Slip and Fall Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know has been involved in a slip and fall accident in Connecticut, our attorneys can assist with your claim. Put our decades of legal slip and fall accident experience to work for you. Our Connecticut slip and fall attorneys will advance all fees and expenses for your case including hiring experts to strengthen you slip and fall accident case. Once your slip and fall accident case is settled, our lawyers will be reimbursed for our costs out of recovery. If no recovery is reached from your slip and fall accident case, all costs will be incurred by us. All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means if you don’t recover you do not owe us anything.
1. What Are The Common Causes Of Slip and Fall Down Cases?
A slip and fall accident can be defined as damages to an injured party as a result of negligence or fault of another party. Slip and fall cases can take place from temporary or permanent conditions either outside of a building, inside of a building, or on land. The cause a slip and fall accident can range from spilled liquid to a broken piece of slab on a side walk. The five major reasons for slip and fall accidents are:
- Lack of slip resistant floors
- Poor walking surfaces
- Poor visibility
Lack of Slip Resistant Floors
Friction is the resistance to lateral movement caused by the contact between two surfaces. Thus, slipperiness refers to the lack of friction between two surfaces. Slip resistance can be defined as, “The relative force that resists the tendency of the shoe or foot to slide along the walkway surface. Slip resistance is related to a combination of factors including but not limited to the walkway surface, the footwear bottom, and the presence of foreign materials between them.”[i] Property owners have a legal responsibility to ensure that the walking surfaces on their premise are safe for pedestrians under conditions reasonably expected. This includes but is not limited to the proper care and maintenance of the walking surface, installation of appropriate flooring materials, and inspection of walk ways to ensure the safety of their pedestrians.
Poor Walking Surfaces
Poor walking surfaces can cause a major threat to the safety of a pedestrian. There are an array of flooring deficiencies that can pose a risk for a slip and fall accident. For example, deteriorated mats can present a trip hazard; loose threads, curling corners, mats with edges greater than half an inch, or manufactured without a slip resistant liner between the bottom of the mat and the floor surface can cause severe injury. Furthermore, concrete surfaces which are cracked, have uneven joints, loose pieces, and damaged or missing manhole covers can also pose a potential slip and fall accident. Proper sign postings are essential to the safety of pedestrians. Therefore, unmarked raised doorsills, spills that are not marked with proper signs or mopped thoroughly or in a timely manner can create a poor walking surface and a slip and fall accident. Slip and fall accidents often cause serious injuries. However, they are often difficult to prove. Consult a slip and fall lawyer to learn more about your rights and case.
Most importantly, the property owner should ensure that the premise is properly lit to ensure safety for the users of the premise. It should be the obligation of the property owner to make sure all areas of the building is well lit both inside and outside the building, outside the perimeter, stairways, and parking areas. Lighting should be altered during certain weather conditions such as heavy rain, thick fog, etc. Failure to do so can result in a slip and fall claim where a slip and fall lawyer is necessary.
Building codes decree how stairs are to be built. The stairs must have a uniform rise (each stair is of the same height) to reduce trip hazard. The edge of the stair (known as the “nosing”) should be highly visible. Slip resistance on outside stairs may be obligatory and stair treads or abrasive strips should be used on indoor stairs. If building code violations are established then a claim of negligence could be bolstered.
Building codes in Connecticut are dictated by the International Codes Council. These rules include but are not limited to the following:
(Amd) 1009.3 Stair treads and risers. Stair riser heights shall be 7 inches maximum and 4 inches minimum. Stair tread depths shall be 11 inches minimum. The riser height shall be measured vertically between the leading edges of adjacent treads. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch. The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at right angle to the tread’s leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by 3/8 inch. (New Construction) August 1, 2005 Used to use codes in reference to Prior to September 1, 1971, there were no building codes. Town houses max riser 8/4 min 4, minimum tread path 9 inches.[ii]
Ideally handrails must be placed between 34 and 38 inches to reduce the possibility of a person falling over the handrail. Generally, handrails are required on both sides of the stairs. However, when stairways are wider than 75 inches, handrails are required on both sides of the stairway, as well as down the center of the stairway. Furthermore, handrails should be easily gripped by the average person. Handrails should be anchored in accordance with building codes set forth by the International Codes Council and as amended by the state of Connecticut. When determining liability, one must question the individual’s purpose on the property. Was the person a maintenance worker, a letter carrier, or a guest of the establishment?
A general statement that may apply to most all slip and fall cases is that the owner or person in charge of tending the property must show reasonable care in the maintenance of their property. Therefore, they have a duty to warn visitors of any dangerous or defective conditions that are known or should be known by the visitor.
2. What Should I Do If I Am Involved In A Slip and Fall Accident?
It is very important to contact a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after your slip and fall accident. The quicker you contact us the faster we can give assistance so you do not have a negative effect on the case. By giving any statements, or sign any authorizations can possibly have a negative impact on your slip and fall accident. There are certain steps that must be taken, such as a potential notice requirements, that if missed, can result in the dismissal of your slip and fall case.
3. How is Liability Determined?
The main issue in many personal injury cases such as a slip and fall accident, is how a “reasonable person” is presumed to act in the circumstance that caused injury. A person is negligent when he or she fails to act like a “reasonable person” standard is often a matter that is decided by a jury after the presentation of sufficient evidence and argument trial. For just this one reason it is crucial that you contact us as soon as possible so we can begin to investigate and formulate your slip and fall accident case.
4. What Compensation Might I receive if My Case is Successful?
For the most part, the person who is held accountable for a slip and fall accident injury-which generally means his or her liability insurance company-must pay and injured person for:
- Medical care and related expenses past and future.
- Income lost because of slip and fall accident past and future.
- Permanent physical, disability or disfigurement
- Loss of family, social, and educational experiences due to injuries sustained from your slip and fall accident.
- Emotional damages, such as stress, embarrassment, depression, or strain on family relationships incurred by your slip and fall accident.
- Punitive Damages(In Extraordinary Cases)
- Damaged Property due to your slip and fall accident.
You will be awarded “damages” or compensation, which is money for the purpose to restore you to your position before your slip and fall accident. This money is not considered income (excluding monies paid for loss of income) and is not taxable by the federal or state government.
5. How Do I Get About Getting Experts To Help Me With My Slip and Fall Case?
Our slip and fall lawyers will be able to hire a team of experts that can assist in the development of your slip and fall accident case, which, can range from a private investigator, to doctors, to economists.
6. Who Will Pay The Expenses of Hiring All Of The Experts?
Our Firm will advance all costs and expenses of your slip and fall accident case as they are incurred. Once your slip and fall accident case is concluded, we will be reimbursed for our costs. If there is no recovery, you will owe nothing for the expenses incurred. You will only pay, if you receive a settlement or award.
Our Connecticut slip and fall lawyers have offices located in or near Bloomfield, Bridgeport, Danbury, East Haven, Georgetown, Hamden, New Fairfield, Newtown, Ridgefield, & Stamford, Connecticut. Please, click here for directions and more information.