility, power facility, gas facility, sanitation facility or swimming facility
- A hazardous condition of any public building
- A hazardous condition of a public road, highway or street that interferes with traffic
- A hazardous condition caused by an unnatural accumulation of snow and ice which interferes with public access on walkways leading to a public building
Statute of Limitations on Premises Liability Cases
A statute of limitations determines the amount of time you have to file an injury claim to recover compensation. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases is two years.
You must file within two years from the date of the incident. If the deadline passes, you will be barred from bringing a claim of compensation for your injuries unless a very narrow exception applies.
Ready? Call Premises Liability Attorney Jeffrey Scott Lasswell Today
I have handled all types of premises liability claims. I have extensive experience in representing clients who have been seriously hurt due to dangerous conditions on private and public property.
As your attorney, I will thoroughly investigate your Colorado premises liability case. I’ll help you determine whether you are entitled to compensation.
If you have been seriously injured on private or public property due to someone’s negligence, call me now. I am an experienced Colorado Springs premises liability lawyer. I’ll schedule a free consultation to explore your case.