Many tourists and locals enjoy the recreational opportunities offered in Colorado; others enjoy sightseeing, dining, and shopping in our vibrant cities or beautiful mountain communities. But as more people spend free time pursuing these activities, the risk of injury also increases. You may be injured because of another’s failure to adhere to safety standards of a sport, or you may be injured by an unsafe physical condition, such as a slip and fall or other premises liability incident.

Simply put, premises liability refers to the limited duty of a landowner to eliminate or warn of dangers on real property. Common dangerous conditions include open excavations or holes, uneven pavement, wet floors, snow or ice that has not been cleared, falling objects, inadequate security, insufficient lighting, or even unsafe seating.

After reading this overview, explore the links in this section for more information about your potential claim. Chalat Hatten & Banker have the insight, experience, and compassion to help with every type of recreational accident and premises liability incident, and with every type of injury or circumstance of wrongful death.

The outcome for a victim can be catastrophic, and recovery – if possible – can take years. It can be especially frustrating to be a victim of a preventable error or circumstance. You’re angry, and you need to heal physically, emotionally, and financially. You’re in the right place. Here are straight answers to few questions you may have right now. Explore our links to specific accident types for deeper insight into your situation.

What is premises liability?

Premises liability is the legal term used to describe the limited duty of a landowner to eliminate or warn of dangers on real property. Common dangerous conditions include open excavations or holes, uneven pavement, wet floors, snow or ice that has not been cleared, falling objects, inadequate security, insufficient lighting, or even unsafe seating.  The person who is in possession of land or premises is responsible for certain injuries suffered by persons who are present on the premises.  Read more about premises liability.

Do I have a recreational accident claim?

Recreational accidents are as varied as the activities which lead to them. Two common issues arise in these cases. The first consideration is whether the accident occurred on private or public land, since specific procedures must be followed when suing the U.S. government. The second consideration is whether a waiver or release was executed by the injured party. Most guided activities or tours require participants sign such waivers and the waivers are generally found to bar a claim in Colorado. Read more about recreational accidents.

My accident occurred in Colorado, do I need to file in Colorado?

Regardless of where you are now, if your recreational accident or premise liability accident occurred in Colorado, the claim will need to be filed in Colorado. Because most accident claims arise from state law, the claim will be pursued in the state where the accident occurred.

How long do I have to file an accident lawsuit?

Lawsuits for personal injury accidents must be filed with the court within two years of the accident; this is the statute of limitations for accident lawsuits in Colorado.  Read more about time limits.

What will I gain from a recreational accident or premise liability lawsuit?

Finding out what happened is the first concern of most accident victims.  Sadly, one of the only certain ways of discovering the truth is to file a lawsuit.  Accident victims often begin by simply asking questions, and rightfully expecting an apology. However, many find that neither answers nor admissions of responsibility are forthcoming.

In addition to the need for information, many accident victims are saddled with economic burdens that make a lawsuit a necessity.  Compensation for economic losses such as medical expenses (including those paid by your medical insurance provider) and loss wages should be sought for both the past and future.  These are typically expenses easily supported by documents, such as payroll stubs and medical bills.  More challenging are the losses for which there are no hard measure – a permanently impaired body or the diminished ability to enjoy life are losses that also deserve compensation.  Both the economic losses and the non-economic injuries are legitimate elements of the damages for which you look to the responsible party for compensation. Read more about damages.

What should I expect as a plaintiff in an accident lawsuit?

Pursuing a personal injury claim, including a recreational accident or premises liability case, is a significant personal and financial decision – you will invest about two years in the process until your case will be ready for settlement or trial.  The process begins with the filing of a complaint by the plaintiff, the injured party.  Several months are spent on investigating and collecting evidence by both sides in preparation for trial, and the only way to achieve a top settlement for your case is to be ready for trial.  Read more about the litigation process.

Most states have a premises liability statute, which provides the duty of care owed by a landowner. In Colorado, this statute is the Colorado Premises Liability statute, C.R.S. §13-21-115. Colorado also has a "Recreational Use" statute which provides limited liability for landowners for injuries to recreational enthusiasts.  We have represented numerous clients who have been injured by a recreational accidents or dangerous premises.