This is the next post in a series of articles discussing slip and fall accidents in Hartford, Connecticut. Our previous post provided an overview of the topics to be discussed throughout this series. It also stressed the importance of retaining an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in such matters. Slip and fall cases are highly fact-specific and a law firm handling your case must be knowledgeable about the applicable laws, rules, and regulations. They must also have the skills and resources necessary to negotiate favorable settlement terms or litigate the case on your behalf. In this article, we will discuss when a property owner may be held liable for a slip and fall accident that occurs on their premises. If you have been injured in an accident, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
Owners and operators of commercial property have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition. A person who is injured as a result of a dangerous condition may be entitled to seek compensation for damages. Recovering compensation requires proving that the owner or operator failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the accident. In such situations, the victim may be entitled to compensation due to the owner’s negligence. What constitutes “reasonable steps” by an owner will depend on the specific facts of the case. For instance, industry standards or laws requiring cleaning or maintenance of properties will differ for property types such as grocery stores, banks, or factories. A person injured on commercial premises is not, therefore, automatically entitled to damages. In all cases, the victim must prove that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to keep the property safe and the resulting hazardous condition led to the accident.
Consider the following examples. A convenience store owner has a policy that restrooms must be checked for safety issues, such as wet floors, two times every hour. Each bathroom check must be noted on their safety log. A patron falls due to wet conditions in the restroom and is injured. If the clerks followed their safety policy and regular checks were conducted on the day of the incident, the owner or operator of the store may not be considered negligent in their duties. The victim, who bears the burden of proving that the defendant failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the hazardous condition, may have a difficult time doing so. If, however, the injured party can demonstrate that no one checked the restrooms for several hours prior to the incident, the store’s failure to comply with its own policies and safety regulations may result in the owner being held responsible.
Slip and fall cases are highly fact-specific. How the court will rule in any given matter will depend upon the circumstances of each case. Our Hartford attorneys have the experience necessary to help victims of slip and fall accidents and are ready to assist you. We also serve the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, West and East Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.