We’ve seen it a thousand times: Someone falls on ice in an unmaintained parking lot and breaks their wrist; an object falls from above, hitting the person’s head and causing a serious neck injury; an apartment building fails to properly maintain their stairs, and a person crashes down the steps.
These types of cases are known in Colorado as “premises liability” cases. In these types of cases, someone injures themselves on someone else’s land. The landowner’s property is known as a “premises.” The premises can include private property or that of a business owner. These types of cases typically involve dangerous conditions, such as uneven floors, icy conditions, stairs in states of disrepair, and so on.
Cases such as these are governed by the Colorado Premises Liability Statute (C.R.S. § 13-21-115), which asks what the landowner’s duties are with respect to the person on the property. For example, in a situation where someone gets injured on business property, that person would be classified as an “invitee”—otherwise known as a person who is on the landowner’s property for a business purpose. In these types of cases, the landowner owes the invitee a duty to protect the invitee from dangers (or warn about dangers) of which it knew or reasonably should have known about.
These types of cases usually involve more than one responsible party/defendant, because under the statute, more than one person or entity can be a “landowner.” Potential landowners can include the owner of the property, the business leasing the property, or even the maintenance company taking care of the property. Accordingly, these types of cases are typically complex, and require a thorough investigation into potentially responsible parties.
In successful premises liability/landowner responsibility claims were are able to recover such items as a client’s medical expenses (including treatment, rehabilitation, and future medical expenses), time missed from work, as well as the client’s pain and suffering.
We hope that you have not been hurt due to a landowner’s failure to properly maintain their land. But if you have, please contact us for a free consultation as to whether or not we can help you with your claim.