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Business and residential property owners in Hartford are required to keep their premises well-maintained and safe. Unfortunately, some property owners do not take this responsibility seriously and safety standards are not always met.

Under Connecticut law, property owners may be held responsible for accidents and injuries that occur on their premises. Accident victims can pursue fast compensation for their losses by filing a premises liability claim or lawsuit.

Premises liability claims can be complex and challenging to navigate alone. This article will provide insights from Hartford legal professionals on Connecticut premises liability laws. It will also discuss how these laws may affect your claim.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is one category of personal injury claims. A premises liability claim arises when a person is harmed due to a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property.

As with most personal injury claims, premises liability cases are based on negligence. The accident victim will need to act fast to gather proof that the property owner was negligent. The evidence must show that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the property.

The following are some of the many types of premises liability claims that may be filed in Hartford.

Connecticut slip-and-fall accidents

Slip-and-fall accidents are the cause of over 8 million emergency room visits annually across the United States.

The following are some reasons why Connecticut slip-and-fall accidents may occur:

  • Spilled liquids
  • Broken or uneven stairs
  • Worn rugs or carpets
  • Cracks or potholes in parking lots and sidewalks
  • Accumulation of snow or ice
  • Defective, broken, or missing handrails
  • Wires, cables, or other debris in the walkway
  • Lack of lighting or inadequate lighting

Dog bites

Dog bites and attacks may leave victims with severe physical injuries as well as emotional and psychological trauma. If you were injured by a dog in Hartford, you can file a claim to hold the owner responsible for the damages you have suffered.

Connecticut’s dog bite statute makes the owner or keeper of the dog strictly liable for any harm the animal causes. The only exceptions to this law are if the dog bite victim was (1) trespassing on the owner’s property or (2) abusing the animal. However, these exceptions don’t apply if the animal attack victim is under 7 years of age.

If you or a family member has been harmed by someone else’s animal, contact a Hartford personal injury accident lawyer as fast as possible so you can be advised on how to proceed and file your claim on time.

Construction site accidents

Construction companies, employees, contractors, and property owners all have an obligation to ensure the public is safe. Construction sites need to be properly marked to make pedestrians aware of the potential hazards present.

In addition to posting warning signs, construction companies should ensure that all heavy equipment and tools are secured. Responsible parties must also ensure all safety policies and procedures are enforced and followed.

If safety standards were not followed, and you were injured in or near the construction zone, you may have the right to financial compensation. A Hartford personal injury attorney from our law firm can work fast to examine your case and let you know whether you have a valid claim.

Proving Fault in Hartford Premises Liability Cases

Getting injured on somebody else’s property does not mean you automatically have a premises liability case on your hands.

A valid Hartford personal injury case must have the following elements of negligence present:

  • Duty of care: For your premises liability claim to be successful, you must prove the defendant owned, leased, or occupied the property where you were injured. This shows how the party is legally liable for injuries that occur on their property which occurred due to poor maintenance or hazards left alone for too long.
  • Breach of duty: You and your personal injury attorney will need to prove that the owner of the property breached duty of care. This can be done by presenting evidence that dangerous conditions existed on the property and the owner knew about the hazard but still failed to act.
  • Causation: Your personal injury lawyer will also need to take fast action to gather evidence showing that your injuries were a direct result of the property owner’s breach of duty.
  • Damages: Your personal injury attorney will have to provide evidence of damages you have suffered because of the premises liability accident. This may include compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

Invitee, Licensee, and Trespasser Roles in Hartford Premises Liability Cases

The duty of care that Hartford property owners owe individuals is based on the status of the individual who was injured. Under Connecticut premises liability law, there are 3 categories of property visitors: licensee, invitee, and trespasser. Each is owed a different level of duty of care by land, home, and business owners.

Invitee

Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care. Connecticut premises liability law states that landowners have a responsibility to inspect their property and fix or give warning of any known defects – primarily for the sake of invitees.

Examples of invitees include:

  • Friends or family members you invite to your home
  • Customers at a restaurant, store, gas station, or other public establishment
  • Patients at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other medical facilities
  • Ticket holders at a cinema, arena, or theater
  • Passengers on an airline, bus, or train

Licensee

Connecticut premises liability laws also state that owners and occupiers of property have a responsibility toward licensees. A licensee is a person who enters a property with express or implied permission.

Examples of licensees are:

  • Friends or family members who come to your home without an invitation
  • Door-to-door salesmen
  • Delivery drivers

Trespasser

A trespasser is someone who enters someone else’s property without consent.

Connecticut has set the following laws in place regarding owners of property and trespassers:

  • A landowner cannot intentionally harm someone who is trespassing nor set a trap for him or her
  • Property owners do not have a duty to warn trespassers of dangerous conditions
  • The trespasser is not owed a duty of care regarding the condition of the property
  • The trespasser is entitled to a duty of care once his presence is known
  • Children are owed a duty of care whether or not they are considered to be trespassers

How Connecticut’s Comparative Negligence Laws Affect Your Premises Liability Case

Connecticut’s modified comparative negligence laws state that if you are found partially responsible for your own injury, the damages you are entitled to recover shall be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.

