Weld County Premises Liability Lawyer
Property ownership comes with great benefits, as well as significant responsibilities. Among other obligations, landowners must take steps to ensure that their land is safe for visitors. If a landowner fails to take these steps, you may be entitled to compensation in the event you sustain an injury while visiting their property. However, just because an injury occurs on another person’s land does not mean that an ensuing case would automatically be successful. Any premises liability case must include an intensive examination of the facts and applicable laws.
A Weld County premises liability lawyer could help you hold negligent landowners responsible for their actions. Your skilled personal injury attorney could inform you of your legal rights as a visitor and help you discover evidence that points to landowner fault.
What is a Premises Liability Claim?
Personal injuries are often unavoidable situations, and one leading cause of these injuries is landowners who fail to properly maintain their property. If a person suffers an injury because of a landowner’s failure to protect them, they may have the right to demand compensation.
Premises liability cases encompass a wide variety of incidents, perhaps the most well-known of which is a slip and fall accident. If a landowner fails to clean a spill and does not provide adequate warning to a visitor, and that visitor falls and becomes injured, that landowner could be held responsible to provide compensation.
Other common sources of premises liability claims include:
- Structural defects such as broken stairs or faulty hand-railings
- Poor security or inadequate lighting that emboldens an attacker
- Shoddy wiring or a lack of fire safety equipment that contributes to a disaster
A Weld County premises liability lawyer could help a victim examine the facts of their case to determine if a landowner may be responsible for their injuries.
The State’s Premises Liability Statute
Weld County, along with the rest of Colorado, employs a statute that outlines the responsibilities of landowners to prevent injury. According to Colorado Revised Statutes §13-21-115, landowners are only liable to provide compensation to injured visitors under limited circumstances.
Evaluating the validity of such a case is a two-step process. First, it is necessary to determine a visitor’s legal status. The statute creates three classes of visitors, each with their own rights that a property liability lawyer in Weld County could offer further clarification about.
Trespassers are people who enter or remain on land without the owner’s consent. Landowners must only refrain from causing willful or deliberate harm to this type of visitor.
Licensees are people who enter the land as a social guest or for their own benefit. Here, landowners must exercise reasonable care to prevent harm from known hazards. Additionally, if there is a hazard that is not common to the property, such as an open pit, the landowner must specifically warn a visitor.
Guests who enter land for the landowner’s benefit are considered invitees. Shoppers in a store are the classic example. Landowners must warn visitors of any hazard that they know or should know about, meaning landowners with invitee guests have a duty to patrol their property.
Comparative Negligence in Premises Liability Cases
After identifying the status of the victim, it is necessary to evaluate the actions of all parties. Colorado is a comparative negligence state, so a court would evaluate the actions of all parties to assign a percentage of blame for the incident.
In many premises liability cases, the incident is entirely the landowner’s fault. However, defendants may argue that a plaintiff was wearing improper footwear that contributed to a fall down stairs, for instance. Weld County premises liability lawyers could help plaintiffs determine their rights under the law and work to place blame on negligent landowners.
How a Weld County Premises Liability Attorney Could Help
Every person has the right to feel safe when visiting another party’s property, but visitors’ legal rights may vary depending on their reasons for being on the land. While trespassers enjoy only minimal protection, guests of a business should expect the highest level of care. Any landowner who fails to exercise this care may carry legal liability in case of an injury.
A Weld County premises liability lawyer could help victims who have suffered an injury while on another person’s property by working to investigate the incident and demanding full payment for losses stemming from negligent landowners. Contact an attorney today to learn more.