Experienced Premise Liability Lawyers in Denver, Colorado
Premises liability accidents can lead to serious injuries. If someone else’s carelessness results in an injury, that person or entity should be held accountable. Property owners—whether an individual, corporation or government entity-must keep their property safe or warn others when a hazard exists. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a fall, injured on a dangerous property, or bitten by a dog, it can be extremely beneficial to speak to a Denver premises liability attorney at the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya. You could be entitled to payment for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wage, physical or mental disability, and diminished quality of life. Premise liability accidents can be very serious—we take them seriously on your behalf, working hard for a fair resolution.
What is a Premise Liability Claim?
Property owners in the state of Colorado have an obligation to keep properties safe and secure. The laws require owners to promptly address any hazards, or, when a hazard cannot be promptly addressed, there must be adequate warning regarding the hazards. In short, premises liability holds property owners liable for accidents or injuries which occur on the property. The property condition will be taken into consideration during a premises liability lawsuit as will the legal status of the injured person. The typical use of the property, the reasonableness of the owner’s efforts to repair a hazard or warn of a hazard and the likelihood of an accident or injury such as the one you suffered will all be considered in a premise liability claim.
In fact, almost any danger which exists on a property and which could lead to an accident and resulting injury could be subject to a premise liability lawsuit. A valid premise liability claim must show the property contained a dangerous condition, that the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition (or should reasonably have been aware of the dangerous condition), that the property owner failed to address the dangerous condition or warn of its existence, and that the dangerous condition resulted in injury to a visitor.
How We Interact with Premise Liability Risk on a Daily Basis
Although few of us really think much about it, any time we leave our homes we potentially interact with premise liability risk. When you go to the grocery store, you could fall on an icy sidewalk, or suffer a slip and fall inside when there is a spill on the floor. When you are walking upstairs, you could trip due to lack of proper lighting or uneven stair treads. When you are walking across a parking lot, you could slip in an oil spill and suffer serious injuries.
You could be walking in a park and be bitten by a dog which was not properly restrained. You could be walking in a retail store aisle and have something fall on you which was stacked too high. You could be in a public restroom and slip on a wet floor or be in a restaurant with torn carpeting—either of which could cause a serious fall. As you can see, you are exposed to hazards often in your daily life, and it is the responsibility of property owners to minimize that exposure and keep you safe.
There are, however, different levels of care owed, depending on what “type” of visitor is injured. Customers in restaurants, malls, grocery stores and other public places are considered “invitees.” Invitees are owed the highest level of care by property owners. Friends, family members and other social guests who visit you in your home are known as “licensees.” These licensees are the people who come to your home on your invitation and are not there for any business purpose. Property owners are liable for any known dangers which lead to an accident for licensees. There is considerably less obligation to trespassers on private property, however property owners may not deliberately set up dangers on private property to stop trespassers.
Premise Liability Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are considered to be the most common type of premise liability claim. People may fall on sidewalks, in restaurants and bars, in airport terminals, on escalators and stairs, in grocery stores, in shopping malls and in parking lots. Elderly people tend to be more prone to slip and falls, although when negligence is present, anyone can take a tumble. When an object is left in a walkway or a spill is not cleaned up, slip and falls are most likely to occur. Injuries from slip and falls can range from bumps and bruises to broken bones, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Swimming pool accidents also occur far too often, particularly to young children who might wander into an unfenced pool. Public hotels, motels, restaurants and bars could have negligent security which can lead to an assault, and, subsequently, injuries and a premise liability claim. Dog bites are also a fairly common cause of premise liability lawsuits. Dog bite laws vary significantly from state to state however, the state of Colorado operates under strict liability rule to hold the dog’s owner liable. You will find more details regarding the most common types of premise liability claims below.
Types of Premise Liability Claims
If you have suffered a dog bite in the state of Colorado, it is beneficial to contact a dog bite attorney Denver as quickly as possible. Under the Colorado dog bite law, any person who suffers serious bodily injury or death from a dog bite while lawfully on public or private property can bring a civil action regardless of whether the dog showed prior viciousness or dangerous propensities and regardless of whether the dog’s owner was aware the dog was dangerous. Colorado identifies only six circumstances where a dog owner would not be responsible for any injuries caused by their dog. These include when the victim is trespassing, when the victim is on the dog owner’s property and there were clear warning signs, when the dog is being used by a police officer or military officer in an official capacity, when the victim knowingly provokes the dog, when the victim is a veterinarian, dog groomer, dog trainer or dog show judge performing his or her duties or when the dog is working, farming, herding, hunting or performing another job on the owner’s property.
