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Who is responsible if I slip and fall in a Connecticut store?

When you go shopping, one of the last things you ever expect is to end up needing medical attention. Sadly, however, numerous shoppers find themselves in this exact position every year after suffering slip-and-fall injuries in Connecticut stores - accidents caused by negligent storeowners and/or employees.

Fortunately, though, you may have legal remedies available under Connecticut law if you are the victim of a slip-and-fall accident. Specifically, you may be able to file a premises liability claim.

Premises liability in Connecticut: The basics

Under Connecticut premises liability law, a storeowner owes a duty to all customers to maintain the store, including all aisles and walkways, in a reasonably safe condition. In addition, the storeowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care to discover and correct any dangerous conditions that may exist.

If the storeowner fails to abide by these duties, and you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident as a result, the owner may be legally responsible for your injuries. However, you will generally have to prove the storeowner had knowledge of the dangerous condition in order to establish liability. Knowledge can be shown in several ways, including when:

  • The storeowner or one of the employees created the dangerous condition
  • The storeowner or one of the employees knew the dangerous condition existed, but ignored it or did not adequately fix it
  • The dangerous condition existed long enough that the storeowner or one of the employees should, in the exercise of due care, have discovered it and fixed it

As you can see, even if the storeowner does not have actual knowledge of the dangerous condition, liability may still exist if the condition should have been discovered using reasonable care - a concept known as constructive knowledge.

For instance, if something slippery is spilled on the store floor - whether it is a gallon of milk, a jar of pasta sauce or any other slick substance - and it sits there for a long time with no employees noticing, it is quite likely the storeowner will be liable if you are injured after slipping in the substance.

Ultimately, however, slip-and-fall claims can be difficult to prove, which it why it is always a good idea to seek professional legal guidance if you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident while shopping in a Connecticut store.

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