If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by an unsafe condition on commercial or private property, your case falls under the heading of Premises Liability Law. It is an intimidating name, but the principle behind it is simple: Connecticut law states that property owners have a basic responsibility to make sure all buildings and grounds are safe for a person who enters the property for a lawful, reasonable purpose. If a safety hazard develops, the property owner must give clear and adequate warning of the danger to all visitors. If your injury resulted from a property owner’s failure to meet these legal obligations, learn about your rights by consulting with a premises liability attorney. Bridgeport offers many options, but it is important to work with a lawyer who is familiar with cases like yours.
What Are the Types of Premises Liability Cases?
Many different types of injuries occur as a result of unsafe property conditions. The responsible party may be the property owner, a designated resident (for example, the renter of a house), the manufacturer of defective equipment, or some combination of all of these. Most premises liability cases fall under one of these general headings:
- Failure to repair damage that creates an unsafe condition, such as sidewalk uplift
- Attacks by aggressive pets, resulting in bite and scratch injuries
- Slips and falls caused by ice, oil slicks, unmarked wet floors, or tripping hazards
- Failure to adequately protect visitors to commercial properties from crime
- Accidents caused by recreational amenities like swimming pools and trampolines
What Are the Responsibilities of the Property Owner and Visitor?
Connecticut requires property owners to show “reasonable care” for their properties. Property owners are expected to pay attention to the condition of buildings and grounds and make all necessary repairs in a timely manner. If any condition poses a danger for visitors and repair is not immediately possible, the owner must make every effort to clearly mark the hazard in a way that is visible from a safe distance. However, an exception is made if the property owner did not have time to discover the danger, as when a sidewalk rupture occurs in the middle of the night.
A lawful visitor to the property also has some basic responsibilities. He or she is expected to heed safety warnings when they are clearly visible and easy to understand.
Who Is Responsible for Compensating the Injured Person?
In Connecticut, premises liability cases are decided on the basis of “modified comparative fault.” The basic idea of comparative fault is that if multiple parties are responsible for the accident (for example, the property owner, a tenant, and a contractor), they will all contribute to the compensation of the injured person according to their level of responsibility. The “modified” part of the Connecticut rule means that if collection from any responsible party is impossible, the other parties will pay larger shares so that the victim is fully compensated.
Comparative fault also means that the injured person may bear some of the financial responsibility in the case. For example, if you were injured due to a fall on an uneven sidewalk, but the hazard was marked with cones and orange paint that you didn’t see because you were watching a video on your phone, you may be judged to be 50% responsible for the injury. In that case, if you are entitled to damages of $8,000 for your injuries, you will only receive $4,000 (50%) of that award from the other responsible parties.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Premises Liability Claim?
For most personal injury cases, including premises liability cases, Connecticut has a statute of limitations of two years, meaning that you must file your case within two years after the accident occurs. Speak with attorney Jim Miron today to learn about your rights and begin pursuing the compensation you’re entitled to. Call today, (203) 339-5991, to schedule your free consultation.