Filing a Premises Liability Claim in Colorado
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Phillip Chupik with Metier Law Firm.
Whenever someone is injured on another person’s premises due to negligence on the part of the property owner, a premises liability claim may be viable. Premises liability claims may arise from injuries that occur on public, private, or commercial property. However, like many personal injury cases, the rules can vary from state to state. This is just part of the reason it’s important to discuss your case with an attorney in the state; talking to a lawyer in your area is a good way to make sure you know what the court’s expectations for your case will be, as well as what requirements you need to meet. If you or a loved one were injured on a potentially dangerous premises, reach out to a premises liability attorney to discuss your options for physical and financial recovery.
The statute of limitations on premises liability cases in Colorado is two years from the date of the injury.
A statute of limitations is the legal way of referring to a window of time in which an injured person is eligible to file a claim for recovery. Once this time passes, the injured party will no longer be eligible to seek compensation for that particular injury. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases is only two years, so it’s important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible if you suspect you have a premises liability claim. It takes time to not only assess the viability of a lawsuit but to investigate and collect pertinent evidence as well. If all of this is not done with an official complaint letter complete and submitted before the statute of limitations ends, the claim will likely be dismissed.
Under Colorado law, property owners are required to provide a reasonably safe environment to ensure the safety of visitors on their property.
In most cases, this requires the property owner to take certain, reasonable precautions that another property owner in a similar situation would do. In order to prove a premises liability claim, the injured party must be able to prove that the property owner should have reasonably been aware of the risks presented by their property, and yet failed to use that awareness to correct the unsafe condition. Furthermore, the injured party will need to prove that their injuries and subsequent damages occurred as a direct correlation of the alleged negligence on the part of the property owner.
Colorado law is unique in that under certain circumstances, trespassers to a property may file a premises liability claim if injured there.
Although it is not particularly common, if a trespasser in Colorado is injured due to intentional conduct of the property owner, they may be eligible to file a premises liability claim. This is true in some other states as well, but not all. For example, in Alabama, trespassers rarely if ever have the opportunity to make a recovery after suffering an injury on a property they were trespassing on.
However, as a blanket rule, to prove a premises liability claim, the injured party must prove that the property owner owed them a duty of care, or responsibility to provide for basic safety. This means that visitors and those who had licensed approval to be on the premises are more likely to be eligible to file a claim if injured there.
If you or a loved one were injured on a potentially dangerous premises in Colorado, consider the following steps:
- Seek medical attention regardless of the perceived severity of the injury. Some injuries may take days or even weeks to become symptomatic, but a timely medical report can benefit both your physical recovery and your potential case in the future.
- Determine your status. Were you an invitee, licensee, or trespasser when the injury occurred? While trespassers may be able to make a recovery in Colorado, this is only if the injury occurred due to the willful conduct of the property owner.
- Gather evidence from the scene of the injury. Evidence to collect after a premises liability accident could include pictures of the scene where the accident occurred, pictures of any factors which might have contributed to the accident, pictures of any warning signs posted nearby, and pictures of the injury itself. It may also be helpful to gather contact information of any witnesses to the accident.
- Seek legal counsel from a Colorado premises liability attorney. It’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced premises liability attorney in your area to assess the viability of your case. Most of these attorneys offer free consultations and work on contingency, which means clients don’t pay unless they win their case.
To learn more about Colorado premises liability law, reach out to a premises liability attorney in the area.