Connecticut Slip and Fall Attorney
A slip and fall accident is exactly what the name says – a person slipping on or perhaps tripping over something and then falling to the ground. These accidents are quite common in Connecticut and can cause very serious injuries.
When a fall happens due to an unsafe condition on someone else’s property, the victim could be entitled to compensation. A premises liability claim can allow victims to pursue damages from property owners when their negligence causes accidents resulting in injuries.
If you suffered severe injuries in a slip and fall accident anywhere in Connecticut, you need help from an experienced premises liability lawyer so you can have the best chance of recovering all of the compensation you are entitled to. Make sure you contact Kocian Law Group as soon as possible.
Our firm has a record of success that includes $1.95 million recovered in a slip and fall accident. We can help you understand all of your legal options when you call us or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The most common cause of a slip and fall accident is usually some kind of hazardous property condition that a person did not see or was unaware of. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Broken handrails
- Inadequate lighting
- Dirty or debris-covered floors
- Wet, slippery flooring
- Snow and ice
- Potholes, ice, curbs in parking lots
- Torn floor mats
- Stray electrical cords and wires
- Exposed cords
- Cracked or uneven flooring
- Defects in pavement
When a slip and fall accident occurs in a place of business, file a report with a manager or supervisor on duty. Ask for a copy of the report.
If a slip and fall accident happens on private property, avoid getting into any disputes with the property owner. Make sure that you know who the property owner is and then contact a lawyer. Remember that homeowner’s insurance will typically cover slip and fall accidents at a residence, so you should not be concerned about making a claim when the property owner is a friend, neighbor, relative, or other acquaintance.
Property owners in Connecticut may be able to avoid liability through what is commonly referred to as the ongoing storm doctrine. Case law in Connecticut dictates that some property owners may not be liable for accidents arising from weather or other unexpected conditions for which the property owner was neither aware of nor had time to correct a dangerous condition.
Common Places Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur
Some of the most common locations that people are harmed in slip and fall accidents in include:
- Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
- Department Stores
- Discount Stores or “Big Box” Retailers
- Stadiums and Arenas
- Parking Lots
- Nursing Homes
- Amusement Parks
- Apartment Complexes
- Private Homes
- Escalators and Elevators
- Parks and Playgrounds
- Small Businesses
The list above is my no means all-inclusive. There are a variety of other public and private places where slip and fall accidents can occur.
Another important consideration in slip and fall cases concerns your legal status on another party’s property. Connecticut recognizes three groups of individuals: Invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Invitees are people who are on property by the expressed or implied invitation of the owner and are owed the highest duty of care. Licensees refer to people who are usually on property for their own purposes but generally have permission to be present. A property owner still owes a licensee an obligation to repair or warn them about any known dangerous conditions. Trespassers are individuals who are on property without the permission of the property owner, and they are not owed any duty of care except in rare cases, such as those involving children.
Injuries Caused by Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents may cause a very wide range of injuries. The best-case scenario is a person suffers no harm and is able to get back to their feet and go about their day without any concern. Other more serious falls can lead to a number of different injuries. Insurance companies are not always willing to provide the appropriate amount of compensation in these cases without a fight.
Some insurers will attempt to pay victims far less than what is reasonably expected to treat injuries. The insurance company could offer a lump sum settlement that may sound fairly large, but you need to keep all of your future costs in mind before you accept such an offer. Talk to a lawyer before agreeing to any settlement offer.
Common serious injuries stemming from slip and fall accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Internal organ injuries
- Neck injuries
- Muscle strains
The injuries a person suffers in a slip and fall accident could also prove to be fatal. In such cases, a deceased person’s family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Slip and Fall Claim?
In a slip and fall accident case, a victim who files a lawsuit will have to prove the same four elements central to any negligence claim. Those four requirements are:
- The defendant had a duty of care to the victim to ensure the property was safe and free from hazards.
- The defendant breached that duty of care by not keeping the property safe and free from hazards.
- That breach of duty caused the victim’s injuries.
- Those injuries must have resulted in damages.
Your first concern after any slip and fall accident always needs to be getting medical attention, but taking pictures needs to be a top priority. One of the best ways to prove their slip and fall case is through photographic evidence of the slip and fall accident scene. For this reason, it is important that you take as many pictures as you can of the scene of the accident.
Keep in mind that if your accident occurred in a public place such as a supermarket or other retail establishment, the store will usually remedy the situation very quickly to prevent other people from also being injured. When these corrections are made, all evidence disappears and a slip and fall claim becomes very much a matter of conflicting accounts.
When you are unable to photograph the scene of your accident yourself because of the need for medical care, ask a friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker, or any other person you know to take these measures for you.
How Can a Connecticut Slip and Fall Attorney Help?
One of the first things a lawyer is going to be able to do for you will be to conduct an independent investigation into the accident. During this investigation, the attorney will not only determine the cause of your accident, but they can also collect important evidence needed to prove your injury claim.
A lawyer can also identify all liable parties in your case and all potential sources of insurance coverage. Then your lawyer can build a strong case and help you take the appropriate action against them.
You may receive a phone call from the insurance company for the negligent party in your case very soon after your accident. The adjuster may tell you that you will not need an attorney because the insurer is going to take complete care of you. You should never trust promises like these because insurance companies are motivated only to protect their profits. That means settling cases for as little as possible – and ideally nothing, if they can get away with it.
An experienced lawyer can work to negotiate a truly fair and full settlement that covers all of your past, present, and future expenses related to your injuries. An attorney will be able to determine the true value of your case and can submit a demand letter for compensation to the insurance company. If settlement negotiations do not produce an acceptable settlement offer, the lawyer can take your case to trial.
Compensation Available After a Slip and Fall Accident
Many slip and fall cases are ultimately resolved through settlements because insurance companies simply do not want to spend any money on the many costs associated with taking cases to court. Trial proves to be unavoidable in certain cases, however.
Connecticut General Statute § 52-584 gives a person only two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. You will lose your right to hold another party accountable if you wait too long to file.
When a case does go to court, a victim who is able to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence can be awarded several kinds of compensatory damages. These usually include some combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages are specific costs a victim has incurred or will incur because of their injuries, possibly including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages are far more subjective but just as real and just as compensable. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages (also known as exemplary damages or vindictive damages) are also possible, but they are very rare and unlikely in most slip and fall accident cases.
Under Connecticut General Statute § 52-572h(b), contributory negligence does not bar recovery in an action by any person to recover damages if the negligence was not more than the combined negligence of the person or persons against whom recovery is sought. Damages awarded are reduced in proportion to a victim’s negligence.
In other words, if you are awarded $100,000 in a slip and fall accident but found to be 25 percent at fault, your award will be reduced by $25,000 and you will ultimately receive $75,000. If you were 51 percent or more at fault for your accident, you cannot recover anything.
Insurance companies will be seeking any way possible to attribute as much blame as possible to you. One of the easiest ways to do this is through your own recorded statements, which is exactly why you should always refuse any request to provide a recorded statement to a claims adjuster.
While the insurance company may claim this is just about you telling your version of the story, you will be asked questions specifically designed to get you to say something that could be taken out of context and twisted into an admission of fault. Let an attorney deal with the insurance companies for you instead.
Talk to a Connecticut Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Now
Kocian Law Group takes the time to get to know their clients. We will sit down with you and ask you about how your injury occurred and how it has impacted your life so we can get a full understanding of the challenges you face.
Did you sustain catastrophic injuries or was your loved one killed in a slip and fall accident in Connecticut? It is important for you to have an experienced attorney on your side so you can seek all of the compensation you need and deserve.
Kocian Law Group represents clients throughout Connecticut on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to pay anything unless and until you receive a monetary award. Call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation now.