This blog has previously discussed a few topics with regard to Connecticut premises liability law. In February we took a look at a very basic thumbnail sketch of the common-law format of negligence cases, and in January we touched on the basic statuses that a person who is on someone else's property may have. It turns out that these two concepts are related in terms of cases involving premises liability.
A month or so ago on this blog we discussed the various types of status a person may have when he or she has been injured on the property of another. This status can affect the duty a premises owner has to the individual with regard to risks on the property. This week, we'll take a brief look at one aspect of premises liability in cases involving invitees to a property. You may recall that an "invitee" is a person who is present on a property for the benefit of the owner or for their mutual benefit. This covers nearly all commercial transactions that occur in brick-and-mortar businesses. The aspect we will look at is called the "mode of operation rule."
Readers of this blog may remember that in the past we have discussed the basic tenets of negligence law as provided by the common law. This week, we will look into the concept of to whom a property owner owes a duty.
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?
There are many ways a Bridgeport resident could accidentally injure him or herself these days. Whether involved in a car accident, receiving sub-par medical care or the victim of a slip-and-fall accident at a local business, the potential accident injuries are everywhere. But what if the incident causing injuries isn't at accident at all? What if the incident, such as a slip and fall, is due to the negligence of a storeowner?
A premises liability case is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought by a party that sustained an injury due to an unsafe condition on a property. An unsafe condition could be anything from deteriorating infrastructure to inadequate lighting. The property could be that of a business or an individual.
Accidents and injuries happen when one least expects them. For instance, one could be shopping at the mall and may slip and fall because the floor was wet and the shop owner failed to warn patrons of the wet floor or spot. Or a person could be visiting a friend and their dog may bite without provocation. Or one may lose their balance on a stairwell because the railing was in disrepair. All these incidents can result in serious injuries and are examples of premises liability cases.
People who are landlords have a responsibility to ensure that the premises they own and rent to others does not pose any safety and health issues which could result in injuries to others. Ensuring that their premises are safe goes hand-in-hand with ensuring that the property is properly maintained, and if a safety or health issue has been identified that the necessary repairs have been made.
Generally speaking most people expect the premises they are visiting such as a shopping center, store, restaurants, a friend home or apartment complex to be fairly safe. However, what many people may not realize is that if the property owner fails to take steps to keep their place free of hazardous or dangerous property conditions such as not fixing a broken step, not cleaning up a slippery floor or not addressing known security issues on one's property then that property owner may be liable for any injuries that may result directly because of the hazard the dangerous condition posed.
Connecticut residents may find it interesting to learn that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of injury and are a major cause of workplace injuries. In fact, they account for nearly 15% of all accidents. Furthermore, according to the National Safety County, approximately 25,000 slip, trip and fall accidents happen in the U.S. every day.