Shoes of someone walking in snow

Who Is Liable for Winter Slip and Fall Injuries?

Connecticut residents are no strangers to the adverse winter weather that inevitably blows through each year. Navigating snow and ice both in vehicles and on foot may seem second nature to many. It is important, nonetheless, for pedestrians and property owners alike not to be complacent when it comes to winter weather hazards.

Slip and falls caused by snowy and icy conditions can lead to serious injury all too easily. Pedestrians, take care when traversing winter sidewalks. Property owners, remember you have a duty to those visiting your property to address those dangerous winter conditions and make the premises as safe as reasonably possible. Should a property owner fail to uphold this duty, those injured in slip and fall accidents due to a dangerous condition on the property of another may be able to seek compensation for harm suffered.

Recovering Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury

In order to recover compensation for a slip and fall injury, you must be able to show that a property owner knew or should have known of a potential property hazard but failed to address it in a timely manner. Courts will look to consider whether a reasonable person would have known or should have known of the dangerous condition as well as whether there was enough opportunity to resolve the danger before the slip and fall occurred.

When it comes to winter weather hazards, property owners are expected to perform periodic inspections of the property to identify hazards. Additionally, property owners should be prepared to address such dangerous conditions in a reasonable amount of time. This includes removing or remediating snow and ice buildup from the property within a reasonable amount of time. Failure of a property owner to take these safety measures can show negligence on their part and expose them to liability for harm caused by any resulting slip and falls.

To determine whether a property owner took reasonable steps to prevent a winter slip and fall from occurring, you can ask some of the following questions:

  • How long was the dangerous condition present on the property?
  • Did the property owner provide for routine inspection of the property to check for potential hazards?
  • Was there a justifiable reason for the hazard remaining on the property for as long as it did?
  • Was there a reasonable way that the hazardous condition could have been remedied or at least made safer until it could be remedied?

A Pedestrian’s Responsibilities

It is also important to remember that pedestrians have their own duty to exercise reasonable care, and this holds true throughout the year, winter months included. Failing to act with a level of reasonable care can impact your ability to recover compensation should you pursue a personal injury claim against a property owner after being injured in a slip and fall.

Connecticut is, after all, a modified comparative negligence state. This means that, in any Connecticut slip and fall or other type of personal injury action, an injured party may not recover any damages if found to be over 50 percent at fault for the injury causing accident. If a plaintiff is still found to be partially at fault, but the assigned percentage of fault is 50 percent or less, the plaintiff will still be able to recover. The damage award, however, will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the plaintiff.

Connecticut pedestrians, consider the following tips for staying safe during the tough winter months:

  • In case of inclement, or predicted to be inclement, weather, try to avoid going out.
  • If you are out in inclement weather, dress properly with appropriate footwear to help you grip in the snowy and slippery conditions.
  • Wear gloves and keep your hands out of your pockets. This can help you be ready to brace or catch yourself should you slip and fall.

Call Our Team After a Slip and Fall Injury

A dedicated Connecticut slip and fall attorney can help you recover full and fair compensation for injuries sustained in a winter slip and fall. Property owners and their insurance companies will begin quickly working to weaken your case or find ways to dismiss it altogether. That is why time is of the essence in reaching out for assistance.

Our trusted team at Carter Mario Law Firm is committed to helping our clients after they have suffered harm in accidents caused by the negligence of others. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.