For example, if you were injured on someone else’s property and owed $10,000 but found to be 25 percent to blame for the accident, you will receive $7,500 in compensation. If you were over 50 percent at fault, you would not be able to recover any damages at all.

How Defendants Attempt to Establish Comparative Negligence in Hartford Premises Liability Cases

To recover the amount of damages owed, a property owner may try to prove that you were acting irresponsibly or recklessly on the property.

Defendants sometimes argue that you, as the property visitor, were:

  • Distracted and not paying attention when the accident occurred
  • Somewhere on the property where you did not have permission to enter
  • Ignoring warnings about dangerous conditions
  • Ignoring the risks of a clearly visible property hazard
  • Wearing inappropriate footwear (in cases of slip-and-fall accidents)

If your premises liability accident case goes to trial, the courts will have the right to decide who is responsible for the incident and how much liability each party shares. If you are found to share blame for the accident with the property owner, your compensation will be adjusted accordingly.

For this reason, you need to have a fast-working accident attorney on your side, looking out for your best interest. The experienced personal injury lawyers at our law firm know how to act fast to defend your rights and minimize your role in the accident.

Statute of Limitations on Hartford Premises Liability Accident Cases

A statute of limitations is the length of time you have to file a premises liability or other type of personal injury case. After the statute of limitations has passed, you will not have the right to take legal action for the accident and your injuries.

In the majority of cases, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Connecticut is 2 years from the date of the accident. This means you have 2 years from when you were injured to file a premises liability claim against the property owner responsible for your accident.

While 2 years may seem like a long time to seek compensation, it is recommended that you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as fast as possible after your accident. Retaining the services of a personal injury attorney well in advance allows your attorney time to thoroughly investigate your case before essential evidence is lost or destroyed.

Benefits of Hiring a Hartford Personal Injury Lawyer Following a Premises Liability Accident

Premises liability accidents are some of the most stressful and complex personal injury cases. A personal injury attorney can be an invaluable resource in helping you recover proper compensation.

Consider some of the many benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer after your premises liability accident.

Collecting evidence

As the one filing the premises liability claim, you carry the burden of proof. This means that you have to provide evidence that the actions of the property owner led to your injuries.

When you hire a personal injury attorney, you will not have to worry about collecting evidence on your own. After taking on your case, your personal injury lawyer will work fast to gather the evidence needed to support your accident claim.

Examples of evidence personal injury attorneys collect for premises liability claims include:

  • Security video footage
  • Police accident reports
  • Maintenance records
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Safety inspection reports

Determining liability

To recover compensation, you must establish negligence and identify who was liable for your accident. In some situations, multiple parties may be responsible for a slip-and-fall or another premises liability accident.

In addition to the property owner, one or more of the following parties could be liable for damages:

  • Property management companies
  • Security companies
  • Government entities (responsible for maintaining parks and other public areas)
  • Transit companies (responsible for maintaining bus stops, subway stations, and more)

Negotiating a fair settlement

The property owner’s insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement that is far less than what your claim is worth. If you are injured, you may have medical bills piling up and could be unable to return to work during your recovery. In this financial situation, you might be tempted to take the first offer the insurance company makes.

At Gould Injury Law, we understand that, after being injured in a personal injury accident, you need maximum compensation for your losses – and fast. When you have the personal injury attorneys at our law firm on your side, we work fast to get you the money you need to move forward with your life.

Our team of personal injury lawyers are skilled negotiators. We can handle all communication with the insurance companies on your behalf and make sure no money is left on the table.

Representing you in court

While the majority of premises liability accident cases in Connecticut are settled by out-of-court negotiations, sometimes a fair settlement cannot be reached. If this is your situation, your personal injury lawyer will likely recommend filing a lawsuit.

You want to choose a personal injury law firm that is not afraid to go to trial if needed. Your personal injury attorney at Gould Injury Law can file the necessary documents, prepare evidence to support your case, and present the evidence before the court – all on your behalf while you focus on yourself and your family.

Contact “The Fast Firm” Today

It is easy to become overwhelmed after sustaining a severe injury in a premises liability accident. You may be recovering from your injuries, taking care of your family members, and concerned about paying your bills. The last thing you should have to worry about is filing a premises liability accident case.

The legal team at Gould Injury Law is here to support you and your family. Let us use our experience and knowledge of premises liability and Connecticut law to your advantage. Our personal injury attorneys will act fast to file your claim while you focus on healing from your injuries.

Our law firm accepts premises liability on a contingency fee basis. You do not pay any upfront costs or fees. To schedule a free case review, call us at 888-WIN-FAST or complete the contact form.