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What Is Premises Liability?

In the unfortunate event that you get injured on someone else’s property due to their lack of care and/or maintenance of the property, then this can turn into a premises liability claim. Every property owner is required to keep their property in usable condition if the public is permitted to use said property. This means snow on sidewalks in front of your house, broken stairs, hanging debris from the roof, wet floors and much more are a danger to the people on the property. If a person were to hurt themselves due to these factors, the property owner would be liable for paying their costs associated with the injuries as long as it is determined that the cause of the injury should have been previously taken care of for safe use of the property.
large icicles hanging from a business caused injury and started a premises liability lawsuit
Many first time property owners don’t realize the responsibility that they have to keep their property usable for the public. This is extremely common with new homeowners in areas that get a lot of snowfall. Most jurisdictions allow up to 24 hours to clear the sidewalks in front of the property after snowfall so that pedestrians can safely walk on the sidewalk without slipping on snow or ice. This situation is a very common premises liability case, but there are many more risks that come when owning a commercial property. Some of these can be things such as snow and ice on sidewalks, walkways, stairs, patios or other areas that should be kept clear. It could also be broken handrails or guardrails that keep people from falling off of patios, second story and higher floors of multistory buildings, gutters hanging down from the roof into high traffic areas, broken tables chairs and benches, slippery floors after mopping without proper warning signs and much more.

Types Of Premises Liability Cases We Handle

Premises liability comes in many different forms and cannot be fully encompassed in this list, but we will go over some of the most common premises liability cases we deal with as premises liability lawyers in Colorado Springs.

  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Dog bites and animal attacks
  • Broken seating areas
  • Malfunctioning commercial equipment
  • Unmarked dangerous areas in commercial spaces
  • Unlevel parking areas, curbs and sidewalks
  • Broken stairs & handrails
  • Workplace accidents
  • Retail store and restaurant accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents
  • Amusement park accidents
  • Child injuries
  • Elevator and escalator injuries
  • Negligent security
  • Structural issues, collapses and dangerous protruding structural parts
  • Fires
  • Exposure to toxic substances
These are just some of the most common types of premises liability cases we see, but the list can go on and on. It is the property owners duty to keep their property in safe working order for the public to use unless properly marked with warnings of any potential dangerous areas. This is why you see wet floor signs often on slick floors after they have been mopped, because it is a common area with heavy foot traffic and poses a threat to the public as well as employees and the property owners rid themselves of the liability by clearly marking these areas as hazardous.

What To Do If You’re Injured On Someone Else's Property

If you are injured on another person’s property, the owner of the property is the one liable as long as the property owner was expected to properly maintain the property for public use. This means that trespassing and getting hurt is not a valid claim as the property owner had no duty to maintain the areas that were marked as private property. However, areas such as sidewalks that are public domain, would be considered public areas that need to be maintained properly to avoid premises liability claims.
The same goes for commercial properties where customers and employees are permitted to be. So in the event that you are hurt in an area you are allowed to be on someone else’s property and they have a duty to keep that property in good working order, then you may have a valid claim against the property owner and be able to pursue compensation for your injuries.
When you sue them, ultimately the property owner is the one responsible for paying the compensation for your injuries, but most of the time it will be the insurance company that ends up footing the bill if the property owner has insurance. In the event that they do not have insurance or the compensation amount is greater than what is covered by their policy, then the property owner would have to foot the entire bill or the amount that is larger than their coverage. If you have questions about this, feel free to reach out to our Colorado Springs premises liability lawyers for a free consultation.

When Is A Property Owner Liable For Accidents?

As mentioned earlier, the injuries generally have come from a piece of property that you were legally allowed to be on and were acting within reason while on that property when then injury was sustained. This means that running across wet floors with clearly marked warning signs is not a valid claim, but a freshly mopped floor without any signs warning you of the danger would be a valid claim. In any situation, there has to be an injury that was sustained and costs associated with treating that injury. If you just got a bruise on your knee and had no further injuries that needed medical attention and that’s all that happened, there is no valid case as these are civil matters that are handled via monetary compensation instead of criminal matters. When no monetary damages were incurred(such as medical expenses, lost wages, therapy, pain and suffering, etc.), there is no base for a claim.

