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Colorado Injury Firm

Classification of Visitors in Denver Slip and Fall Cases

Premises liability means that a landowner – which is described statutorily as an authorized agent or person in possession of real property and a person legally responsible for the condition of real property where the activity is conducted on the property – has made some unreasonable failure to take reasonable steps to protect an invitee or a licensee or a trespasser.

In certain circumstances, it is basically an action against the landowner by one of those three categories, stating that the landowner has failed to keep the premises in proper order for the safety of the licensee, trespasser or invitee. The classification of visitors in Denver slip and fall cases can be instrumental in assigning fault and determining the duty of care that the property owed to the visitor. Consult a knowledgeable slip and fall attorney to learn more.

How Duty of Care Changes Based on the Classification of Visitor

The duty changes as the classification of visitors in Denver slip and fall cases changes. The highest classification or the people that are protected the most are invitees and the duty is pretty high there. A landowner has to not only know of it but if they should have known of the danger, then they have to protect that invitee. The standard or the duty gets lower for a licensee who is just allowed to be on the property.

An invitee is someone who is invited onto the property for business purposes or with the expressed or implied consent of the landowner that this person can be on the property. A licensee is someone that is allowed to remain on the property with the property owner’s consent, while the property itself is not open to the general public. The landowner’s duty is lessened there because the licensee is not really a consumer or a guest, they are just someone that is allowed to be on the property. Finally, the duty is a lot lower for a trespasser because a landowner does not expect that person on their property.

What is an Invitation to a Property?

The invitation is a representation that the public is being asked or expected or the intent of the person is that the public can come onto the property. Basically, any public facility, any restaurants, businesses, anyone in there to conduct business, a person does not have to actually be purchasing something but the chance that a person could purchase something while they are in there is an invitation of sorts.

The owner wants the person in there because they want the person to be either using their goods or services or purchasing their goods or services and so, therefore, the person becomes an invitee and it is an invitation to be there.

A trespasser is one who is on or remaining on the land. They come in or stay on the land of the landowner without the landowner’s consent. Basically, if the landowner either does not allow them to be on there or would not allow them if they knew they were on there, that person is a trespasser.

 Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

The attractive nuisance doctrine basically protects young children from things on another’s property that are attractive or would be considered something that the children would be drawn to. It is the one instance in which the classification of visitors in Denver slip and fall cases is not as relevant. Basically, if a landowner has something on their property that could attract or draw the child to it, even if this child is a trespasser, the law requires them to take reasonable precautions to prevent either the child from entering the property.

A common one is a swimming pool. If a person has a swimming pool, they have to take reasonable steps to prevent the child from coming onto the property. They should maybe build a fence to keep the kid out of the swimming pool or to protect the child from being injured if they do come onto the property. Using the swimming pool example, a person could put some type of a cover over so that the child cannot fall into the swimming pool and drown would be something that is required of the landowner under the attractive nuisance doctrine.

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