Winter of 2021 is here, which means that it’s time to break out the heavy coats and boots. Unfortunately, it also that time of year where slick or unmaintained sidewalks can lead to slips and falls. It can happen even when the victim is wearing heavy boots designed for winter conditions. Unfortunately, it can lead to severe injuries, especially to the head and back.
They must provide a safe environment
The property owner or resident is responsible for providing a safe environment for people who visit their property to make a delivery or walk across the property using a sidewalk. This duty to provide safe passage is known as premises liability. If you the visitor slips and hurts yourself on the owner or occupant’s property, they may be liable for those injuries.
How is liability determined?
Each case is different, but attorneys and a judge will typically weigh the following:
- How long did the owner or occupant wait before clearing the walkway hazard?
- Were you legally visiting the property and not a trespasser?
- Was the place of the incident foreseeable as dangerous if not maintained?
- What was the condition of the property?
- Are both you and owner at fault?
- Was the injured a child?
- What type of footwear were you wearing when you fell?
Owner or occupant?
The state tends to recognize the property’s maintenance is not the owner’s responsibility if the occupant is in possession of the property. Moreover, the owner may have an arrangement with the occupant to maintain the property to allow safe passage or preventing hazards. If an outside management company or service is responsible for clearing snow and ice, they may also be partially responsible for paying damages.
Determining liability can be complicated
There are many different variables in play when determining who is responsible for your slip and fall injury. Victims with a severe injury often serve their own best interests when discussing the details of the incident with a knowledgeable premises liability attorney practicing here in Connecticut. These legal professionals can provide insight into who is responsible and whether the negligent party could be liable for damages.