Premises Liability / Slip & Fall Attorneys in Cheshire, CT
When you’re on someone’s else property, you have every right to expect reasonable safety and care. Property owners in Connecticut generally have a legal obligation to protect you from obvious and hidden hazards, including anything that could lead to a slip and fall or other serious accident.
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a premises-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Connecticut premises liability lawyers at The Dodd Law Firm take your injuries and case seriously. We have the skill and experience necessary to make sure your case gets the attention it deserves. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Types of Premises Liability Claims We Handle in Connecticut
Premises liability is a type of personal injury claim that arises when the injury is caused by negligence on another party’s property. Some of the most common types of premises liability cases we handle include:
- Slip and fall accidents — Slip and fall accidents usually happen when a victim is not properly informed about hazards on the property, which may include wet floors, holes, missing rails, tears in rugs, icy ground, or uneven surfaces.
- Retail accidents— In addition to slip and falls, customers in retail locations can be injured due to shelf collapses and security issues.
- Dog bites— When a person is bitten or injured in an animal attack, the owner in Connecticut is strictly liable regardless of any knowledge of prior animal behavior.
- Negligent security— When a person is assaulted on a property with poor security, the property owner or manager could be held responsible.
- Snow and ice accidents— In the northeast, people are commonly hurt on properties where accumulated snow and ice isn’t cleared from areas like walkways, sidewalks, parking lots, and outdoor steps.
- Elevator and escalator accidents— Victims of malfunctioning elevators and escalators may be able to pursue a premises liability lawsuit against the property owners as well as the manufacturer of the equipment.
- Fires and explosions— Hazardous conditions on a property can lead to fires and explosions, causing serious injury or death.
Other types of premises liability cases we handle include, but aren’t limited to, liquor liability, downing and pools, amusement park injuries, playground accidents, and skiing and snowboarding accidents.
What Type of Care Does a Property Owner Owe?
Proving responsibility on the part of the property owner can be challenging. First, you must show that the property owner had a duty of care to the person injured. The specific duty owed will vary depending on the nature of the relationship between the property owner and the visitor.
- Business Invitees— These are visitors who have explicit or implied permission to enter a property, usually for the financial benefit of the proprietor. Examples of invitees may include customers at bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and other retail establishments, guests at hotels and resorts, tenants who rent or lease residential or commercial property, and those who enter an area that is open to the general public, such as a municipal park. If a person enters a property for business purposes, such as a shopper in a grocery store, the property owner owes that person the highest duty of care. They must conduct property inspections and warn visitors of any hazards.
- Licensees — A licensee is someone who enters a property for a non-business purpose, such as a friend or neighbor who makes a social visit. Those in this category may include social guests, neighbors, unsolicited salespersons, and mail carriers. Licensees are owed a slightly lower duty of care than invitees. Property owners are required to fix and maintain any known hazards but may not be liable for hazards that they did not know about.
- Trespassers — A property owner owes the lowest duty of care to people entering the premises without permission. However, property owners are not permitted to intentionally set up hazards to harm trespassers.
Even if there was a clear duty of care owed to the injured party, proving it is another matter. Relevant evidence can disappear quickly after an accident. This is just one of the reasons why you should speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible after your accident.
Getting the Justice You Deserve After a Premises-Related Accident
A landowner has a duty to most of the people who step foot on their property. If you have been injured due to a breach of that duty, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you pursue justice and compensation from the responsible parties.
In Connecticut, property owners must keep grounds safe and maintain a premise for potential visitors. The law requires that they fix any hazards on the property or at least warn guests of their existence.
If you slip and fall, trip, are attacked by a dog, or are the victim of a crime, you may be eligible to file a premises liability claim for compensation. But insurance companies don’t make this process easy. The losses can be significant, and insurers will do everything possible to avoid paying large claims.
Possible Defenses in a Premises Liability Claim
Even if you have established your legal right to be on a property, you can still expect a vigorous defense from the owner or caretaker and their insurance company. Some potential defenses they may make include:
- The defendant did not know about the existence of the hazardous condition;
- The defendant took proper steps (such as putting up a sign or a cone) to warn visitors that the condition existed;
- The dangerous condition was “open and obvious” to a reasonable person;
- The plaintiff was not watching where they were going when the injury occurred;
- The plaintiff was in an area of the property that is restricted or where visitors do not normally go.
This is where having a dedicated premises liability attorney can be invaluable. Your lawyer can help your case by gathering the documentation necessary to prove the accident was the property owner’s fault. Because tenants and third-party occupiers can be involved, this process can be complex.
Once fault is clear, your attorney can negotiate the strongest settlement possible with the insurance companies. If the insurers are not reasonable during negotiations, a civil lawsuit is the next step to get you the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Possible Damages in Connecticut Premises Liability Case
Similar to any other personal injury case, you have the right to pursue full and fair damages if you’ve been injured in an accident on someone else’s property. You may be able to claim compensation for the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
When selecting a premises liability attorney, it’s essential that the law firm you choose has the experience and resources necessary to level the playing field against large insurance companies. At The Dodd Law Firm, we have successfully handled these types of cases for clients in multiple Connecticut jurisdictions.
Speak with a Premises Liability Lawyer in Connecticut Today
The attorneys at The Dodd Law Firm have been fighting for the rights of injury victims throughout Connecticut for over 50 years. If you or a loved one has been hurt on someone else’s property, we may be able to help you collect full compensation from a careless or negligent property owner.
Our firm handles premises liability cases on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t pay us any fees unless we win your case. Call 203-272-1883 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation in our Cheshire office.