Six Colorado Gaylord Resort Visitors Injured in Pool-HVAC Accident
A freak accident at a Colorado resort recently left six people injured, a reminder of the responsibilities of hotel and other property owners to keep visitors safe.
The group of guests at the Gaylord Rockies Resort in suburban Denver were injured when a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system collapsed into an indoor pool, the Associated Press reports.
“Large metal ductwork and mechanical parts that were mounted on the ceiling crashed down upon the pool deck and into the water, covering nearly the entire area of the pool,” according to the AP, which cited an Aurora Fire Rescue spokesperson.
Six people reportedly were sent to a nearby hospital to be treated for injuries. Two were said to have suffered critical, life-threatening injuries.
The victims suffered injuries that ranged from penetrating wounds and cuts to “injuries consistent with being crushed,” the Aurora Fire Rescue spokesperson told the news outlet. The agency declined to provide the victims’ ages, citing internal policy.
As many as 100 people were in the resort’s indoor pool at the time of the accident, according to the AP. The Gaylord, located near the Denver International Airport, has 1,000-plus rooms, as well as a water park and meeting spaces.
The cause of the HVAC collapse was still under investigation. Aurora Fire Chief Alec Oughton said in a statement that some firefighters were fortunately already on the scene for training exercises at the time of the accident.
“Eight firefighters from nearby Aurora Fire Station No. 16 were already on scene conducting training at the Gaylord property, working in the stairwells there,” Oughton said. “This allowed a quick response of highly trained paramedics and EMTs who went right away to the pool to assist patients.”
Accidents at Pools in Colorado
The Gaylord accident highlights the responsibilities of resort and other property owners, especially those operating pools on their premises.
Pool season typically is not as long as ski season in Colorado, but that does not stop people from hitting the water when temperatures rise and snow melts.
Pool accidents can and do happen. Slick, cluttered or poorly maintained pool decks are often to blame for slips and falls. That is not to mention the risk of drowning, which is more common than many people think.
Premises liability generally refers to a property owner’s legal responsibility for accidents that happen on the grounds. It can cover everything from accidents in a commercial office building to those that happen in a retail store parking lot, among many others.
A property owner, whether it is a fancy resort, an office space or a retail shop, is generally required by Colorado law to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. The owner is also obligated to warn people of dangers that the owner knows about or should know about through reasonable inspection.
These responsibilities are what courts and lawyers call an owner’s “duty of care.” A property owner that does not meet this responsibility is likely to be found negligent and responsible for any injuries that happen as a result.
Money Damages for Injuries in Colorado Accidents
Anyone who is injured in an accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the accident.
The money damages typically available in these cases include cash for medical bills, property damage, missed wages during recuperation and any long-term impact of the injuries on the person’s ability to earn a living.
To prove your case, you have to be able to show that you were injured by a dangerous condition on another’s property. You also have to be able to show that the owner knew or should have known about the hazard and that the owner failed to properly address the issue or warn visitors of the danger.
In some situations, an injured person may share some of the blame.
Colorado operates under a comparative negligence system, which allows a person who is partly to blame for a slip and fall or other accident to still seek some compensation from other responsible parties. As long as the person is found to be no more than 50% responsible for the accident, his or her compensation will simply be reduced based on proportionate fault.
If you have been injured in an accident, there is no reason to go it alone. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide vital assistance by helping you understand your rights and options, investigating the accident and establishing a claim for money damages.
Fortunately, many personal injury cases can be resolved without going all the way to trial. A negotiated settlement may allow an injured person and his or her family to get the compensation they deserve. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will make a pre-lawsuit demand for compensation to kick off settlement discussions and work to resolve the matter as efficiently as possible.
Wrongful Death Claims
In the tragic event that a person is killed in an accident, his or her loved ones can seek similar compensation for wrongful death.
State law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.
A wrongful death claim will never allow you to replace a loved one or turn back the clock and stop a crash from happening. It can, however, ease some of the monetary strain that often comes with losing a family member.
Speak With a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident in Colorado, an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer at Levine Law can help. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.
Our lawyers are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver personal injury lawyer.