When an individual is injured or killed on another person or entity’s property as a result of an unsafe condition, the controlling law in the state of Colorado is C.R.S. §13-21-115 Actions against Landowners, often referred to as the Colorado Premises Liability Act (“PLA”). Premises can include their land, property, home, business, or building. Under the statute, you must settle or file a lawsuit against the responsible person or entity within two years of the incident. Often these types of injuries are referred to as “slip and falls” and can be caused by snow and ice, liquids on the floor, falling merchandise, or fires just to name a few.
Pursuing a premises claim is different than handling a traditional negligence case, such as a car crash. Generally speaking though, the injured person needs to show that the property owner or person responsible for the activities on the property didn’t take reasonable efforts to keep you safe on the property. Unlike a negligence claim, there are three different categories an injured person can fall into based on the reason they were on the property. These categories are trespasser, licensee, and invitee, and each has different requirements to prove a claim under the PLA. An injured person also needs to establish there was an unsafe or dangerous condition on the premises that caused their injuries. So filing an incident report or notifying the owner as soon as possible after an incident and getting photographs showing the unsafe or dangerous condition are very important to prove liability!
Premise Liability cases can be very complex and often require detailed investigation both before and after filing a lawsuit. Beyond the statute itself, there is a wealth of case law the further clarify (or sometimes confuse) the standards of the PLA. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced attorney who knows the nuanced differences in the duty owed by the landowner, and even to establish who the responsible property owner is under the law.