Not every personal injury involves a party directly injuring someone else through momentary reckless or careless actions. If an unaddressed hazard on private or public property causes harm to a visitor, the owner or manager of that property could bear civil liability even if they were nowhere near the scene of the accident at the time.
To help you navigate the unique aspects of Colorado premises liability law, you could benefit from the assistance of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. With a Westminster premises liability lawyer by your side, you could give yourself the best chance of successfully recovering compensation from a negligent property owner.
Liability for Different Types of Visitors
Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-115 is the state’s premises liability statute, establishing the regulations for what constitutes liability and how an injured party can proceed with seeking compensation for their damages. Among other things, this section defines the different categories of visitors in Colorado, as well as what duty of care a landowner owes to each type.
According to C.R.S. §13-21-115(3), a landowner does not owe any duty of care to someone who enters their land without permission, meaning trespassers cannot generally sue for damages stemming from negligent property upkeep or unknown hazards. An adult trespasser can recover only for damages willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner, like a trap. A child under the age of 14 years can recover for damages caused by an “attractive nuisance”, like a swimming pool not enclosed by a fence.
Colorado’s premises liability statute defines a licensee as someone who is on someone else’s land for their own interests, such as a houseguest at a dinner party. Landowners have an obligation to avoid creating hazards that could harm a licensee, and they must warn them of any known hazards a person would not expect to find on the land otherwise.
Invitees are owed the highest duty of care of all, as this category includes people who visit land open to the public and people who intend to conduct business with the owner or manager of the property. Under Colorado state law, a landowner must protect invitees from all known hazards, as well as from hazards they reasonably should have known about.
Recovering Damages in Westminster
Both economic and non-economic damages could be recovered for a person who was injured while on someone else’s property. A successful property liability lawyer could help a plaintiff in Westminster receive payments for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
However, it should be noted that partial liability on the part of a civil plaintiff may limit the amount of compensation they can recover. Under C.R.S. §13-21-111, a plaintiff found to be partially at fault for their own injuries could have their total damage award reduced in proportion to the amount of liability they bear, and any plaintiff found 50 percent or more at fault may be barred from recovery entirely. Experienced legal counsel could work with a plaintiff to maximize monetary recovery in their premises liability claim.
Talk to a Westminster Premises Liability Attorney About Filing Suit
Getting hurt on another’s property does not mean you have no hope of recovering compensation for your losses. On the contrary, you could have a strong claim that a legal representative at Mac Hester Law could help turn into a successful civil verdict. To schedule an initial consultation, contact a Westminster premises liability lawyer today.