Premises Liability

Connecticut Premises Liability Lawyers – Kocian Law Group

If you’ve been seriously injured on someone else’s property, you may wonder what you can do about it.  Property owners, both commercial and residential, have a duty to keep their premises reasonably safe. If you suffer injury because a property owner failed to live up to this duty, you have the legal right to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury. Kocian Law Group can help.

The experienced Connecticut premises liability attorneys at Kocian Law Group can help you determine the extent of the property owner’s liability and the extent of your damages.  Because premises liability cases can be complicated, you need a competent, experienced firm to handle your claim.

Causes of Premises Liability-Related Injuries

Some common defects that exist on unsafe properties include:

  • Dangers arising from failure to maintain the property
  • Broken walkways
  • Snow and ice accumulation
  • Inadequate security
  • Broken or damaged structures, such as stairways, porches and steps
  • Lack of safety features, like guardrails for high balconies
  • Unsound structures that collapse
  • Fire and explosions
  • Aggressive dogs
  • Precariously-placed objects that fall and injure residents

Premises Liability on Rental Property

When an injury occurs on a rental property, the party or parties responsible for the injury and the care of the property may be the landlord, the tenant, or both. Who is responsible in a particular case depends on many factors, including where on the property the injury occurred, who was injured, and whether any lease or rental agreement assigns duties to maintain certain portions of the property.

On rented property, leases may specify what items a landowner or tenant is responsible for maintaining.  For instance, in a shared residential building like an apartment, the property owner will be responsible for the “common” areas of the property, such as entranceways used by multiple tenants, hallways, commonly-used stairways, and other areas “common” to multiple users.

Another important factor in premises liability claims is who maintains “control” over the property. Because the party with control is often the party with a duty to maintain reasonably safe premises, establishing “control” is often necessary to assert a claim for negligence.

Finally, whether the property owner had notice of the defect or dangerous condition may also affect a premises liability case. If you have previously complained to a landlord or the landlord’s onsite representative of a defect, and no action or inadequate action was taken, you may have a case.

Injuries That Occur in Supermarkets

When a slip and fall or other premises-related injury occurs in a supermarket, an injured person may not need to show that the supermarket had notice of the condition that caused injury.

In Kelly v. Stop and Shop, the Connecticut Supreme Court adopted the “Mode of Operation” rule. This rule says that when a customer is injured by a dangerous condition on a business’s premises, the customer may recover damages without proving that the business knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. However, the rule applies only if:

  • the business’s chosen mode of operation created a foreseeable risk that the dangerous condition will occur regularly, and
  • the business fails to take reasonable measures to discover and remove the condition.

Here’s an example of the Kelly v. Stop and Shop rule in action. Suppose that a supermarket offers a self-service salad bar, where customers may assemble their own salads from a variety of vegetables, toppings, and dressings. The self-serve salad bar is a “mode of operation” that creates a foreseeable risk that customers will spill food on the floor and that other customers may slip and fall on the spills. Therefore, the supermarket has a responsibility to watch for such spills and promptly clean them up. If a customer is injured in a slip and fall on a salad-bar spill, the customer may not have to establish that the supermarket knew about the particular spill, because the supermarket already has knowledge and notice that salad bars can lead to food spills. In this way, the Kelly v. Stop & Shop case has been very helpful to injured claimants in establishing liability in supermarket slip and fall claims. If you are injured in such an area, you may have a strong case.

Experienced Representation in Connecticut Slip and Fall Claims

Each Connecticut premises liability case presents a number of legal factors.  Our experienced law firm can assist you with in the preparation and prosecution of your premises liability case. Contact the Kocian Law Group for assistance.