Have you been hurt on someone else’s property? It may seem like you have a right to sue them, no matter the circumstances, because you were hurt and they should be held responsible! But slip and fall cases in Colorado can be more complex than they seem. If you suffered an injury on someone else’s premises, it’s critical that you understand the nuances of the Colorado Premises Liability Act. It’s also critical that you consult with an attorney to assess the value of your case.
The Colorado Premises Liability Act: Protecting Property Owners
The Colorado Premises Liability Act serves as a vital piece of legislation designed to protect property owners from undue liability while balancing the rights of visitors who enter their premises. Unlike general negligence law, which typically focuses on the concept of duty of care, the Act sets a higher standard of liability for premises-related accidents.
This higher bar aims to shield property owners from frivolous or exaggerated claims, ensuring that they are not unfairly burdened with liability for every accident that occurs on their property.
One of the key reasons behind this higher standard of liability is to encourage property owners to maintain safe premises and promptly address any hazards that may arise.
By placing a greater emphasis on the property owner’s knowledge of hazards and their duty to mitigate risks, the Act incentivizes proactive measures to prevent accidents and injuries. However, for non-lawyers, navigating the intricacies of this legal framework can be confusing and intimidating.
For instance, understanding what constitutes a “known hazard” or “reasonable steps” to address risks may not be immediately apparent to individuals unfamiliar with legal terminology. Moreover, the Act’s provisions regarding different classifications of visitors and their corresponding levels of protection can further complicate matters.
This complexity underscores the importance of seeking legal guidance from experienced attorneys who can interpret the Act’s provisions in a manner that aligns with the client’s interests.
In essence, while the Colorado Premises Liability Act aims to protect property owners, it also underscores the need for individuals to exercise caution and diligence when visiting others’ property.
By promoting a culture of responsibility and accountability, the Act ultimately seeks to foster safer environments for all individuals who enter private properties.
Understanding the Three Classifications of Visitors
When it comes to slip and fall cases, the type of visitor you are on the property plays a significant role in determining liability. Let’s break it down:
Invitee: These are individuals who are on the property with permission for mutually beneficial business purposes. For example, a shopper in a store or a diner in a restaurant. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care, meaning they must be aware of any dangers on their property and take reasonable steps to address them. This could include warning signs, regular maintenance, or addressing known hazards promptly.
Licensee: Licensees are social guests who are on the property for non-business purposes, such as visiting a friend. While property owners still have a duty to protect licensees from known hazards, the standard of care is slightly lower than that for invitees. However, property owners should still exercise caution to ensure the safety of all visitors.
Trespasser: Trespassers enter a property without permission. Property owners are not typically liable for injuries sustained by trespassers unless they intentionally harmed them. However, property owners cannot set up traps or hazards intended to injure trespassers.
Tactics Used by Shady Lawyers and “Victims” to Sue for Slip and Fall Injuries
Unfortunately, slip and fall cases can attract unscrupulous individuals seeking to exploit the system for financial gain. Shady lawyers may resort to tactics such as coaching clients to embellish their injuries or manipulating evidence to strengthen their case.
For example, they might encourage clients to exaggerate the extent of their injuries to inflate potential compensation.
Additionally, some individuals may purposefully stage slip and fall incidents or tamper with property conditions to create a false narrative of negligence. Shady lawyers may even collaborate with colleagues to target property owners with deep pockets.
These tactics not only undermine the integrity of the legal system but also make it more challenging for legitimate claims to be taken seriously.
Why Finding the Right Slip and Fall Attorney Matters
In the realm of slip and fall cases, not all attorneys are created equal. It’s crucial to find a lawyer who specializes in Colorado premises liability and has experience handling these types of cases. Look for an attorney who is selective about the cases they take on, focusing only on legitimate, egregious instances where the property owner’s negligence is clear
A reputable attorney will thoroughly evaluate the circumstances of your case, gathering evidence and expert testimonies to build a strong argument on your behalf. They will also be transparent about the likelihood of success and the potential outcomes of your case, ensuring that you have realistic expectations from the outset.
A Recent Slip and Fall Case Handled by The O’Sullivan Law Firm
Allow me to tell you about a Colorado slip and fall case that we recently handled. It provides the perfect example of an invitee being egregiously injured by a property owner’s neglect.
Renee and her son were walking on a sidewalk outside of a strip mall in Denver. It was a beautiful sunny day, 50 degrees outside. Renee and her son walked from a bright area to a shaded area and she slipped on black ice. Renee fell on her back and hit her head so hard that it knocked her out. She ended up in the hospital with a traumatic brain injury, knee injury, short-term memory loss and bilateral tinnitus.
Renee hired The O’Sullivan Law Firm and we immediately visited the scene of the Denver slip and fall. We learned that this was a known problem area and the landlord had been alerted many times to the issue. Further, on the sunny day when Renee was shopping, there were no warning signs placed at the site of the incident: no cones, no salt, no sand. Nothing had been done to warn shoppers of this known hazard.
Additionally, our investigation uncovered the fact that the roof and gutters were leaking right onto this spot of the sidewalk and the landlord had been informed of that issue, as well.
Renee endured significant physical pain and faced very high medical bills. We sued the landowner’s property insurance and secured $550,000 to help Renee recover.
Navigating slip and fall cases in Colorado requires a nuanced understanding of the law and a vigilant approach to legal representation. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, it’s critical that you seek out a knowledgeable attorney who will fight for your rights and ensure that justice is served fairly and equitably. Call or text The O’Sullivan Firm today for a free consultation. 303-388-5304.