Lakewood Premises Liability Attorneys Assist People Hurt on Others’ Property
Colorado trial lawyers fight for compensation to cover medical bills and lost income
Commercial and residential property owners are required to provide a reasonably safe environment for visitors who are permitted to enter their premises. When a shopper or house guest is injured because of a hazardous condition, the owner might be held liable under Colorado law. If you have been injured on someone else’s property because the individual or business responsible for maintaining safety did not do so, Silvern & Bulger, P.C. can help. Since 1977, our Lakewood premises liability lawyers have been securing compensation for clients throughout Colorado who have sustained serious injuries.
What is the responsibility of a property owner?
The scope of a landlord’s responsibility depends on the legal status of the person who is injured. Victims in premises liability cases fall into one of three categories:
- Trespasser — This person has no legal right to be on the property. The landlord’s only duty is to refrain from deliberate harm towards this type of person.
- Licensee — This visitor is on the owner’s property with permission for a social purpose. The landlord’s duty is to remove hazards they know about or to provide adequate warning.
- Invitee — This category covers all members of the public whom the owner has invited onto the property for a business purpose, such as customers at a store. The landlord’s duty is to be reasonably diligent in discovering hazards, then remediating or warning about them adequately. A property owner can be liable for injuries due to hazards they didn’t know about, if reasonable care would have led to discovery of the hazard.
Your right to recover damages depends in part on the type of visitor you are. A property owner might also claim that the hazard was so obvious that you’re to blame for your injury. This is why it is important to choose an experienced premises liability lawyer who knows how to counter these defenses.
Common types of premises liability accidents
Accidents triggered by property owner negligence cause visitors serious injury and even wrongful death. Common incidents giving rise to premises liability claims include:
- Slip and fall — Spills, loose tiles and weather conditions can lead to unsafe walking surfaces that cause serious falls.
- Trip and fall — Floors or pavement with uneven levels, potholes or other defects pose a danger to unsuspecting visitors.
- Flying debris — A common problem at construction sites or improperly maintained properties, flying debris inflicts a range of injuries, especially to the head and eyes.
- Falling merchandise — Poorly stocked merchandise can fall from a shelf dealing a heavy blow to an innocent shopper.
- Dog bites — Pet owners must take care to control their animals so that others are not injured. Colorado law imposes strict liability on dog owners for unprovoked attacks on lawful visitors.
- Elevator injuries — Malfunctions on elevators can cause crush injuries and falls into open shafts.
Personal injury damages recoverable in a premises liability lawsuit can include:
- Medical expenses, present and future
- Lost income, present and future
- Compensation for pain and suffering
In rare cases of egregious conduct, a defendant might have to pay punitive damages as well.
How to prevail in a premises liability lawsuit
Many premises liability cases turn on the question of whether a landlord took reasonable safety measures. A jury looks at the totality of the evidence, especially timelines for the creation or discovery of the hazard and the accident. Points the jury must consider include:
- Did the landlord know about the hazard?
- Should the landlord have known about the hazard?
- Given the time that existed between the creation of the hazard and the injury, did the landlord behave responsibly?
- Did the landlord have protocols in place to discover and remedy this type of hazard?
Another issue that frequently comes up is whether the accident caused the injury. If a victim delays seeking medical attention or reporting the accident, defendants might argue that something else caused the injury.
For all of these reasons, you should contact a premises liability attorney at our firm immediately. We go to work right away to preserve evidence that supports your case. Colorado law allows up to two years to file a claim, but waiting could allow the property owner to remove evidence of the hazard. Also, witnesses may have moved away or forgotten details of the incident. The more supporting evidence we can assemble, the stronger your case will be. Don’t delay. Your accident consultation is free.
Contact a proven premises liability accident lawyer in Lakewood, CO
Silvern & Bulger, P.C. in Lakewood provides highly personal and professional representation for victims of premises liability accidents. To schedule a free consultation, call 303-292-0044 or contact us online.