How Do You Prove Premises Liability?

Proving that a property owner had the duty to take care of their property and that duty was breached is not always very easy. Each situation is different and will have to be evaluated separately based on the circumstances that led to that specific injury. Overall, the property owner must make sure that all areas of the property that are accessible by the public and/or employees must be in good working order at all times. If they know of a dangerous area and willingly decide to do nothing about fixing it, then this is called negligence and can be grounds for a valid premises liability claim.
There are certain times where the property owner may not be around and are unaware of any issues. In this case there would not be negligence because the property owner was not aware of the dangerous areas. For it to be a valid case, the property owner must have known about the issue and decided not to fix it in a timely manner or mark it well with obvious warning signs to keep people from being injured until the problem is fixed. They could also close down the building until repairs are completed if the issue is bad enough or puts too many people at risk as a preventative measure.

Compensation You May Be Entitled To

When calculating the amount of compensation your claim is worth, it is divided into two categories of damages. The first is Economic damages which means any cost incurred from the accident that has a dollar amount attached to it such as medical bills, therapy, lost wages, property damage replacement costs and more.
The second type of compensation available is called non-economic damages which means things you went through due to the accident that don’t have a dollar cost attached to them. These are things such as emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, loss of quality of life and more. Since these things don’t have an exact value tied to them, they are usually calculated using a multiplier of the economic damages based on how severe the injuries were. The more severe the injuries, the higher the multiplier can be.

Premises Liability Statute Of Limitations

Injury claims in Colorado Springs have 2 years from the time of the accident to file. So as long as you file your claim within that 2 year timeframe, then you are fine. It is not advised to wait a long time before filing though, as there are many factors that can be affected by waiting. Some of the things are witness testimony and physical evidence.
If it has been a significant period of time since the accident, the people who witnessed the accident and the issues that caused the premises liability, their memory of the incident could be much worse than had you started getting their testimony right after the injury. Also, if no physical evidence was gathered at the time of the accident, then there may not be any physical evidence left to gather after waiting for an extended period of time.
Evidence could also get lost if photos of the incident were stored on a cellphone that later gets lost before you make a claim. All of these situations put your claim in a bad spot because you don’t have solid evidence backing your claim anymore so make sure to speak with a Colorado Springs premises liability attorney right away and start building your case for best results.

Speak With Our Lawyers Today

If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. As expert personal injury lawyers, you can be sure that our staff knows all of the ins and outs of premises liability cases and will handle your claim from start to finish with your wellbeing in mind. Our decades of experience has helped us win countless cases for our clients and recovered millions of dollars in compensation. Don’t wait to file your claim, get in touch with us today for a free case consultation and get started on getting the compensation you deserve. You can call us anytime to discuss your claim or feel free to stop by our office in Downtown Colorado Springs to speak with us in person.

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Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured in premises liability accidents anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Falcon, Calhan, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.

We serve clients injured in the following zip codes: 80907, 80909, 80918, 80917, 80931, 80932, 80933, 80934, 80935, 80936, 80937, 80941, 80942, 80946, 80947, 80949, 80950, 80960, 80962, 80977 ,80995 ,80997 80901, 80912, 80904, 80915, 80905, 80910, 80923, 80922, 80919, 80920, 80916, 80939, 80914, 80951, 80924, 80927, 80938, 80906, 80840, 80829, 80902, 80809, 80841, 80911, 80908, 80929, 80819, 80921, 80925, 80132, 80926, 80913, 80863, 80817, 80831, 80133, 80930, 80860, 80814, 80813, 80118, 80106, 80928, 80866, 80816, 80808, 80104, 80116, 81008, 80864, 80135, 81240, 81007, 80109, 81290, 80107, 80108, 80425, 81215, 81221, 80117, 80827, 81212, 80134, 80835, 81003, 80131, 81226, 81001, 80138, 80125, 81002, 81009, 81010, 81011, 81012, 80124, 81244, 80126, 80820, 80130, 80163, 80433, 80129, 80833, 80112, 80832, 81025, 81005, 81223, 81006, 80470, 80127, 80122 and beyond.