Injured on Someone Else’s Property: Landowner Liability for Crimes

If you are injured on someone else’s property, you could be entitled to compensation if it was the result of someone else’s negligence. To learn if you have a case, contact personal injury attorneys in Aurora.

Establishing Landowner Liability through Negligence

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to hold a landowner responsible for a crime that resulted in physical and/or emotional harm. According to Colorado law, you will need to prove that the landowner failed to exercise reasonable care.

Establishing negligence sometimes can be a challenge. In some cases it might be more obvious. For instance, let’s say you were shopping at a local grocery store and slipped on the floor. If it’s found that it had just been waxed, and no warning signs or barricades were put in place, negligence of the owner would be easier to prove than in other scenarios, such as a where a crime has taken place.

When injured on someone else’s property because of a crime, in order to hold the landowner liable you would need to show that it could have been prevented. An example would be failing to maintain proper security, such as lights, alarms and locks.

Dram shop laws also may impact landowner liability. These apply to businesses that sell liquor. Generally if an intoxicated person commits a crime, the responsibility lies solely with him or her. However, in some circumstances, dram shop laws also put liability with the owners of the establishment that served the defendant liquor. An example would be a bartender who continues to serve drinks to a patron who is clearly intoxicated. If that individual were to become violent and injure another patron, the owner could be liable for damages.

Landowner Liability: Reasons for Being on Property

Another factor that is considered when injured on someone else’s property is why you were on it in the first place. This depends on whether you were a trespasser, licensee or invitee. It can impact the amount of liability the owner is assigned and the damages that may be recoverable.

A trespasser is someone who illegally enters the premises. This generally eliminates any possibility of liability with the landowner. However, there could be exceptions, such as the owner intentionally and willfully causing harm.

A licensee is someone who enters the premises legally but not to conduct a business transaction. This includes individuals who enter a property for social reasons. Partygoers are an example.

If you were to attend a party and a violent crime occurred, the landowner could be liable. You would need to establish that he or she knew or should have known it was going to happen and taken steps to protect others. Liability tends to be much less in cases such as this, but personal injury attorneys in Aurora can help sort out the details.

If you are injured on someone else’s property as an invitee (someone who enters the property to conduct business), landowners have more responsibility to ensure the safety of others. It still doesn’t always mean injuries from a crime will result in compensation. Discuss the specifics of your case with an attorney.

Consult Injury Attorney D.J. Banovitz

Proving liability can be very complicated. Contact a personal injury attorney in Aurora at the Law Offices of D.J. Banovitz to learn about your rights if you were injured on someone else’s property. Call (303) 300-5060.

D.J. Banovitz’ career has always concentrated on trial practice and he has litigated hundreds of cases. His passion and sole career focus has been to seek justice for people suffering from personal injuries as the result of someone else’s negligence. The hallmark of the Law Office of D.J. Banovitz, is the total commitment to professionalism, quality, and personalized care of your injury case. D.J. has dedicated his professional life to helping those most in need and is a proud and active member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. His experience includes volunteering for Colorado Rural Legal Services in Montrose, the Colorado Aids Project, consumer law, family law, criminal defense, and Alternative Defense Counsel for juveniles in Denver.