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walkway, East Hartford premises liability attorneyIn 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.

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slip and fall, Hartford premises liability lawyerWhen you enter into or onto another person’s property, the owner of the property is responsible for making sure that you are safe. This does not mean that the property owner is necessarily tasked with protecting you from yourself, but it does mean that the premises must be kept free of hazards that could lead to a slip and fall or a trip and fall. If the owner fails to keep the property safe and you are injured as a result, you may be able to collect compensation under the principles of premises liability.

Recovering damages after a slip and fall injury will require you—with the help your attorney—to prove four basic elements:

A Duty of Care

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slip and fall, Connecticut personal injury attorneyWhen you legally enter onto property owned by another person or entity, the owner of the property assumes a certain level of responsibility for keeping you safe. The degree of responsibility depends on why you are on the property, but unless you are trespassing, you have the right to assume that the property will be reasonably free of hazards that could cause you to slip and fall. Unfortunately, not all property owners are as vigilant as they should be, and thousands of people are injured in slip and fall accidents each year.

Invitees and Licensees

There are two types of visitors that are generally offered protection under Connecticut’s premises liability laws. The first category consists of invitees who, as the name suggests, are on the property by implied or express invitation by the property owner. Perhaps the most common example of an invitee is a customer at a retail store. Invitees are afforded the highest level of responsibility by the property owner.

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Posted by on in Slip and Fall

slip and fall, Hartford personal injury attorneyAny type of fall can result in catastrophic back, neck, and spinal injuries. Sadly, many such accidents are caused by the carelessness or inattentiveness on the part the part of the victim. Rather, they occur due to the actions or negligence of the property owners.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there were more than 28 million emergency room visits due to unintentional injuries in 2014—the most recent year for which full statistics are available. Many of these were slip and fall accidents which can incur hefty medical bills and thousands of dollars in lost wages for injured victims. It is important to note, however, that if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, the owner or occupier of the property may be liable for your injuries and the resulting expenses.

Determining Liability

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back sprain, Connecticut personal injury attorneyEvery time that a person seeks medical attention for an illness or injury, the reason for the visit is recorded in code form in the individual’s medical record. The coding system for classifying diagnoses is notoriously complex and the current iteration—known formally as the International Classification of Disease, Tenth Edition or ICD-10—includes more than 70,000 codes, with more than 3,000 dedicated just to physical injuries. Whether you have been stung by a bee or hit by a car—or even a horse-drawn buggy—there is an ICD-10 code to describe your situation.

Injury Studies

Recently, a healthcare analytic company called Amino released the results of its comprehensive analysis of about 244 million health insurance claims for services provided by medical professionals between 2012 and 2016. The research shows that Americans suffer a wide range of physical injuries but there are national trends. In addition, many states seem to have quirky conditions that set them apart from the others.

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