When you’re shopping on Pearl Street, hiking the Flatirons, or watching the Buffs at Folsom Field, you expect the property to be safe. Colorado law requires landowners to eliminate unsafe conditions when they open their property to the public. Therefore, they are responsible for your injuries if they fail to do so and you slip and fall. Our Boulder premises liability lawyers can help you understand your options and secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.
What Is Premises Liability?
When a space is open to the public, the property owner must make it safe for visitors. If a landowner or possessor fails to fix a dangerous condition, they are responsible for the resulting harm. If you are injured in a slip and fall or any other accident because of a hazardous condition, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries. Our slip & fall lawyers will help you navigate Colorado’s complex premises liability laws to hold the responsible party accountable.
Conditions That Cause Premises Liability Issues
Colorado business owners must use reasonable care to protect against dangers they actually know of or should know about. The National Safety Council says falls are 100% preventable. Unfortunately, landowners are sometimes negligent in maintaining and keeping their property safe.
Common mistakes that landowners make include failing to maintain:
- Adequate safety and security procedures;
- Stairways with proper handrails and lighting;
- Safe swimming pools or water recreation facilities;
- Elevators and escalators;
- Snow and ice removal;
- Retail display and merchandise cases;
- Floors and walkways free of clutter, spills, and other hazards; and
- Sidewalks and pavement in good condition.
Landowners and managers often have many tasks weighing on their minds. Still, pressure on business owners does not excuse anyone from failing to maintain a safe space for visitors. Regardless of the reason, our slip & fall attorneys will help you secure compensation for the harm you endured.
Injuries Caused by Falls
Falls can happen to anyone. The CDC reports that over 800,000 people are hospitalized each year after a fall. One in every five falls results in a serious injury, such as broken bones or a brain injury. Further, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Other injuries that can happen after a trip & fall include:
- Broken bones (wrist, hip, ankle, or arm fractures);
- Sprained joints;
- Head injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- Fatal injuries.
It only takes one second for a fall to result in death or disability. In 2020, falls caused 42,114 (21%) of preventable deaths. In addition to physical injuries, the CDC reports that injured individuals can develop a fear of falling. Such fear can cause avoidance of movement and going outside, resulting in further deterioration and an increased risk of another fall.
What Does Colorado Law Require?
Colorado’s premises liability law has a complex framework that outlines landowner responsibilities for maintaining a safe property for visitors. Depending on the reason for your visit to the property, a landowner may need to take certain precautions to keep you safe.
When you enter private property, you may be classified as a:
- Trespasser—a person on another’s property without the landowner’s consent;
- Licensee—a person on another’s property for their own benefit or interest, with the landowner’s consent (e.g., a social guest);
- Invitee—a person invited to another’s property to conduct mutual business or because the landowner opens the property to the public (e.g., a customer at a store).
A landowner has limited liability for trespassers. A trespasser can only recover damages if harm was willfully or deliberately caused by the property owner. On the other hand, a landowner owes a duty of care to a licensee and an invitee. The landowner is responsible for keeping the property safe from hazards that could cause a foreseeable injury. They must also give a warning if a hazardous condition exists that cannot be immediately remedied.
The court decides what category a visitor falls under. An invitee has an easier path to recovery than a licensee, while a trespasser can be blocked from recovery completely. Thus, it’s up to your attorney to present the facts to the judge so that they classify you fairly.
Who Can Be At Fault?
Under the law, a property deed does not make a person a responsible landowner. Any person in possession of and responsible for conditions on the property can be held accountable. Further, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees. For example, an employer is responsible if an employee fails to follow the established procedure of checking for slippery conditions under a soda fountain. Independent contractors may also be liable if responsible for the property’s maintenance and control. Your lawyer will help you determine which party or parties are responsible for your injuries.
What Damages Can I Recover?
The cost of injury in the U.S. was $4.2 trillion in 2019. When you are injured, you lose wages and time at work while your medical costs stack up. Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may have bills for surgery, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. You may need therapy for depression or anxiety. You may never regain a similar quality of life as before your injury. Our attorneys are here to help you recover these losses and more, so you can move forward on your recovery journey.
Boulder Premises Liability Lawyers: Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.
A slip & fall injury can change your life in an instant. You deserve recovery if you’ve endured severe injuries while patronizing a business or other public place. Colorado’s premises liability law provides a way for you to hold a business owner accountable for an unsafe condition that caused you harm. While a claim requires several elements, a knowledgeable premises liability attorney can help you understand your rights. Each of the partners in our firm has over two decades of experience representing injured Coloradoans. Let our experienced, professional attorneys represent and support you.
When you call us, you can expect individual attention. We fight for every client so you receive the recovery you deserve. Also, we will ensure you get the care you need. Attorney Eric Steiner, M.D. has 20 years of hands-on experience in law and 17 years of experience as a licensed physician, so you always receive exceptional care. Don’t put off finding help any longer. Contact us today.
Our experienced legal team handles other types of cases as well, including: