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What you should know before filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit

Connecticut residents who have been injured as the result of a slip-and-fall accident often wish to sue the person they believe is responsible for their injury. FindLaw notes that these lawsuits where someone has slipped, tripped or fallen while on someone else’s property are considered to be a type of premises liability civil suit. Generally, the property owner or the person responsible for the property’s maintenance and upkeep is the person named as defendant.

Slip-and-fall accidents can take many forms, such as the following:

  • Slipping on a slippery or wet floor, sidewalk or parking lot
  • Tripping on torn carpeting, a misaligned escalator step, a cracked sidewalk or a parking lot pothole
  • Falling down stairs or over debris when the lighting conditions were poor

In other words, any kind of a dangerous property condition can lead to a slip-and-fall accident and resulting injuries.

Who is responsible

FindLaw also explains that determining the responsible party to sue can be more difficult than it might first appear. If the accident occurred on residential property, the homeowner normally is the responsible person. However, if the house is a rental property, the current tenant may well be the responsible party unless the hazard was something the landlord was required to fix.

If the accident occurred on commercial property, usually the responsible person is the lessee and/or the person who is in actual possession of the property, again assuming the owner was not required to fix the hazard. If the accident occurred on governmental property, the person wishing to bring a slip-and-fall lawsuit must be aware that governmental entities have broad immunity from such suits.

Status of the injured person

The circumstances under which the victim was injured also come into play. For instance, if the victim was trespassing on the property when the injury occurred, he or she had no right to be there. Consequently he or she may be severely limited in the amount of damages that can be recovered, or even precluded from recovering any damages at all.

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