In case we were not convinced, the last few days has proven that winter has officially arrived in New England. As you probably realize, sub-freezing temperatures, along with the ice and snow that typically accompany them, can present a variety of dangers. Icy roads make car accidents more likely, and snow-covered walkways can lead to serious slip-and-fall injuries. Sometimes, snow can contribute to an accident by hiding other hazards, such broken sidewalk slabs or black ice. Such was allegedly the case for a former Vernon resident who recently settled an injury claim against the apartment complex where he once lived.
A Dangerous Combination
According to court records, the incident took place in January 2015 after a snowfall. A 41-year-old man fell on the walkway of his apartment complex on West Main Street in Vernon. The man claimed that the walkway was cracked and uneven, but that snow and ice covered up the walkway’s poor condition. He reportedly suffered injuries to his left leg, knee, and hip, and surgery was required to put hardware in his leg.
In October 2017, the injured man filed a lawsuit against the owners of the apartment complex for negligence related to the incident. The suit alleged that the owners knew or should have known that the sidewalk was in a state of disrepair and that residents would be walking on it but did nothing to address the problem. The original claim sought $450,000 in damages, including $100,000 in medical bills.
The owners of the property filed a response to the lawsuit in which they blamed the man for failing to watch where he was walking. They claimed that “he failed to use reasonable care for his own safety” and denied any wrongdoing or negligence.
A Reasonable Settlement
Late last month, the two sides were able to negotiate an agreement without the need for a mediator. The plaintiff’s lawyer said that the defense made an initial offer of $185,000. After negotiations, the final amount of the settlement was $350,000. An attorney for the claimant said that he thought the outcome was reasonable, based on his experience.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents
When you are a guest on another person’s property, the property owner is responsible for keeping the property free of hazards. If eliminating a hazard is not possible, the owner must take steps to ensure that guests are aware of the hazard so that they can avoid it. In this case, the owner failed to fix the walkway and did not mark the cracks in such a way that would have been visible after a snowfall. As a result, someone was injured and the property owner was required to pay. The walkway has also been fixed since the incident.
Call an East Hartford Injury Lawyer for Help
If you or someone you love has been injured on someone else’s property, contact an experienced Connecticut personal injury attorney. Call 860-290-8690 for a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation at Woolf Law Firm, LLC today.