When a visitor or guest is on the property of a landowner, the landowner often owes those people certain duties under the law. This duty is an obligation to keep visitors safe from property hazards, and failure to carry out these duties may result in an accident. If an accident does occur, causing harm to someone on the land, the owner may be liable for the injuries sustained by the visitor.
If you have been injured on another person’s property, you may be eligible to receive compensation to recover from your damages. There may be pushback from the defendant and their insurance company, so it is often wise to contact a Westminster premises liability lawyer. A seasoned personal injury lawyer could fight for your legal rights and pursue compensation for your losses.
Negligent Property Owners
In a premises liability case, it is essential to demonstrate that the owner of the property acted in a manner that directly led to the accident and injuries. Negligent acts by property owners can include:
- Failing to remove ice or snow within a reasonable amount of time
- Failing to repair broken stairs or pavement
- Failing to remove accumulated water from walkways
- Failing to engage in general and expected property maintenance
Evidence of negligence can be used by Westminster premises liability attorneys to argue that the property owner did not complete their legal duties of providing a safe environment for guests. If these actions have a direct link to the injuries, the court may award compensation to the injured party at the expense of the defendant.
For example, a visitor to the property falls down a flight of stairs that has been in a state of disrepair. If the property owner did not post warnings about the stairs and did not take steps to repair the stairs in a reasonable amount of time, they can be liable for compensation. An accomplished attorney is experienced in assigning negligence in premises liability cases.
Types of Visitors
Under Colorado law, visitors to a property can be classified in three ways:
- Invitees, such as customers or restaurant patrons, are implicitly or explicitly invited onto the property by the owner for business purposes
- Licensees, such as social guests, are allowed onto the property by the owner but are there for their own purposes
- Trespassers enter the property without consent from the owner
These categories dictate the amount of responsibility that owners have for the safety of those visitors. The lowest level of responsibility is toward trespassers, who are only legally protected from deliberate harm caused to them by the owner.
Licensees are owed some duty of care, meaning that the landowner is legally required to fix any unsafe conditions on the property if they have become aware of them. Invitees are owed the highest responsibility and owners are responsible for proactively inspecting a property and fixing any safety issues that arise.
The difference between licensees and invitees is that a licensee can only recover compensation if the owner knew about the unsafe condition that led to their accident. An invitee can recover compensation as long as it can be shown that the landowner should have known about the unsafe condition. For more information of the types of visitors and how these laws apply to each case, contact a Westminster premises liability lawyer.
Speak with a Westminster Premises Liability Attorney
If you have been injured on property owned by someone else, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered. If you are uncertain about the duty of care owed to you, speak with an experienced Westminster premises liability lawyer. An attorney could determine which classification of visitor you fall under and how much compensation you may be entitled to.
With help from a skilled local attorney, you may be able to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact one today to start working toward the recovery you need.