It is easy to assume that if a person slips and falls while on the property of another that the property owner is responsible for any injuries suffered by the plaintiff. In reality, Colorado’s laws concerning the subject, known as the premises liability laws, are far more complex.
Accident attorneys in Arvada will need to ask a number of questions about why the plaintiff was on the land and how the accident occurred in order to successfully pursue a case. Arvada slip and fall accident lawyers work with victims to better understand their cases and to pursue the full damages allowed by law against the proper defendants.
Statute of Limitations
The first question to consider is when the accident happened. This is because there is a strict time limit under Colorado law that limits when a plaintiff can bring a case.
According to Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-102, plaintiffs must file their cases in court no more than two years from the date of the accident. This is known as the statute of limitations and many slip and fall cases cannot be pursued because plaintiffs did not start them on time, so it important for victims to contact Arvada slip and fall attorneys quickly.
Colorado Revised Statute 13-21-115 creates three classes of people that may be on another’s land. These categories are afforded differing amounts of protection under the law. The first, a trespasser, is afforded protection against only intentional or deliberate damages caused by the landowner.
This is the lowest level of protection. The medium level of protection is given to licensees. These are people who are essentially social guests; people who are given an express invitation to be on otherwise private property.
Licensees can only recover damages if the landowner failed to exercise reasonable care in respect to dangers that the landowner knew about, or in situations where there was a hazard that is not normal on the type of land being visited. For example, toxic waste in a person’s garage.
Lastly, invitees are afforded the greatest amount of protection. Invitees are always shoppers or people with a business interest in the land. This land must be generally open to the public. Grocery stores, malls, and sports areas are all examples of places where invitees are expected to be. Invitees can recover damages in situations where the landowner knew or should have known about a hazardous condition.
Nevertheless, the landowner’s unreasonable failure to fix the hazard resulted in an injury. Common examples here include icy sidewalks, spills in store aisles, or broken steps.
Determining Reasonable Behavior by the Landowner
Many slip and fall cases center on the question of whether the landowner knew about the condition and what efforts they made to prevent an accident. Ultimately, this is a question for a jury to decide. Therefore, it is critical to gather all of the possible evidence in these sorts of cases including:
- Security Tapes
- Incident Reports
- Maintenance Logs
- Witness Statements
- Photographs of the Scene
When the questions arise about what the landowners knew about the hazard, these pieces of evidence are critical to a plaintiff’s case.
Let an Arvada Slip and Fall Attorney Help
Despite many people’s first thoughts, slip and fall cases can be very complicated. Accident attorneys in Arvada will need to consider not just why that accident happened, but why the person was on the land to begin with and any steps taken by the landowner prior to the accident.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff may be severely injured and missing time at work. Arvada slip and fall lawyers can take care of everything from gathering the evidence, conducting investigations, speaking to witnesses, and analyzing the law.
Armed with this information, skilled attorneys are able to form strongly worded demand packages to the defendant that often result in fair settlement offers. In cases where a trial is necessary, they are prepared to argue the case in front of a jury to get individuals the fair compensation that they deserve due to landowner negligence. Contact today.