Caution wet floor sign

Slip and fall accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that leave victims with long and painful roads to recovery. If you’ve suffered a slip and fall, you may be wondering how you’ll pay for the medical bills or replace the lost wages from missed work. Fortunately, if someone’s negligent conduct is to blame for your slip and fall, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against that party. After you get the medical treatment you need, reach out to the experienced accident attorneys of Stanfield Bechtel Law.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Personal injury victims, including those who have experienced a slip and fall, have the burden of proof in a lawsuit. That means it is up to them to explain how the accident occurred and why it points to the at-fault party’s negligence. It therefore helps to know about some of the most common reasons slips and falls happen, including:

  • Slick or wet floors. Any number of substances such as water and grease can make floors slick and unsafe to walk on. This is especially problematic in restaurants and bars. If something spills on the ground that makes a slip and fall more likely, the owner must take steps to warn people of the danger and promptly clean it up.
  • Icy or snowy sidewalks. Connecticut is no stranger to hazardous winter weather. Local ordinances govern who is responsible for keeping sidewalks free of ice and snow, with the obligation typically placed on the abutting property owner. We can help you determine who is liable for your injuries if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk.
  • Uneven flooring. Cracked, broken, and otherwise uneven floors can cause someone to trip or lose their balance and fall. Because settling foundations are typically to blame for these types of accidents, it is up to the property owner to make sure measures are taken to address the situation.
  • Poor lighting. Exterior areas such as parking lots and entrances and exits to buildings should be well-lit to avoid slip, trip, and fall accidents. Every owner and manager of commercial and residential property (including, for instance, apartment complexes) should meet this basic safety obligation.
  • Loose, ripped, or bulging carpeting. The carpeting inside a business or residential property might appear to be flat and even, but irregularities such as tears, loose areas, and bulges can be difficult to detect. An unsuspecting patron or guest can trip and get seriously injured from a hard fall to the ground.
  • Broken steps, stairs, and handrails. Steps and stairs should be regularly checked and maintained to avoid cracks, uneven spots, and other defects. The same is true of handrails that help people safely walk up and down sets of steps and stairs. Failure to do so can cause a severe accident.

What are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Case?

As a general rule, it is up to the victim to show that the property hazard that caused the slip and fall accident was due to someone’s negligence. More specifically, the elements of a slip and fall lawsuit are:

  • Duty of care. This means that the defendant property owner must have owed you a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe and free of dangerous conditions. Provided you were a lawful visitor to or guest on the property, and not a trespasser, this element is relatively easy to meet. If foreseeable dangers were present but could not be immediately addressed, the property owner should have displayed a sign to warn people of the risk. An example would be placing a wet floor sign near a spill until it can be mopped up.
  • Breach. A breach happens when the property owner or manager violates the duty of care. Negligence is an act or omission that amounts to a failure to exercise the necessary duty of care, although intentionally permitting an unsafe condition can also give rise to a slip and fall accident claim. The above examples are a few ways that at-fault parties may breach the duty of care.
  • Causation. The negligent or intentional act or omission must have directly caused injury to you. If another intervening cause was responsible, this element is not met. For instance, if you are walking on a slippery sidewalk but someone walks by and deliberately pushes you down, that individual is responsible for causing your injuries.
  • Damages. Finally, the slip and fall accident victim has to demonstrate that the injury resulted in damages. There are many types of damages, with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering being among the most common. You can also seek damages for future costs like medical treatments you will need later.

What To Do After Suffering a Slip and Fall Accident

If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall accident, seek medical attention right away. This is critical not only for your health but to preserve your legal claim. Failure to see a doctor or visit an emergency room will give the defendant a chance to argue that something else caused your injuries or that you made them worse by neglecting to get treatment. Even if you think you weren’t hurt, check with a physician anyway.

Try to document as much about the property hazard as you can, especially if it’s a temporary condition like ice or snow which can melt quickly. The property owner may try to correct the dangerous condition and then claim it never existed if you don’t take pictures or record video, or at least have someone else do it for you. If there were any witnesses to your slip and fall, ask them for their names and contact information.

Finally, retain an experienced slip and fall accident attorney. That’s where we come in.

Contact Our Connecticut Slip and Fall Accident Attorney

When you hire Stanfield Bechtel Law to represent you in your personal injury claim, we immediately start building a case by investigating the accident and obtaining evidence. If a reasonable settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company can be reached, we will pursue that route. But we aren’t afraid to go to court if necessary.

Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall? Give Stanfield Bechtel Law a call today.