Property owners have a duty to keep their premises free from defective conditions. Falls due to a hazardous condition can cause traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries such as broken bones.

Premises liability law holds property owners and managers liable for slip and fall injuries that occur on their land due to their own negligence. Therefore, they are legally responsible for keeping people safe on their property.

When you or a loved one sustain an injury after tripping and falling on someone else’s property, reach out to the personal injury attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC. A Watertown slip and fall lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your case, collect evidence to determine the cause of the incident, and prove a negligent landowner is at fault.

Understanding the Legal Standards in Premises Cases

To hold a negligent property owner accountable, you must demonstrate that a dangerous condition on the premises caused your injury. In addition, you need to show one of the following:

  • The property owner created the dangerous condition;
  • The property owner was aware of the dangerous condition and failed to address it (either by fixing it or warning people on the premises of the danger); or
  • The property owner should have been aware of the dangerous condition (usually because it existed for some time prior to the accident) and failed to address it.

This area of law is intended to keep our communities safe by requiring property owners to take responsibility for safety on their premises.

Different “Duties of Care” for Different Visitors

Not all possible grounds for a slip and fall claim listed above apply in every situation. This is because the “duty of care” for property owners in Connecticut changes depending on why someone visits their property.

Landowners are not responsible for protecting trespassers who are on their land illegally. However, property owners cannot do anything to harm trespassers intentionally, such as setting up traps or deliberately letting slipping or tripping hazards worsen over time.

As for lawful visitors, landowners must always provide a warning about hazards they are aware of and which are not “open and obvious.” They also must take reasonable measures to fix or cordon off hazardous conditions once they become aware of them. Our Watertown attorneys can explain how visitor categories might impact your slip and fall case during a free, private consultation.

Recoverable Damages Following a Slip and Fall

A comprehensive lawsuit or settlement demand over a slipping or tripping accident in Watertown can demand compensation for both economic and non-economic losses you can trace back to that accident. By way of example only and not exhaustive, a damage award or settlement offer may include payment for:

  • Physical pain and suffering;
  • Lost or damaged personal property;
  • Emotional and psychological trauma;
  • All past and expected future medical bills;
  • Lost work income during recovery from a short-term injury;
  • Lost working ability due to a permanent and disabling injury;
  • Lost overall quality of life caused by a permanent and disabling injury; and
  • Costs stemming from a permanent and disabling injury for things like assistive equipment, home modifications, and around-the-clock care.

Importantly, though, any amount of fault the court thinks you hold for causing or worsening your injuries might be held against you. The court may order a proportional reduction from the value of your final damages award, even if the owner of the property is still primarily to blame.

Time Limits on Watertown Premises Liability Lawsuits

Another legal obstacle to recovery after a slip or trip and fall in Watertown is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Connecticut General Statutes § 52-584 says you have two years after getting hurt to file a civil claim against the landowner. If you fail to start your lawsuit before this deadline passes, you will be “time-barred” from ever recovering any compensation.

If the property is owned or maintained by the State or a city then the time periods can be very short for providing notice. Therefore it is critical that you contact us right away.

A Watertown Slip and Fall Attorney Will Fight for Your Rights

When you come to us after you slip and fall or suffer an injury caused by a dangerous condition, we will listen. We will hear your story and answer any questions you may have about your legal rights and options. As soon as you retain a Watertown slip and fall lawyer from our firm, we will contact the liability insurance company and inform them that they should send us any further communications about your claim. Our team will handle the insurance company and keep you informed while you focus on healing.

Premises cases are legally complex; the outcome depends on the evidence we can gather about the incident, your legal status on the premises when it happened, and the extent of the injury and its effects on your life. We will relentlessly advocate for you in negotiations and, if necessary, at trial. Our attorneys are always prepared to go to court and argue your case before the judge and jury, including preparing our strategies and arguments in our in-house courtroom.

We have decades of experience representing victims of dangerous premises throughout Connecticut. It is important that you reach out to us right away—before evidence disappears and legal deadlines expire. Contact us today to schedule your free remote or in-person consultation with a legal professional.