Private property is property that is owned or controlled by an individual, rather than a business. Despite the property being owned by an individual, as opposed to an organization or a corporation, that property owner is still responsible for maintaining that property and can be held liable for injuries that occur on the property.
If you have been injured on private property due to a negligent property owner, consult a skilled premises liability attorney. Your Denver private property premises liability lawyer can evaluate your claim, determine what legal options are available to you, and can advocate for you.
Defining Visitors in Premises Liability Cases
A visitor on the property will be someone who is invited but is on the property mainly for their own benefit. Even though the property owner may get some benefit just out of the joy of their company, they will be considered a licensee.
An invited guest is someone who is invited to the property by the private property owner but they are only going to be a license since they are not on the property to conduct business presumably.
A trespasser is on the property without the consent of the landowner and for their own benefit. A Denver private property premises liability lawyer can further explain the different types of visitors and explain the duty that a private property owner has to that type of visitor.
Exceptions Made When a Child Sustains Injuries While Trespassing
Even though a child may be on the property without the consent of a landowner, if they are enticed to come onto the land because of something that is naturally attractive to children such as a trampoline or pool, then a separate area of law called attractive nuisance may apply.
Expectations and Rights of Private Property Owners
Private property owners are obligated to warn visitors of dangers that they know about. Even if they should have known about it but they did not, then they are typically not held liable to licensees.
A property owner has the right to tell people that they are not allowed on a property through either implicit actions or explicit, having a ‘no trespassing’ sign, and then with the case of licensees, they do not have to go out and inspect for dangerous conditions. A Denver private property premises liability attorney can elaborate on the rights and responsibilities that a private property owner has.
Role of the Condition of the Property In a Case
The condition of the property is the focus point for any premises liability case. If they are in an invitee, then they have to show that they should have known about it through reasonable inspection and if they were a licensee, they have to show that they had actual knowledge which can obviously get very difficult.
How the Type of Property Can Impact a Case’s Development
When pursuing a premises liability case, a person cannot bring a premises liability case against a landowner if the injured party themselves owns the property. That applies even if they co-own the property such as in the case of a condominium tower.
If they are injured somewhere else such as an elevator or entryway, they would not be able to bring a claim. Typically with apartments, if they are injured in a common area or apartment, then they can bring a case since they are renting their individual unit and do not have any ownership interest in the property as a whole such as with condos.
Rules That Apply to Lessors or Landlords of Private Property
The rules that apply to lessors or landlords of private property will depend on if they relinquished full possession of the property at the time of the accident. If the injured person is renting a home and is injured, it comes down to the lease agreement and the actions of the property owner leading up to that point.
If they had a duty to do maintenance, for example, a leaky faucet or a leaky water heater, but they did not do that and then that causes mold infestation or something and that renter gets sick from it, then they could be held liable, but typically in any kind of leasing agreement, they relinquish full possession of the property.
What Happens When All Parties Are At-Fault?
As any Denver private property premises liability lawyer will tell a potential client, a visitor’s actions can always come into play if they were comparatively at fault or if they knew about the dangerous condition but tried to, for instance, cross an icy area even knowing that it was there. If they are comparatively at fault, then that can either bar their claim or just reduce how much money they are able to recover against the at-fault party.
Typically, situations where the injured party and the property owner are both at fault, are the types of cases that end up at trial and a jury will decide who is more at fault than the other ideally. They cannot say each one’s 50-50 at fault. To be able to recover, they have to show that they were less than 50% at fault, but whatever percentage they are at fault reduces how much they are able to recover.
Working With a Denver Private Property Premises Liability Attorney
A Denver private property premises liability lawyer can be an invaluable asset when pursuing a premises liability case. Typically, the injuries will be similar on private and commercial property; it just depends on why the visitor is on the property. Typically, with commercial property, the visitor is going to be an invitee and the attorney just has to show that they should have known about the dangerous condition and with private property, they will typically be a licensee and have the higher burden at that point. If an individual has been injured while on private property, they should consult a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.