Slip and fall accidents are responsible for thousands of serious injuries and hospitalizations each year. In Colorado, property owners have a legal responsibility to prevent slip, trip and fall accidents from injuring lawful visitors. If property owners or controllers fail to fulfill this duty of care, a Denver premises liability lawyer can help file a claim to hold them liable for a visitor’s injury or death.
The Basics of Premises Liability Law
A premises liability claim is a type of civil lawsuit that can be filed against one or multiple parties for a dangerous property condition that causes an injury to a visitor. According to the Colorado Premises Liability Act (Colorado Revised Statutes, Section 13-21-115), landowners are legally responsible for maintaining safe premises. They must take steps to ensure reasonably safe properties, such as inspect for new or unknown hazards and make prompt repairs of discovered issues. Failure to fulfill this responsibility is known as negligence.
If the property owner’s negligence results in a visitor slipping or tripping and suffering an injury while on the premises, the owner can be held liable with a premises liability claim. Liability refers to legal and financial responsibility for a preventable accident. The owner’s property insurance company may be required to pay for the victim’s medical bills, ongoing health care, lost wages and other related damages. The victim may be able to file a claim with a homeowners, renters or commercial insurance company.
Who Can Be Held Liable For a Slip and Fall in Colorado?
Property owners are liable for most slip and fall accidents in Colorado. However, not all premises liability cases are simple. It can be difficult to identify the true owner of a property, in some cases. In others, an investigation may find that the accident was the fault of someone other than the person who owned the property. Possibilities include:
- The owner. Property owner negligence or the failure to exercise reasonable care can lead to a claim against this individual or entity for a slip and fall accident.
- A landlord. If someone else is responsible for the care and maintenance of a property, such as a landlord of an apartment complex or Airbnb, this person could be held liable.
- Someone in control of the property. Tenants or renters could be named in slip and fall lawsuits for injuries that occur due to defects within their control in private units.
- A parent company. An accident on commercial property in Colorado could lead to liability going to the parent company or its insurer.
- The government. A slip and fall accident on public property, such as a sidewalk or public park, could lead to a lawsuit against the city, state or federal government responsible for the area.
Any individual or entity that had a duty of care to protect lawful visitors from harm at the time of a slip and fall accident could be named as a defendant in a premises liability lawsuit. If you need assistance determining the liable party or parties during your slip and fall accident claim, consult with a Denver personal injury attorney at Manning Law.
How to Bring a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Colorado
If you wish to pursue financial compensation for a harmful slip and fall accident in Colorado, you must act within two years. Two years is the state’s statute of limitations on most personal injury claims. You or your attorney must present evidence that proves the defendant is more likely than not to be at fault for your fall accident. Evidence may include photographs of the property defect, eyewitness interviews and property maintenance logs. Hiring a slip and fall accident lawyer in Denver can make it easier to meet your burden of proof and secure fair compensation for your losses after a slip and fall.