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.
The very first question that comes to mind in a premises liability case is who created the hazardous or unsafe condition which resulted in harm, and what obligations that person or persons had to ensure that the premises were maintained free of the hazardous condition? The answer in most cases is that it depends on the situation.