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What is negligence in Connecticut premises liability?

Previously, this blog discussed the fact that Connecticut residents who find themselves injured by a dangerous condition while on someone else's property may have a claim for compensation. It was also touched on that it is usually the negligence of the property owner or person responsible for managing the property that gives rise to such a claim. But what exactly is 'negligence' and how would one know if any occurred in relation to a premises liability accident?

The first thing to understand about the term negligence is that it is rooted in the common law; that is, the legal precedent that has passed down through court cases from early English jurisprudence, which still informs some of the legal processes today. As such, much of it can be, and has been, modified by statutes and regulations.

Negligence is often described as an 'objective' standard. What this means is whether the property owner acted like a 'reasonable person' and the events that led to the injury were 'reasonably foreseeable,' rather than what the defendant might have actually been thinking at the time. This can get complicated in certain circumstances, but this is generally seeking to illustrate whether a property owner acted reasonably in a specific situation.

The basic elements of a negligence claim generally show that someone was negligent. For a premises liability claim, this means that the property owner owed a duty to the injured party, the property owner breached that duty, the breach of the duty in question was the actual cause of any injury and that the injury was a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant's actions or inaction. In these matters, an injured party will ultimately need to show that there was indeed some damage done by the property owner's alleged negligence.

When an individual is suddenly harmed due to dangerous conditions on private or public property, he or she could suffer greatly. Because of this, it is important that victims understand that they could hold a negligent property owner responsible for the injuries and damages suffered due to the negligence that led to his or her injuries.

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