Premises Liability

Premises Liability or “Slip and Fall” Claims

The “premises liability” legal category encompasses a broad array of claims that can be filed against stores, restaurants, nursing homes and private or public entities that own or control the property.

If you have ever slipped and fell at a business or sustained any kind of injury due to the defective or poor condition of someone else’s property, you may be entitled to receive compensation through a premises liability claim. A premises liability claim holds a property owner responsible for any damages sustained while at his/her property. In Connecticut and all other states, property owners are required to maintain their premises to ensure a safe environment.  Like other personal injury claims, such as auto accidents, dog bite injuries and defective products, premises liability claims are typically based on someone else’s negligence.

Please note, just because you are injured at someone else’s property does not mean you are entitled to compensation. The owner must be proven negligent of maintaining a safe environment for visitors and knowingly did not take the proper steps to correct it.

Types of Common Premises Liability Cases

  • Dog attacks
  • Elevator and escalator defects
  • Fire
  • Food poisoning
  • Inadequate security    
  • Porch and stair collapse 
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Snow and ice accidents
  • Swimming pool accidents

Specialized, experienced legal services in Connecticut

We are legal specialists in Fairfield County, CT who focus solely on personal injury law, including premises cases.

And although we work for individuals rather than insurance companies, we have extensive experience working on the insurance side of personal injury claims. Most importantly, we understand what it takes to build the strongest cases for our clients, and we are committed and effective in helping our clients obtain the maximum compensation for injuries from slip-and-fall incidents and other premises liability cases. We work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no cost to you unless we have succeeded in making a recovery for you.

What to do after a slip-and-fall incident

Every case is different, but here are a few guidelines that generally apply to slip-and-fall incidents:

  • Report the incident. Immediately report the incident to the person in charge where it occurred. This could be the store manager, landlord or homeowner. It is critical to get the details of the accident in writing.
  • Get a copy of any incident report. If you fell in a business or on a rental property, the manager or landlord should create a report of the accident. If possible, obtain a copy of any incident report before leaving the scene.
  • Avoid arguments. If you slip, or trip and fall on a homeowner’s property, limit talking to them as much as possible. You can tell them you fell, but don’t get emotional or angry. Avoid arguing and focus on getting treatment for your injuries.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible. Aside from the obvious reasons for doing this, it will provide important documentation for your injuries. It’s also important to follow your doctor’s orders for treatment. As with other personal injury claims, waiting to seek medical attention can hurt your case.
  • Take notes and photos. Take notes of any conditions, the time of the accident and any other relevant information. Take photos of your own injuries if visible, the exact location where you fell, and of any conditions that may have contributed to or caused the incident. These photos are particularly important to determine who’s to blame (depending on who owns the property) and the condition that caused your injuries. For example, a homeowner could shovel and salt his or her sidewalk a few hours after your slip-and-fall accident; if there are no photos proving that the sidewalk was untreated at the time of your accident, it can be hard to prove why you fell.
  • Obtain witnesses’ contact information. Collect the names, addresses and phone numbers of any witnesses.
  • Store your shoes and clothing. Place the shoes and clothing that you were wearing at the time of the accident in a safe storage place. These items may be used for evidence.
  • Limit communication at the scene of the accident. It’s important to remain calm and not point fingers after the accident. Again, do not admit fault or place blame until you have consulted with your attorney.

How to Prove a Premises Liability Claim in Connecticut

As a property owner, landlord, business owner, etc., it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your property’s conditions are safe for the public. To receive compensation for a premises liability claim in Connecticut, you must prove that the property owner had knowledge of the poor or dangerous condition that caused the accident and knowingly did not rectify it. This can make premises liability claims exceptionally challenging to prove, and another reason why it is critical to partner with a skilled personal injury attorney.

If the injured party is not proven responsible for more than 51% for their injuries, it is possible to recover monetary damages when someone else’s negligence resulted in injury.

As outlined by Connecticut General Statutes 52-584, in most instances, your personal injury lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date you suffered the injury. If you fail to file a lawsuit within this timeframe, you may lose your right to seek financial compensation.

Compensation for Premises Liability

There are two types of categories that a premises liability claim in Connecticut can fall into, economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include financial losses due to the result of the accident (i.e. medical bills). Non-economic damages include compensation for long-term pain and suffering, future lost wages and medical expenses, mental trauma, etc.

In certain premises liability cases in Connecticut, a victim may be entitled to punitive damages, or damages that are considered to be “punishment” and awarded at the court’s discretion when the defendant’s actions were found to be extremely reckless or negligent.

If you or a family member has been involved in a premises liability accident, the best step you can take is to secure the representation of a skilled, experienced personal injury attorney.

Contact us

Premises liability claims are often complex, requiring a lot of documentation and paperwork. To receive maximum compensation, it is best to hire an expert in the field to prove your case and receive what you are rightfully owed. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 203-259-5400 or contact us online.

Receive a free case evaluation from a Fairfield, CT Lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few questions that we’re often asked regarding premises liability claims:

  • I fell at a business and the manager wants me to fill out or sign some paperwork related to the incident. What should I do? You should report the incident to the manager as soon as possible after the incident, and you should request that the manager document your injury by preparing an incident report. However, incident reports sometimes are worded in a way that minimizes the legal responsibility of the business in question. Therefore, if you are not sure about the questions or what your answer should be, you should decline filling out or signing an incident report. Instead, get the names and titles of all store employees you reported the incident to, and all witnesses who saw the incident or the aftermath. Also, save any receipts obtained if you completed a purchase. If you do fill out or sign an incident report, get a copy before leaving the premises.
  • Does my reason for being on the property where the incident occurred affect my rights in a claim for damages? Yes. Connecticut law defines different groups of individuals who are on a property: They may be classified as invitees, licensees, or trespassers. Property owners have different legal obligations to each group. Your legal classification may depend on facts unique to your claim.
  • How long do I have to pursue a claim for injuries sustained in a premises liability case or a slip-and-fall incident? In general, the Connecticut statute of limitations (the time in which you can file a lawsuit) is two years from the date of an incident that occurs on private property.
  • Are the rules different if I am suing the city for an injury resulting from a defect in a public sidewalk or in a public building? Yes. If you are suing a city, state or other government agency, the defect must meet specific standards. Otherwise, governmental immunity may bar your claim. Also, unlike claims against private entities, you are required to provide a specific, detailed notice of your claim within a relatively short time after the incident. Therefore, immediate action is essential.
  • Should I take photographs of my injuries and the accident scene? As long as it is possible and safe to do so, you should take photographs. Physical evidence of a claim may fade, disappear or be altered over time. You should take steps to preserve evidence.
  • I was attacked in a parking lot of an apartment complex. Is this considered to be a premises security issue due to lack of security present? This is often a complicated question we receive regarding premises liability. The short answer is if this type of assault has happened in the past before and the apartment complex owner or landlord knew about the inefficient security issue, then you may have a premises liability case. It is best to consult with an attorney so they can give you legal guidance on your specific case.

Case Studies

Here are a few of the cases that we have handled:

  • Grocery store injury | $1,875,000 recovery. A 49-year-old woman developed complex regional pain syndrome after her ankle was struck by a shopping cart being pushed by a grocery store employee. 
  • Parking lot injury | $425,000 recovery. A Greenwich man sustained multiple fractures following a fall in defectively designed parking lot.
  • Fall in a nursing home | $140,000 recovery after judicial mediation. As a result of an employee’s failure to warn of recent floor mopping, a 55-year-old woman sustained a torn rotator cuff when she fell while visiting in a nursing home.