Colorado has enacted a statute which outlines liability for landowners in Colorado. The statute is very broad and acts as the exclusive remedy for individuals injured on the land of another by virtue of a condition on the property, or activities conducted or circumstances existing on such property. Here are the basics:
A “landowner” includes, without limitation, an authorized agent or a person in possession of real property and a person legally responsible for the condition of real property or for the activities conducted or circumstances existing on real property. C.R.S. § 13-21-115(1).
Each landowners’ duty turns on whether the injured claimant was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser on the Property. See C.R.S. §§ 13-21-115(3) and (4). These labels are defined under the statute.
An invitee means one who enters or remains on the land of another to transact business in which the parties are mutually interested or who enters or remains on such land in response to the landowner’s express or implied representation that the public is requested, expected, or intended to enter or remain. Landowners are liable to invitees for injuries caused by the dangerous conditions on the Property of which they knew or should have known. A licensee means a person who enters or remains on the land of another for the licensee’s own convenience or to advance the licensee’s own interests, pursuant to the landowner’s consent. Social guests are commonly categorized as licensees. A licensee may only recover damages caused by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to exercise reasonable care with respect to dangers created by the landowner that the landowner actually knew about or by the landowner’s unreasonable failure to warn of dangers not created by the landowner that are not ordinarily present on property of the type involved and that the landowner actually knew about. A trespasser means a person who enters or remains on the land of another without the landowners’ consent. A trespasser may only recover damages willfully or deliberately caused by the landowner.
The Court is responsible for classifying the claimant as a invitee, licensee or trespasser because it is a question of law rather than a question of fact for a jury.
If you have questions about your premises liability claim, contact Hailey | Hart to explore your options.