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Do Business Owners Have A Duty To Keep Shoppers Safe?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2022 | Premises Liability |

You were simply out running your errands on the weekend when, while grocery shopping, you slip on a spill and break your arm. You may need to take time off work to heal and it is likely you will have medical expenses on top of the lost wages. If this happens to you, you may want to learn more about premises liability lawsuits.

What is an invitee?

Connecticut law on premises liability lawsuits recognizes different categories of people that may be on another person’s property. Shoppers are considered business invitees. Business invitees are those who go onto another person’s property to either directly or indirectly engage in a business dealing. Invitees are the most protected category of those who may be on another person’s property.

What duties are owed to invitees?

Property owners cannot intentionally harm invitees or lay traps for them. Invitees must be treated with due care if the property owner knows or should know the invitee is on their premises. While obvious conditions need no warning, property owners must warn invitees of any known dangerous hidden hazards.

Property owners must also inspect their property for dangerous conditions and either erect safeguards or take action to remedy the danger and make it safe for invitees. A property owner also may be liable to invitees for ordinary and discoverable defects but is not liable for unknown defects that would not be discoverable with reasonable care.

Proving premises liability

Invitees must prove certain elements to prove premises liability. In addition to duty, the injured invitee must show the property owner knew or should have known of the defect that caused the invitee’s injury.

The invitee also must show that the defect was present for enough time to allow the property owner through reasonable care to discover it and either remedy it or post a warning of its presence. Property owners are not liable for dangers that are unknown and unanticipated. If you prevail in your slip-and-fall lawsuit, you may awarded the compensation you need to be whole again.