Premises Liability Claims Lawyers – Personal Injury
Slips, Falls, and Other Premises Liability Claims
The attorneys at Jackson O’Keefe represent men and women throughout Connecticut who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence.
Premises liability law involves the legal responsibilities of property owners and occupiers to prevent injuries to persons on their property. One of the most common causes of such injuries is a trip or slip and fall, such as on an icy sidewalk, a loose or uneven stair tread, or a piece of debris or spilled liquid on the floor. An experienced personal injury lawyer at Jackson O’Keefe in Connecticut can evaluate your claim and help you recover damages for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
Premises Liability: General Principles
Some states’ premises liability laws focus on the status of the visitor to the property. In such states, the injured person is generally defined as an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser.
- An invitee is someone who is expressly or impliedly invited onto the property of another. The owner owes the invitee the highest duty of care, which includes taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the invitee’s safety.
- A licensee, by contrast, enters the property for his or her own purposes but is present at the consent of the owner. The owner is required to warn a licensee of hidden dangers, but is not necessarily required to fix them.
- A trespasser enters the property without any right whatsoever to do so. Even if a person was trespassing at the time of his or her injury, he or she may still be able to recover, however, if he or she can show that the owner knew it was likely that trespassers would enter the property.
Children are owed a higher duty of care, regardless of whether they are considered trespassers. A landowner’s duty to warn is also heightened with respect to children.
In states where consideration is given to the condition of the property and the activities of the owner and visitor, a uniform is applied to both invitees and licensees. This uniform standard requires the exercise of reasonable care for the safety of visitors other than trespassers.
Proving Owners’ Liability in Premises Liability Cases
In proving a premises liability case, an injured person must show that the standard of reasonableness required by an owner has not been met. Perhaps the most difficult element an injured person must prove is the owner’s knowledge of the condition causing his or her injury. The injured person must prove that the owner knew or should have known the condition in order for liability to attach, which is often quite often difficult to establish.
Defenses to Liability in Premises Liability Cases
A commonly applied theory to limit an injured person’s recovery is comparative or contributory fault. A visitor has a duty, in most cases, to exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety, and when that degree of care is not exercised.
In the cases where a person’s injuries are the result of slipping on an icy sidewalk in front of a business or a food item that has fallen on a grocery store floor, the property owner may or may not be liable for the person’s injuries. Although property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to maintain the premises in such a way to prevent injuries to lawful visitors. If a condition of the premises is noticed by a customer or other visitor or should be readily apparent, the property owner may avoid liability.
The plaintiff in a slip and fall case, whether it occurs in a grocery store or elsewhere, must show that the owner had a reasonable period of time in which to discover the dangerous condition and in which to remedy it. The determination of what constitutes a reasonable time will vary from case to case.
Even common accidents such as slips and falls can present complex legal issues and complicated questions of both fact and law. Accordingly, if you have been injured in a premises-related accident, an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney at Jackson O’Keefe, LLP, is in an excellent position to advise you on your rights and work with you to pursue a favorable outcome.
Contact the firm for a confidential consultation to discuss your personal injury claim.