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West Hartford Slip and Fall Lawyer

Falls are the second leading cause of unintentional deaths in the U.S. In 2021, falls killed over 44,000 people and injured hundreds of thousands of others. These falls happened in workplaces, homes, and businesses.

Falling accidents include elevated falls and same-elevation falls. Both types of falls can cause serious musculoskeletal and neurological injuries. And both can cause injuries that produce permanent disabilities and even death.

After you or a loved one suffers an injury in a fall caused by someone else’s actions, you should contact a West Hartford slip and fall lawyer from Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge. Since 1988, our attorneys have stood up to businesses, property owners, and management companies that neglect their premises, creating the conditions for slip and fall accidents.

What Happens in a Slip and Fall Accident?

“Slip and fall” is the term used to broadly describe same-elevation falls. These falls happen when you are on the same level before and after the accident. Examples of same-elevation falls include:

  • Slipping in a puddle
  • Tripping over loose carpet
  • Losing your balance due to poor lighting
  • Falling into a parking lot pothole

By contrast, elevated falls happen when you fall from one level to a lower level. Examples of elevated falls include falls from ladders, down stairs, or off roofs.

In a slip and fall, you could suffer injuries during the initial slip as well as the ensuing fall. For example, you may sprain your ankle when you step awkwardly on an uneven sidewalk, then hit your face on the ground when you fall. Some common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents include:

  • Concussions
  • Skull fractures
  • Facial fractures
  • Arm fractures
  • Rib fractures
  • Hip fractures
  • Patella fractures
  • Vertebra fractures
  • Wrist, elbow, and shoulder sprains
  • Ankle, knee, and hip sprains
  • Back and neck strain

After you suffer an injury in a slip and fall accident in West Hartford, your slip and fall attorney will analyze the situation to determine whether anyone was liable for your injuries. 

Proving Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries

Liability for slip and fall injuries can rest on two theories. The first (and rarer) fact pattern involves an intentional act. If the other party did something to deliberately cause your fall, they bear liability for battery.

For example, suppose that an upset business owner deliberately pushes a shopping cart into you. The impact causes you to fall and break your arm. In this case, the deliberate nature of the shop owner’s actions exposes them to liability for your injuries.

The second and more common fact scenario involves negligence. Your slip and fall attorney proves negligence by showing four elements:

  • Duty of care
  • Breach of duty
  • Damages
  • Causation

Someone responsible for premises has a legal duty to keep the premises reasonably free from hazardous conditions. They breach this duty when they fail to exercise reasonable care and, as a result, a guest on the premises suffers an injury.

The injury causes damages, including financial losses and a reduction in the victim’s quality of life. Negligence exists if the lawyer can prove a causal link between the injury and the behavior of the person or business responsible for the premises.

Some parties from whom you can pursue injury compensation include:

  • Landlords
  • Property management companies
  • Parking lot operators
  • Shops and shopping center operators
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Hotels
  • Office complexes
  • Amusement parks
  • Entertainment centers
  • Fitness centers
  • Homeowners

In some cases, different parties may be responsible for injuries that happen in different areas of the property. For example, the responsibility for injuries in a shop might fall on the shop owner, while the responsibility for injuries that happen in the parking lot might fall on the shop owner’s landlord.

Damages You Can Recover After a Slip and Fall in West Hartford

After your attorney proves liability for your injuries, they must prove your losses. Your compensation can cover both economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses cover the financial impact of your slip and fall injuries. Examples of these losses include:

  • Past and future costs for medical care and physical therapy
  • Lost income due to missed work
  • Diminished earning capacity from disabilities
  • Reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket expenses caused by your injuries

You prove economic losses using financial records. Your lawyer might use bank statements, receipts, doctor’s bills, and other similar documents to prove the amount of the loss and how it was connected to your injuries.

Your damages also include non-economic losses. These losses reflect the diminishment in your quality of life resulting from your injuries. This diminishment could result from physical pain, mental anguish, disabilities, disfigurement, and dismemberment.

If the insurer accepts the claim, your lawyer will negotiate a settlement. Slip and fall settlements should cover all of your losses. But insurers often start with an initial offer far below your documented expenses. The lawyer will negotiate with the claims adjuster to get a fair settlement number.

When insurers refuse to settle or fail to make a fair offer, your lawyer may file a slip and fall lawsuit. This lawsuit will put pressure on the insurer and the at-fault party to settle the case. No one likes paying for lawsuits they will lose. As a result, they will often make greater efforts to resolve your claim.

How it Works

Contingency Fees

At Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, P.C., we handle all Slip and Fall cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not get paid unless and until you receive a settlement or a jury award.

Schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Connecticut personal injury lawyer today. Contact us online or call our New Haven law firm directly at 203-865-8430.

Questions

Slip and Fall FAQs

Are Slips, Trips, and Falls the Same?

The same premises liability laws apply to slips and falls and trips and falls. However, these accidents differ in how they happen and the injuries they produce.

Slip and fall accidents happen when your feet lose traction and your feet slide forward. You fall backward and hit your head, back, and buttocks. Since you fall backward, you usually cannot catch yourself before you hit. Instead, you may be able to turn as you fall and land on your shoulder, ribs, or hip.

Trip and fall accidents happen when you lose your footing and fall forward. You might step off an unmarked step, fall in a pothole, or trip on a loose rug. As you fall forward, you throw your hands out in front of you to catch yourself. You hit the ground with your hands, wrists, arms, or face.

Do I Have a Claim if I Contributed to My Fall?

Connecticut uses comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, an accident victim can recover compensation even if they bear some blame for their injuries — with two limitations.

First, their share of the fault cannot exceed 50%. When someone bears the majority of the blame, they cannot recover any compensation for their injuries under Connecticut law.

Second, your compensation is reduced by your share of the blame. Thus, if a jury or claims adjuster assigns 15% of the blame, you can only recover 85% of your losses.

What Happens With West Hartford Slip and Fall Accident Cases?

Most cases involving slip and fall accidents start with insurance claims. Business liability insurance, homeowners liability insurance, and business property insurance protect the policyholder from claims for guest injuries caused by negligence.

Specifically, liability insurance is a contract between an insurer and the entity responsible for inspecting the property, warning guests about hazards, and repairing the hazards.

Your insurance claim gets assigned to an adjuster who investigates your claim. For the adjuster to accept your claim, your lawyer must prove the other party’s liability for your injuries by providing evidence of negligence.

What Happens if My Fall Happens at Work?

Connecticut law protects employers from almost all lawsuits for workplace injuries. Instead, employees are entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits under their employer’s workers’ comp policy. While workers’ comp covers medical expenses, it only covers a portion of your wages.

An alternative in some situations might involve a third-party lawsuit against any entity other than your employer that contributed to your accident. For example, suppose that you suffered an electrocution injury in a construction accident. You might have a claim against anyone who made the construction site unsafe, such as the electrical subcontractor or the property owner.

Contact an Experienced West Hartford Slip and Fall Lawyer to Learn More

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious musculoskeletal injuries such as torn ligaments and broken bones. Worse yet, you could suffer a brain or spinal cord injury from the impact of your fall. These injuries might disable you from working while requiring expensive medical treatment and therapy.

Contact a West Hartford slip and fall lawyer from Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge for a free consultation to discuss your injuries.

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