A slip, trip and fall accident can turn your life upside down in a split second. One moment you are walking into your favorite eatery or grocery store. And the next, you are grappling with a life-altering injury like a broken spine, a concussion or other catastrophic injuries.
If you are hurt while on someone else’s property or in a commercial establishment, and you believe negligence played a role, you may file a premises liability claim against the property owner or manager. Before you do this, however, it helps to understand how fault is determined in a Connecticut premises liability claim.
Understanding Connecticut negligence law
First of all, Connecticut is an “at-fault” state. Basically, this means that someone is almost always liable when accidents like a slip-and-fall happen. That said, Connecticut applies a doctrine known as modified comparative negligence when determining fault.
The “modified” component of comparative negligence means that your damages will be reduced based on your contribution to the accident. In other words, you cannot recover damages if your contribution to the slip-and-fall accident in question is 50 percent or more.
Here is an illustration: say the court awards $100,000 in damages while at the same time ruling that you were 20 percent at fault. In this case, you will only receive $80,000 in damages.
So when can you be partly to blame for the accident?
The court can find you at fault in a number of ways. Here are examples:
- When you overlook clear warnings like a “slippery floor” or “wet floor” warning
- When your judgment and situational awareness are impaired by drug or alcohol use
Protecting your rights
You can trip, slip and fall when you least expect it to happen. If you believe someone else’s negligence contributed to your slip-and-fall, you need to explore your legal options while pursuing the liable party for damages.