Who is Responsible for a Personal Injury on Private Property?
You slipped and fell on a puddle of water at your local grocery store. You went up the stairs to visit your neighbor’s house and the steps crumbled underneath your feet and caused you to fall. These are examples of accidents causing personal injury. They are all premises liability cases.
The question is: Who is liable for injuries that occur in these situations? Generally, property owners must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. This is so anyone who enters the property does not get injured. Generally, the injured party need only prove that a dangerous condition existed and that the property owner did not warn the guest of the dangerous condition. The law can be confusing in this regard, so read on to learn about liability issues that homeowners face when someone gets hurt on their property.
When determining liability, the court will look at the status of the injured party. There are three types of people who could enter a homeowner’s property: trespasser, licensee, and invitee.
A trespasser is someone who enters the property uninvited. A trespasser may or may not intend to do any harm to the homeowner. Regardless, the homeowner cannot intentionally make the property unsafe to harm the trespasser. Ideally, there should be a “No Trespassing” or “Beware of Dog” sign visible on the property to alert uninvited guests that they should not enter the property.
A licensee is someone who has the owner’s permission to be on the property, but visits for their own purposes. This may include a mail carrier or contractor. Homeowners have an obligation to warn licensees of dangerous conditions on the property.
Invitees are—as the name implies—invited and welcome on the property by the homeowners. They receive the highest level of protection and the property owner should warn them of any dangers that exist.
In all situations, there needs to be a sign or some warning to those on the property that there is a danger. This lets them know they should exercise caution. This is true even for trespassers, which may seem odd because trespassing is illegal. However, if a trespasser is injured on your property, the laws says you could be the one at fault.
Factors Affecting Liability
Once the court determines the status of the injured party, they will look at other factors such as:
- Why the person entered the property;
- What people use the property for;
- Foreseeability/whether or not the accident could have prevented; and
- The effort put forth by the homeowner to warn others or fix the dangerous condition.
Injured on Private Property? Contact a Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one suffered a premises liability claim, it’s important to determine liability and recover compensation for injuries. The Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC can help you file a claim and hold the liable party accountable. If you’re ready to start the healing process and move on after a serious injury on another person’s property, give our office a call at (720) 515-7058 so we can evaluate your case free of charge.