Denver Premises Liability Attorney
There are many ways that injuries take place and as many places where these injuries occur. While sometimes it is bad luck, sometimes a specific person is at fault. If you are injured on someone else’s property because of a dangerous situation or negligence on their part, you may be able to file a case for premises liability.
It is the legal responsibility of a home or property owner to keep their place in a safe condition for other people to visit. Some of the common ways people become injured on someone else’s property is by slipping, getting bitten by an animal or dog, inadequate maintenance, or other basic liabilities for various establishments.
What You Need to File a Premises Liability Lawsuit
A successful premises liability lawsuit proves the owner of a property knew about a hazard and failed to fix it, thus proving negligence. While this process may seem straightforward, many defendants in these lawsuits and their defense attorneys will attempt to place the blame on the plaintiff. A defense attorney may suggest that you were wearing inappropriate footwear for the area, that you ignored obvious warning signs, or that you simply should have known better.
In these cases, it is important to build a strong defense against these claims by proving the owner’s negligence. To file a premises liability lawsuit, you will need to prove:
- The defendant legally owns the property where the accident occurred. This isn’t too difficult to prove, as property records should clearly name the owner of the property. An experienced premises liability lawyer can find the owner of the property if you don’t already know who it is.
- The defendant was negligent in caring for the property. The property owner has a duty of care to adequately warn visitors of known and latent property hazards and property conditions. You will need to prove that the property owner acted carelessly or negligently.
- You suffered an injury because of the hazard. You can prove this by various methods, including medical records, eyewitness testimony, and security footage.
By proving these three conditions, you are on the road to a successful premises liability lawsuit. However, certain factors can complicate the outcome of the case, such as your knowledge of potential hazards, personal responsibility for the accident, and your actions.
What Happens When You Rent
It can become complicated when the incident happens in a home or apartment that the one who was injured rents from a property owner. The general rule is that a landlord is not responsible for something that happens inside the apartment or house, because it is the tenant’s job to maintain the property.
However, if there are blatant, dangerous issues with the house or apartment that the landlord does not tell the tenant about and the tenant is injured because of those issues, it is the landlord’s fault. It is also the landlord’s responsibility if they agreed to perform maintenance on the property and do a poor job. In some cases, chemicals like spray foam insulation, which is sprayed inside the alls of some homes for thermal insulation, could cause rapid moving fires. If you were injured after a house fire, looking into what caused the fire could be valuable for your claim.
Some technicalities vary slightly between states. Some states say that by inviting a person on your property you are promising that they will be safe there and will not be injured in any way. Other states are more specific about the type of guest and how much care they should be allowed.
Three Types of People
There are three types of people who come onto a property:
- Licensees: Licensees are social guests and others who come to the property for their own reasons.
- Invitees: Invitees are the people who entered the property for the landowner or other such business matters.
- Trespassers: In some states, if someone is trespassing on another person’s property and injures him or herself, the trespasser does not have any right to property liability unless the owner of the property created the situation with the intention of injuring them. The exception to this rule is a child. If a child becomes distracted and wanders onto your property and gets hurt, it is usually not considered their fault and the property owner may be liable. This is called “attractive nuisance” doctrine.
Other states have been using a system that is more complex to measure guilt. They look at many different factors outside of solely the property owner and the person who was injured. Those states analyze the situation just as much as the nature of the people involved.
It is required that an owner of a property is consistently checking the property to make sure it is safe for visitors and that they make the necessary repairs and adjustments if something is dangerous. If you do not make sure your property is safe, you are more likely to be sued for premise liability.