Slip And Falls
A slip and fall premise liability claim can benefit greatly from a slip and fall attorney’s assistance. Slip and falls occur quite often, although in many cases the victim of a slip and fall is left with nothing more than bumps and bruises—and embarrassment. Unfortunately, many slip and fall accidents cause much more serious injuries, and can cause lost work productivity and lasting pain and suffering for those who suffer such an accident. Slip and fall accidents can result in broken bones, sprains and strains, knee damages, cuts, brain injury, spinal and nerve damage, shoulder dislocations, nerve damage and neck and back injuries. A fall can place a significant level of stress on bones throughout the body; slip and fall accidents are most likely to cause hip, wrist and ankle fractures. The older the person, the more likely he or she will suffer a broken bone following a slip and fall. Significant knee damage can result from a slip and fall, as the body may twist during the fall. When an MCL or ACL is torn, it can take a very long time to heal. In a fall on a hard surface, the head can strike the surface, resulting in serious harm, even a traumatic brain injury. The spine, neck, back and nerves are also fragile, and can suffer trauma from a slip and fall.
Snow & Ice Accidents
Snow and ice accidents are common in areas which typically get wintry weather. Snow or ice could be tracked into a grocery store, restaurant or retail store, then the next person in could slip and fall on the slippery surface. While there is nothing an owner can do to prevent snow and ice, they do have a responsibility to apply salt or other ice-melting products to sidewalks, to mop up slush inside, and to place a sign warning of the snow and ice when it cannot be mopped up.
Elevator And Escalator Accidents
Elevator and escalator accidents require skilled legal handling; every day hundreds of thousands of people use elevators and escalators, and when there is improper maintenance, improper inspection, loose or missing parts or sudden falls or drops, serious injuries can occur. Faulty door sensors could cause elevator doors to close prematurely, crushing a victim, or the elevator may not level as it should, causing passengers to trip and fall when exiting the elevator. Escalators can also trap shoelaces, soft shoes or clothing in moving parts, causing injury.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Twenty percent of all unintentional drownings are children under the age of 15, and for every child who dies from a drowning, another five will receive medical treatment for submersion injuries according to the CDC. Drowning is not the only thing owners of pools must worry about. Improper drains, inadequate supervision, lack of signage and lack of pool barriers can all cause serious or fatal swimming pool accidents. Under premises liability, a pool owner can be held liable for injuries sustained on the property due to unsafe conditions, negligent supervision or lack of maintenance.
Amusement Park Accidents
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2006 nearly 9,000 people suffered injuries on amusement park rides—and these were only the injuries which were severe enough to require treatment at an ER. Another 3,600 people were injured on inflatable amusement park rides, and another 3,100 on water slides. About half of all those injured on amusement park rides are children. Those who are injured on an amusement park ride can bring a premise liability claim against the manufacturer of the defective ride.
Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lot accidents can be the result of uneven pavement, weather conditions or oil spills. It is the responsibility of the owners of the parking lot to ensure the parking lot is safe, properly lit, and adequately staffed with security personnel.
Other types of premise liability claims include fires, water leaks, flooding accidents, toxic fumes and chemical accidents. Any of these premise liability claims can benefit greatly from having an experienced Denver premise liability attorney from the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya taking charge of the claim.
Getting Help for Your Premise Liability Accident
The premise liability injury lawyers from the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya believe in personal attention to each and every client. We are highly skilled at building premise liability cases, and we excel at negotiating with insurance companies to ensure you receive the reimbursement you deserve. Commercial premises are often owned by big corporations who have many lawyers at their disposal. A smart, aggressive attorney like Dianne Sawaya will make sure insurance companies pay you the money you are entitled to after your accident with injuries.
Throughout our years of practice, insurance companies have learned that if they fail to offer a fair settlement, our attorneys will not hesitate to take the case to trial. If you or a loved one suffered a premise liability accident with resulting injuries, the Law Offices of Dianne Sawaya can help. Contact our offices today for a free evaluation of your premise liability case. There is no obligation; we will review the specific facts of your case, determine your legal options, and help you decide the best way to proceed.