Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility that property owners have over the safety of their properties. A premises liability claim is a civil lawsuit filed by an injured accident victim against a property owner or landlord for falling short of this responsibility. In Colorado, many different types of accidents can lead to premises liability claims. Recognizing the most common types of claims our Aurora premises liability attorneys handle could help you determine if you have a claim.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip, trip and fall accidents result in a large number of premises liability claims each year. Our slip and fall attorneys in Aurora have seen these accidents result in serious injuries, including broken bones, hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet floors
- Spilled food or drink
- Snow and ice
- Uneven surfaces or curbs
- Broken staircases
- A lack of warning signs
- Freshly mopped or waxed floors
- Loose rugs or carpets
- Inadequate lighting
Property owners have a duty to prevent or repair any slip and fall accident risks before welcoming visitors to the premises. They also have a responsibility to promptly clean up any spills or debris that could cause a slip and fall.
Property owners are required to adequately maintain their sidewalks to protect pedestrians from accidents. Ignoring sidewalk issues such as uneven surfaces, cracks in the pavement, tree root infiltration, or an unreasonable accumulation of ice or snow can cause a foreseeable risk of injury. A private property owner could be held responsible for a sidewalk accident in front of a home or business, while the city or state government may face liability for an accident on a public sidewalk.
Snow and Ice Accidents
Colorado sees a large amount of snow and ice every year. While property owners are not expected to control the weather, they are required to properly address safety hazards caused by ice and snow in a timely manner. If there was a heavy snowstorm, for example, a business owner should shovel sidewalks, parking lots and walkways to prevent the snow from melting and turning into slippery, dangerous ice.
Dog and Animal Attacks
Colorado pet owners have a duty to obey the state’s leash laws. If a dog has previously exhibited signs of viciousness or aggression, a pet owner also has an added responsibility to prevent attacks. Under Colorado’s dog bite law, however, if a dog injures someone, the owner can be held strictly liable regardless of the issue of negligence. Working with an Aurora dog bite injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights if you have suffered from a dog attack.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Drowning incidents are one of the top causes of death in children under the age of four in the U.S. If a property contains a swimming pool, hot tub or spa, the property owner has an obligation to implement barriers to prevent children from wandering onto the property and sneaking into them unsupervised. These barriers may include a pool cover, fence, locked gate or motion-sensor alarm system.
Negligent security refers to the failure of a property owner to adequately secure the premises. For example, a landlord must use proper security measures to protect tenants. The amount of security that is necessary depends on the property’s history of crime and the foreseeability of future incidents. Based on the type of property and its location, reasonable security measures may include a security guard, floodlights, fences or gates, and locks on doors and windows.
Inadequate Property Maintenance
A general state of disrepair can lend itself to many accident and injury opportunities. Examples include trip and fall hazards, broken glass or jagged metal, dangerous staircases, structural collapses, old playground equipment, and toxic substances. Every property owner in Colorado must take adequate steps to properly maintain a premises. Business owners in particular have high standards of care before welcoming customers onto a property.
To find out if you have grounds for a premises liability claim after an accident in Colorado, contact an Aurora personal injury attorney at Manning Law for a free case consultation.