Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

When am I eligible to sue for slip-and-fall injuries?

While perhaps slips and falls happen most often in the wintry months, they're not exclusively a weather-related issue. Instead, they're caused more often because of poor maintenance than anything.

There are so many different situations that can cause slips and falls. Take for example, a pothole in a parking lot. You may have fallen into it because it wasn't patched up. Then, think about a spilled product that staff didn't take time to clean up properly. Or, think about the water that drips off the roof of a building and freezes on the ground overnight.

If you slip and fall in one of these instances, then you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover medical costs and other expenses and damages.

You may not always be able to sue for damages if you file on the sidewalk out in front of a store largely because, in most jurisdictions, there aren't laws requiring business owners to clean up snow or ice.

Suing in a case where a clogged gutter drain made it impossible for water to drip into designated safe areas and instead causes it to be routed to the sidewalk where it refroze may be demonstrative of a negligence. You may be eligible to file an injury lawsuit to recover your medical costs in such a case.

In terms of parking lots, it's the responsibility of the property owner offering the lot up to make sure that it's safe to its users. One of their responsibilities is to ensure that its different elevations don't abruptly change, but that there is a ramp or are otherwise gradual variation to levels. It's also their responsibility to make sure that all holes and cracks are filled in to avoid user injuries.

It's the responsibility of a property owner to make sure that the premises are properly lit so that a customer or worker can see changes in elevations, holes as they move about stairs and other potential obstacles.

While many slips and falls result in simple bruises or scratches, others can result in broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries. In learning more about the circumstances surrounding your fall, an experienced New Haven attorney can advise you of your rights to sue for lost wages and medical bills in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Conditions leading to outdoor slip and fall accidents," accessed Feb. 13, 2018

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