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CONNECTICUT SLIP AND FALL ATTORNEYS
Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable
Slip and fall accidents can happen at any time and in any place. Though the very young and very old are most susceptible to these kinds of falls, no one is immune from injury after a trip, slip, or fall. While a simple fall may not seem serious, slip and fall accidents can lead to devastating injuries—no matter your age or health. Falls are the leading cause of emergency room visits, accounting for approximately eight million emergency room visits in the United States every year.
Though many people blame themselves for these kinds of injuries, property owners and businesses have a legal obligation to create a safe environment for those who visit or those the owner invites onto the property. Hazardous conditions such as unkept steps, icy walkways, broken railings, etc. can cause serious injuries that may lead to grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. If you suffered a slip and fall injury in Connecticut because of another person’s careless or negligent actions, you deserve compensation. The slip and fall attorneys at Goff Law Group - West Hartford can provide you with experienced representation in your claim.
Common Slip & Fall Injuries
Slip and falls can result in a wide variety of injuries; among the most common are soft tissue injuries, such as minor sprains, torn tendons, and damaged ligaments. These can be more difficult to prove in court than other types of injury cases because they are not outwardly visible. Some people do not realize they suffered a soft tissue injury until days or weeks after the incident.
Additionally, many slip and fall accidents involve the victim hitting his or her head. While some falls result in concussions, which usually heal on their own, any head injury can be extremely serious. If you or a loved one hit their head after falling and there is swelling or bleeding, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible to ensure that there is no serious internal damage.
Minor falls can result in cuts and abrasions. Though they can look severe, cuts and abrasions usually heal relatively quickly and do not require extensive medical treatment. However, cuts can appear on top of more serious injuries such as broken bones and tears, so if you experience excessive pain you should see a doctor.
Similar to head injuries, spinal cord injuries can change your life, sometimes resulting in paralysis. They almost always need immediate medical attention. Treatment for spinal cord injuries can be extremely expensive; if you or a loved one suffered spine injuries as a result of slipping and falling, it’s important that you work with an experienced attorney who can help you seek fair compensation.
Another common slip and fall injury is broken bones, or fractures. The necessary treatment for broken bones varies greatly. Some broken bones heal on their own and some need surgery. The period immediately after the break is vital, as swelling can make it more severe. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible.
When to Pursue a Slip & Fall Injury Claim
A property owner’s negligence should not cause you financial losses. However, not everyone who falls in a store, in a parking lot, on a sidewalk, or in someone’s home has legal grounds to file suit, so discuss your case with one of our attorneys. Our Hartford slip and fall attorneys will help determine where the fault lies.
When an accident happens, report the incident to management or the owner immediately and seek medical care. Be sure to keep all medical records and take pictures if you are able. If negligence played a part in your accident and a property owner could have foreseen such an eventuality, then you likely have a claim. The team at Goff Law Group is dedicated to helping slip and fall victims in Connecticut recover fair compensation for the injuries.
Premises Liability Law in Connecticut
Many slip and fall cases are a matter of premises liability, which focuses on a property owner’s duty of care. Whether it is a store or a home, if you own property, you must keep it in reasonably safe condition. Depending on the situation, Connecticut law outlines specific stipulations as to a property owner’s duty of care to different people on the property.
Someone who is injured on someone else’s property will fall into one of three legally defined categories: invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
An invitee is a person who you invite on your land for business or another mutually beneficial reason.
For an invitee, a property owner must adhere to the following rules:
- He or she may not intentionally harm the invitee
- Invitees are entitled to due care once the property owner knows he or she is there
- The property owner must warn invitees about any potentially dangerous situation that he or she knows about
Property owners owe a similar standard to licensees, who enter a property with permission or consent from the owner.
Connecticut property owners owe significantly less to trespassers; such duties include:
- The property owner may not intentionally harm the trespasser
- He or she must show the trespasser due care once the trespasser makes him or herself known
- The property owner has no duty toward trespassers with regard to the condition of the property
- The property owner has no obligation to inform trespassers of dangerous conditions
With regard to children, however, the duty of care is higher, even if the child is trespassing. If a property owner has any reason to believe that a child will be on the property, he or she must correct any potentially dangerous conditions.
Potential Compensation in Slip & Fall Cases
If the court determines that the defendant is responsible for your injury, it will award you damages. This financial compensation will help you cover the expenses you incur as a result of your injury.
You could receive damages for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Punitive damages
Connecticut courts adhere to the comparative fault rule, which gives them the right to reduce your compensation if you were partially responsible. For example, if the court determines that you were 10% responsible for the incident, you can only receive up to 90% of the total recovery you would have otherwise received if the court did not find you at fault whatsoever.
How to Prevent Falls & Other Premises Liability Issues
As a property owner or landlord, you may face a liability suit for a slip and fall injury if it happened because you failed to maintain safe conditions on your property. These cases can become very complex; keeping a keen eye out for hazards and taking swift action is the best way to ensure your property is safe and not vulnerable to a lawsuit.
You will want to ask yourself:
- Are railings for stairs and the stairs themselves stable?
- Are cracks in sidewalks or pavements a tripping hazard?
- Is there adequate lighting for parking lots after dark?
- Are there holes in walking areas that could cause tripping?
- Is the entrance free from ice during winter?
Of course, there are just a few things to consider. If you know children or the elderly frequent your property—for instance, if you own a church, daycare, or community center—you should take extra precautions to ensure visitors are not injured by hazards on your property.
A Proven Track Record of Success in Personal Injury Cases
If we take on your slip and fall case, we will comprehensively review all pertinent data and bring in any professionals we believe can help you during your recovery and with your case. When you’re with our team, you’re not just a client; here, we treat you like we would our family. We have a stellar success rate, resolving 99% of our cases favorably. With offices in Hartford, Stamford, New Haven, and Shelton, we are available wherever and whenever you need us. Contact us today for a free consultation.