Property owners have a duty to provide reasonable care to visitors and to trespassers if they are children. What qualifies as reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. For a store in a high-crime area, for example, it may be reasonable to hire adequate security for the parking lot. If the store owner had no reason to suspect that crimes would occur, he or she may not have had the duty to enhance security. The question of what is reasonable is one that a personal injury lawyer’s claim must answer to prove the defendant’s negligence.
Premises liability refers to the legal responsibility property owners have to cover damages that occur to guests on the premises. If the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard that caused the harm, the courts may hold him or her liable for subsequent accidents. Property-related accidents can occur in public parks, grocery stores, shopping malls, friends’ houses, and other premises. These accidents have specific laws and filing processes involved in the matter of compensation. Our lawyers can help.
How Do Premises Liability Cases Work?
A premises liability case is different from other types of personal injury claims, such as auto accidents. Premises liability claims involve unique state and local laws regarding the safe and prudent upkeep of a property. They may also have different statutes of limitations, filing requirements, and burdens of proof on the victim. The more you know about how to file and carry out a premises liability case in Connecticut, the better your odds of obtaining compensation. Here is some basic information:
- Elements of proof. In general, a plaintiff will need to prove the defendant owned or controlled the property at the time of the incident, the defendant used the property negligently, the defendant’s negligent use caused the accident, and the plaintiff suffered harm as a result. These four elements are slightly different from those required to prove other personal injury claims (duty, breach, causation, and damages).
- Duties of care. A property owner will owe you different duties of care depending on whether you’re an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. Owners owe the highest duties of care to invitees, such as customers at a business. Finding out your status as a visitor and the role of the defendant can help you identify duties of care – the first step toward proving negligence.
- Rules for filing. You have two years from the date of sustaining your injury to file an action to recover damages for a premises liability accident. You must file within two years or else give up your right to recover damages in most cases. File your claim with the civil court in the county in which your accident occurred. Our lawyers can help you with the claims process.
During your case, you must show the judge or jury evidence that the defendant caused your injuries through negligent or careless ownership/maintenance of a property. You may need evidence such as photographs of the property defect, eyewitness statements, or testimony from experts. Our law firm has all the resources and information you need to build the strongest premises liability claim possible in Bridgeport.
How Much Is a Premises Liability Case Worth?
If your premises liability case succeeds, you could receive monetary recovery to make up all the costs you incurred related to your accident and injury. The exact value of your claim will depend on the severity of your injuries, cost of medical bills, how much time you missed from work, the value of any damaged property, and how greatly the incident impacted your life. In general, the more serious your injuries, the more your case will be worth. Calculate a rough estimate of the value of your case by adding up the following amounts:
- The cost of past and future medical expenses related to your injuries. This includes any medical expenses relating to your treatment, rehabilitation, and temporary/permanent disabilities.
- Lost wages. Calculate how much you missed in income from having to take unpaid sick leave while you recovered from your accident.
- Property damage. If the premises liability incident damaged or destroyed any property, such as your home or vehicle, figure the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Legal fees/court costs. Find out what hiring a lawyer will cost you, as well as the price to file your claim. You can likely make up these costs.
These are economic damages you can most likely calculate on your own. However, your case may also involve non-economic damages, which will be up to the judge and/or jury to determine. These include your pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost capacity to earn, lost quality of life, and loss of consortium. The value of these losses will depend on how severely the incident impacted the victim and his or her family. More traumatic premises liability accidents will be worth more in non-economic damages. View our case results for an idea of what to expect.
Claims Against Stores in Bridgeport
Are you an avid shopper at big box stores like Target, Wal-Mart, or popular mall shops? It may surprise you to learn that these stores are often the settings of customer injuries – especially from items falling from shelves. In 2015, 247 fatal workplace accidents involved falling objects or equipment. Falling objects from crowds of shoppers or lax stocking practices can also seriously injure guests. If objects fall and strike customers on the head or face, it can lead to major injuries. Objects falling in the aisle also pose trip and fall hazards. As an employee of a big box store, this type of premises hazard may also affect you.
If you were an employee or shopper at a big box store and suffered injuries from falling objects, slip and fall hazards, defective elevators/escalators, acts of violence, fires, or floods, contact a premises liability attorney. You most likely have grounds for a claim against the owner of the store and/or property owner. It is the property owner’s duty to reasonably prevent these injuries with proper practices and protocols. Any action or failure to act that goes against this duty, resulting in injury, is negligence.
Storeowners owe their guests the highest standards of care according to Connecticut premises liability laws. Shoppers are “invitees” according to the law, or guests the property owner invites onto the property for his or her own reasons. As invitees, shoppers have the right to expect a property free from defects and hazards. It is up to the property owner to maintain the premises, repair known hazards, and search for unknown ones in an effort to keep shoppers safe. If your accident involved a breach of this duty at a big box store in Bridgeport, you probably have grounds for a claim.
Premises Liability Claim Laws in Connecticut
In Connecticut, you have two years from the date of the incident or discovery of injuries to file your claim. Some premises liability claims involve injuries that occurred years or even decades ago. An example is cases involving asbestos in the walls of premises, causing health problems years later. As soon as you discover your injuries, contact our Bridgeport team. We will increase your chances of receiving compensation for your accident.