Slip and fall laws in Connecticut are designed to give injured parties the right to file a lawsuit to receive compensation from a negligent property owner or manager.
If you slip, trip, or fall on someone else’s property in the state, you may experience serious injuries, which impact your life in many ways. Because this type of accident and the resulting injuries can cause long-term damage and the inability to return to work, it makes sense that you would want to file a legal claim to receive compensation. This is particularly true if your accident occurred because of someone’s negligence.
After a slip and fall incident, you have an important decision: Do you seek compensation from the property owner or operator? It’s important to note that if you move forward and file a lawsuit, you must have the required evidence to prove that another party was responsible for your accident and injuries.
Because this can be complex, especially when you are trying to recover from an injury, it’s recommended that you utilize the services of an experienced legal team. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we understand Connecticut slip and fall laws and can help gather evidence and prove negligence. We will work to ensure you receive the maximum compensation possible for your accident and injuries.
Two Important Laws Related to Connecticut Slip and Fall Claims
Several laws must be considered when filing a slip and fall claim. However, there are two that are going to impact any lawsuit you file related to this incident. These include the following:
- Comparative negligence: This rule limits your rights to receive monetary compensation if you are found partly liable for your accident.
- Statute of limitations: This is the set amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after being involved in a slip and fall accident.
While other laws must be considered, these are two of the most important ones you must understand before filing a lawsuit.
These laws, and others used by the state of Connecticut to regulate slip and fall accident claims, are described and explained in further detail below.
Comparative Negligence and How it Applies to Connecticut Slip and Fall Cases
It isn’t unusual for a slip-and-fall victim to be partly at fault for the incident that injures them. Think about it, people are constantly on their phones, looking down, and distracted by countless other things. If they aren’t paying attention, they can be held partly responsible for the incident.
This is when Connecticut’s comparative negligence law comes into play.
According to this law, your settlement amount can be reduced by your percentage of fault. The official name of this law is “modified comparative negligence.” If your percentage of fault is too high, then you will be barred from recovering any compensation.
You can be assigned a liability of up to 50% and still receive compensation. However, if your percentage of fault is 51% or higher, no compensation will be awarded.
Here’s an example:
- Tom was visiting a friend’s house when he tripped and fell on his deck due to a broken board. However, Tom was also looking at a text message on his phone when the accident occurred. It is determined that because of his negligence in the situation, Tom is 25% at-fault for the accident and the resulting injuries and damages. When a settlement is reached, Tom’s full award is $100,000. However, since he was found partially at fault for the incident, the award is reduced by 25%, which means Tom’s final settlement award is $75,000.
With the example above, Tom’s total recovery is reduced by his percentage of fault. If his percentage of fault was 51%, he would receive nothing in terms of damages.
Comparative negligence rules are still used even when a slip-and-fall accident case does not make it to trial, and no lawsuit is officially filed for the incident. During negotiations between the injured party’s attorney and the insurance company for the property owner, this will be factored into what is offered.
Because your claim can be reduced, it’s important to have a strong case against the property owner, which is something that our legal team can help with.
Statute of Limitations in Connecticut Slip and Fall Cases
The statute of limitations is a law that limits how much time you have to file a lawsuit in the civil court system.
In Connecticut, the amount of time you have depends on the type of personal injury claim you file. For slip and fall incidents, Connecticut statutes state that you have two years from when the incident occurred to file a claim.
If you fail to file a claim within the stated time limit, you will lose the right to do so. While some exceptions exist, they are rare, which is why hiring an attorney immediately after an incident is recommended. Your attorney will ensure you meet these important deadlines.
The exceptions to the two-year time limit for slip and fall cases are in medical cases. In this situation, you have two years from when you first discovered your injury.
Steps to Take After a Slip and Fall Accident in Connecticut
Knowing Connecticut’s slip and fall laws is essential if you want to protect your rights after slipping and falling on someone’s property. However, you also need to take the right steps after the incident. Some of the steps to take after this type of accident include the following:
- Report the incident to the property manager or police. You need an official report of the slip and fall accident. To get this, you must report it to the property owner, manager, or the authorities. Don’t wait to do this. Ideally, you will handle this report before leaving the site of the accident.
- Document everything about the accident scene possible. After an accident, if possible, document as much as you can about the scene. Take pictures of videos of where the accident occurred, what hazard caused it, and any visible injuries you sustained. It’s also smart to get contact information from anyone who witnessed what happened. If possible, write down everything you remember as soon as possible since most people’s memories will fade as time passes.
