These types of accidents fall under the Colorado Premises Liability Act umbrella.
The legal statuses and standards of care associated with those legal statuses are outlined in premises liability.
When one of the following applies, the injured person may be able to recover, depending on the legal status they intend to maintain:
- Trespasser: only recovers for damages willfully or purposely caused by the property owner.
- Licensee: only recovers for damages caused:
- By property owner’s failure to use reasonable care concerning dangers they knew about; or
- The property owner’s unreasonable neglect to warn of dangers they did not create and are not ordinarily present on the property.
- Invitee: Only seeks compensation for harm caused by the landowner’s failure to take reasonable precautions against risks he was aware of or ought to have been aware of.
For example, Jackie goes to a pharmacy to get her prescription. In the sidewalk is a large hole, but the hole is not easily seen as a person approaches it. Jackie falls into the hole and tears her ankle, and it is found that the drug store had been aware of the hole and did not fix it or caution customers. Jackie can sue the pharmacy for her injuries because she is an invitee.