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Premises liability and common reasons for slip and falls

| Jan 14, 2021 | Personal Injury

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control show that over a million Americans get injured in slips and falls annually. Slip and fall accidents in Connecticut are a common occurrence any time of the year, but these injuries tend to increase during the winter months. Premises liability law holds property owners responsible for most injuries on their property.

Common causes of slips and falls

Premises liability requires property owners to maintain a reasonable safety standard. Falls can cause long-term medical issues and death in some cases. Several common factors can contribute to a slip and fall because of negligence.

For example, most states don’t require property owners to remove natural snowfall, but some states expect owners to keep adjacent sidewalks reasonably clean. Connecticut requires property owners to keep adjacent walkways and gutters free from accumulation.

A property with poor lighting may cause a person to stumble over holes, curbs or trip on stairs. The owner could be held liable if they knew the property needed extra lighting. Other causes of slip and fall accidents include defective elevators or escalators, slippery floors and attractive nuances that tend to lure children, such as swimming pools.

Proving negligence

A plaintiff has the responsibility of proving negligence of the property owner. To make a case against the defendant, the plaintiff needs to show the owner had the responsibility of the duty of care, they acted negligently and the negligence caused the incident.

Property owners also need to have been aware of the condition in a reasonable time frame. It could be tricky in the case of sidewalks since most cities consider them public property. The court may also consider the status of plaintiffs to assess whether they were expected visitors, contractors or trespassers.

Premises liability may help a plaintiff recover lost wages, but it might be hard to show that the property owner is responsible. An attorney may be able to help the plaintiff get the needed proof.