- Seek medical treatment. Don’t wait to get evaluated by a doctor. Sometimes, injuries are hidden and take days, weeks, or longer to show symptoms. If this happens and you wait to get medical treatment, it may result in the situation getting worse. Additionally, by seeking medical treatment immediately, you can feel confident that you will have a report that includes all your injuries and the recommended treatment. This will be beneficial when it comes to filing a slip and fall accident claim.
Remember, if you wait too long to seek medical attention, the insurance company for the property owner or manager may claim that the incident did not occur on their property or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. This is done to try to reduce or eliminate the compensation you receive for your damages and injuries.
Common Injuries in Connecticut Slip and Fall Accidents
The injuries seen after a slip-and-fall accident depend on what happens and where the incident occurs.
While this is true, some injuries are more common than others. Some of the most common injuries seen in these situations include the following:
It isn’t unusual to experience broken bones after a slip-and-fall accident. This is particularly true for older accident victims who have osteoporosis.
If the fall causes enough pressure or excess force on the bones, they can fracture. Several parts of the body are susceptible to broken bones in a slip and fall accident which include the following:
- Fractured ribs
- Hip fractures
- Broken legs
- Broken arms
- Broken wrists
Broken and fractured bones are usually restrictive and painful. They may also have a long recovery period.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
It’s possible to sustain a TBI in a slip-and-fall accident, even if your head doesn’t strike the ground. If your brain is jolted, even without an impact, serious harm may occur. TBIs can be extremely dangerous after slips and falls because the severity of the injury may not be immediately known.
If TBIs aren’t identified and treated, you may experience secondary injuries. These are often more serious than the initial trauma to your brain. If TBIs aren’t treated, you may continue to experience pain for several months. Working with a specialist to identify and evaluate a TBI injury may be necessary.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Even if a fall victim doesn’t experience a broken bone, they may sustain painful and serious harm to their body’s soft tissues. These injuries occur in areas of your body that are not internal organs or bones, such as your tendons, muscles, and ligaments.
Some symptoms of soft tissue injuries after a slip and fall accident include bruising, pain, swelling, and long-term tissue damage.
Sprained Wrists or Ankles
When you are in a slip-and-fall accident, you may take an uneven or unusual step. You may try to brace yourself and prevent a “hard” fall by extending your arms. Unfortunately, if you do this, the ligaments in your ankles and wrists may tear during the fall, which can cause a strain or sprain. Since ligaments in your body don’t get much blood flow, strains and sprains often take a long time to heal.
While these injuries may not seem too serious (especially compared to the others on this list), wrist or ankle injuries may impact your life in major ways. For example, these injuries can make it hard to get dressed, cook, and even do your job in some situations.
When you slip and fall, you may twist your knee when you “go down.” You may also fall hard on your knees, which can cause damage.
If the fall injures your ACL or MCL, it may take a long time to heal fully.
Along with ligament tears, it’s possible to dislocate your patella, too. If this happens, you may need knee reconstruction surgery.
An unexpected fall can cause you to land on your shoulder or even hit something as you fall to the ground. It can cause shoulder dislocation. This injury occurs when your upper arm bone pops out of the socket in the shoulder blade.
The shoulder is the most mobile joint in your body, making it more susceptible to dislocation during a slip-and-fall accident.
Nerve and Spine Damage
Experiencing a back injury after a slip and fall isn’t unusual; however, it can cause serious and lasting damage to your body. Cases of nerve and spinal damage can cause:
- Intense pain
- Paralysis (in severe situations)
Many spinal cord injuries are considered catastrophic because they can cause permanent damage that impacts a person’s lifestyle. If this occurs after a slip and fall accident, it may be possible to recover compensation for current and future medical care.
Bruises and Cuts
Bruises and cuts can result from internal or external damage when you fall. While these injuries may not seem serious, disfigurement is a significant loss. Be sure to take photos of any bruises and cuts you sustain since these may heal faster than other injuries.
Let Our Legal Team Help with Your Slip and Fall Accident
When you are involved in a slip-and-fall accident, it’s important to seek legal advice early in the process. Our legal team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can investigate your case and gather any related evidence.
You can count on us to fight aggressively to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
The first step is to call our office and schedule a free initial consultation.