Premises liability lawsuits in Connecticut and elsewhere around the U.S. are based on the legal doctrine of negligence. To prevail in a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that he or she sustained an injury, loss or damage as a direct consequence of the defendant’s failure to meet a duty of care. In this type of lawsuit, defendants must be in control of the building or land where someone suffered injuries, but they do not have to be the owners.
Duty of care
Premises owners or occupiers must take all the necessary steps to protect those who enter properties they control. This duty of care even extends to trespassers. Reasonable steps include addressing dangerous conditions or placing warning signs. Defendants in premises liability lawsuits can be held responsible for dangerous conditions that they were unaware of if they reasonably should have known about them. For example, premises owners or occupiers should expect sidewalks and pathways to be treacherous after a snowstorm.
In premises liability lawsuits, defendants often claim that the plaintiffs acted negligently and were at least partly responsible for causing the accidents in which they were injured. When arguments based on the legal principle of comparative negligence are successful, how much in damages the plaintiff is awarded are reduced to reflect only the defendant’s degree of fault.
Experienced personal injury attorneys usually file premises liability lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have suffered injuries in slips, trips and falls, but this type of litigation may also be initiated when injuries were caused by a third party. An injured bar patron could file a premises liability lawsuit if the proprietor failed to intervene when a confrontation was clearly about to turn violent, and a crime victim could pursue civil remedies against a property owner or occupier who didn’t institute adequate security measures.