Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually
Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. The number of fall deaths among those 65 and older is four times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups.
Most people have a friend or relative who has fallen, or maybe you’ve fallen yourself. Falls are the second-leading cause of unintentional death in homes and communities, resulting in more than 25,000 fatalities in 2009. The risk of falling, and fall-related problems, rises with age and is a serious issue in homes and communities. Take the time to remove slip, trip and fall hazards to keep your family safe.
Common locations for falls:
- Cluttered hallways
- Areas with heavy traffic
- Uneven surfaces
- Areas prone to wetness or spills
- Unguarded heights
- Unstable work surfaces
Fall prevention tips:
- Secure electrical and phone cords out of traffic areas
- Remove small throw rugs or use non-skid mats to keep them from slipping
- Remove tripping hazards (paper, boxes, toys, clothes, shoes) from stairs and walkways
- Periodically check the condition of walkways and steps, and repair damages immediately
- Never stand on a chair, table or other surface on wheels
- Clean up all spills immediately
Connecticut Law regarding Premises Liability
To determine if a defendant is responsible to pay damages it is necessary to decide what duty the defendant owed. Under our law, duty may depend on a person’s status in entering and remaining on the premises. The three categories of status are:
A trespasser is a person who enters or remains on land in the possession of another without a privilege to do so.A possessor of land owes no duty to safeguard from harm a person who comes upon the land as a trespasser. Rather, there is only a duty to refrain from intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct that causes injury to the trespasser. If a possessor of land has knowledge that trespassers constantly intrude upon a limited area of the land, the possessor of land is liable for an artificial condition that caused injury to the trespasser under certain circumstances.
A licensee is a person who is privileged to enter or remain on land only by virtue of the possessor’s consent, that is, with the possessor’s permission or with the possessor’s express or implied consent. A person who is a licensee has certain privileges that a trespasser does not have. A possessor of land owes no duty to a licensee to keep the premises in a safe condition, because the licensee must take the premises as (he/she) finds them and assumes the risk of any danger arising out of an obvious condition. When, then, is a possessor of land liable for injury sustained by a licensee?
A possessor of land is subject to liability for injury to a licensee caused by a condition on the land if only under certain circumstances
An invitee is one who has been invited to go on the premises of the defendant. An invitee goes upon the premises at the express or implied invitation of the possessor for the possessor’s benefit or for the mutual benefit of both. One who goes upon land in the possession of another as a business visitor is an invitee.
An owner or person in control of property owes an invitee the following duties:
- the duty to use reasonable care to inspect and maintain the premises and to make the premises reasonably safe;
- the duty to warn or guard the visitor from being injured by reason of any defects that the invitee could not reasonably be expected to discover;
- the duty to conduct activities on the premises in such a way so as not to injure the visitor.