Yesterday, we just experienced our first snowfall of the year in CT. It started to snow around the time of the evening commute and the roads were quite treacherous. Sidewalks, parking lots and other pedestrian areas were also covered in snow and ice. Every year we are contacted by people who have slipped and fallen on icy walking surfaces who want to know if they have a case. The answer depends on a great number of circumstances including but not limited to: what caused them to fall, how long the hazard had been there, whether the person that owns, maintains, or controls the property had notice of the defect or whether there was a sufficient amount of time where they should have notice of the defect.
So, what are some of the things you need to know if you have been injured after slipping and falling on an icy walkway or surface in Connecticut?
1. The first issue that needs to be determined in a slip and fall or trip and fall case in Connecticut is that of liability. In other words, was the person who owns, maintains, or controls the property negligent in some way which would allow the person who slipped on some type of defect on their property to file an actionable claim. One thing that needs to be considered is that of the ongoing storm doctrine. In Connecticut, the person that owns, maintains or controls the property is afforded a reasonable amount of time after an ongoing storm to shovel, plow, place nonskid material on the surface or perform other activities so as to act in a reasonably prudent manner. In many of our snow and ice cases, we hire a meteorological expert to provide us with a report indicating the status of the weather, if there was a storm, when the storm started and ended, and other relevant information about the status of the weather surrounding the date and time of the injured parties slip and fall.
2. If we are thinking about taking a slip and fall or trip and fall case, we will also have to hire a title searcher to determine who owned the property at the time the injured party fell. There can also be other parties who are responsible for the injuries and damages sustained by someone who slipped and fell or tripped and fell which could include, but not be limited to some or all of the following: the property owner; a tenant or subtenant; the contractor who was responsible for plowing, shoveling, sanding and salting the property; the management company who was responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the property where the injured party fell; the town, city or state who might have some type of legal responsibility; and other parties that might be discovered through the process of filing a claim or a lawsuit.
3. It is important, if you are injured in some type of slip and fall or trip and fall case in Connecticut that you consult with an experienced Connecticut slip and fall or trip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. You should take pictures of the defect or hazard which caused you to slip or trip as soon as possible after you fell. Ideally, you or someone that is with you, should take pictures before you were taken away from the accident site so you get a very good understanding as to what caused you to fall, whether or not there was sand or salt on the surface, how extensive the defect or hazard was and the exact location where you fell. It might be necessary for us to have our private investigator interview witnesses, take pictures, look to see if there is any videotape from cameras that are in the area where you fell, interview any people in the area of where you fell to see if others had fallen there on the same day or to determine other information which might be useful to the prosecution of your case. There might also be abbreviated notice time limits so that claims can be filed against the town or the state. You should also learn what you need to be doing and what you should not be doing.
Our Connecticut slip and fall and trip and fall lawyers take these cases on a contingency fee basis and advance the costs to develop your case. In other words, you do not have to come up with any money out of your own pocket to hire our Connecticut accident attorneys to represent you in your case. We are only paid when we recover money damages for you. If there is no recovery you will owe no legal fees and no costs. We take all of the financial risk so you can concentrate what is most important which is getting better as quickly as possible. Contact our Connecticut injury lawyers today to find out what we can do to assist you before you make a mistake in attempting to handle your own slip and fall or trip and fall case.
Contact one of our Connecticut accident lawyers today at (888)-244-5480 to see if you have a case.
Hastings, Cohan and Walsh LLP
440 Main St. Ridgefield, CT 06877
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