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Is a Retail Store Responsible for My Slip & Fall?

Every retailer in Connecticut, whether it is a big box store, a grocery chain outlet, an independent retailer, or even a mom-and-pop store, has a legal obligation to keep their premises safe for the customers. If you slip and fall in a retail store and sustain injuries, you could have a personal injury claim against the responsible parties.

Premises liability laws in Connecticut are designed to protect your rights in cases where you suffer an in-store trip and fall injury. The key factor in these cases is to show that the retail store owner, manager or maintenance agency was negligent about ensuring safe conditions for visitors to the store, and that your injuries resulted from such act of negligence.

To recover compensation in these cases where you are pitted against a powerful business with large resources, it is best to have an experienced Connecticut premises liability attorney by your side.

Common Reasons for In-Store Slip and Fall Injuries

Slip and fall injuries at retail stores may occur for many different reasons. Some of the most common include:

The Floor is Wet and Slippery

Retail stores need to mop and clean their floors frequently because of the high foot traffic throughout the day. A floor that was just mopped and left unattended, or a liquid spill that was not properly cleaned and dried from the floor could cause you to sustain a serious slip and fall injury. Wet or slippery floors must be properly marked, so that they do not present a trip and fall hazard for customers.

Torn Carpeting, Damaged Flooring, or Uneven Surfaces

If a retail store has an uneven surface (even if it is just outside the store), it could present a tripping hazard. Old or poorly maintained stores may have damaged flooring or torn carpeting, which can pose a risk of tripping and falling for the customers.

Inadequate Lighting

Lighting in and around the retail store may sometimes be so poor that customers may be at the risk of slipping and falling. The light in some area of the store may be broken, which makes it difficult to navigate the aisles safely. The hazards increase when poor lighting is combined with debris or merchandise on the floor, which can cause customers to trip over and get hurt.

Constructive or Actual Notice

According to the laws in Connecticut, the liability of a retail store owner or manager typically can only be established in slip and fall injury cases if they had a reasonable opportunity to either prevent the problem or to take corrective action to remove the hazard.

In other words, the premises owner or manager must have had advance knowledge of the hazard or should have reasonably known about it. Ignorance of the hazard is not a valid defense so long as you can prove it that any other reasonable store owner in their place would have known about the hazard in the normal course of maintaining safety at the store.

Damages must be Real

To be eligible for slip and fall accident compensation in Connecticut, you must have real damages. The general rule is that you will only recover compensation in proportion to the actual losses that you are able to prove.

Therefore, it makes sense to work with a competent and skilled premises liability attorney who will help ensure that your actual damages are correctly documented to the fullest extent.

Modified Comparative Negligence Rule in Connecticut

Your retail store trip and fall injury case in Connecticut will be subject to the rule of modified comparative negligence in order to determine your actual compensation (if any). Under this rule, you have a right to recover damages even if you were partially at fault for your own slip and fall injuries in the retail store. The damages will be determined in proportion to your share of fault.

However, if your own share of liability is more than 50 percent, you will not be able to recover any damages at all. Even if you enter into an out-of-court settlement, the modified comparative negligence rule in Connecticut will still be a factor in the negotiations.

Consult with a Seasoned Retail Store Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer  

In Connecticut, you can only file a slip and fall injury claim for damages within two years from the date of the accident. A delay in speaking to a premises liability lawyer will only work against you, not only because of the statute of limitations, but also because delays make it more difficult to preserve the critical evidence needed to build a strong case.

At APEX Law Firm, we are here to help! If we determine that you have a viable case, we will move fast to secure critical evidence and formulate a winning legal strategy for your claim. Call our office today at 860-900-0900 or message us online to schedule a free consultation.