When Home Becomes Hazard: Exploring Residential Premises Liability And Tenant Rights

Many homeowners are completely unaware that their property may have potential hazards that could put them at risk of facing a pricey lawsuit. With so many different residential property laws and ordinances, property owners are probably completely unaware of most of them. In some circumstances, a property owner may be liable for the injuries of invited guests, tenants, and sometimes even trespassers. Homeownership has its benefits, but they do come with risks.

What Is Residential Premises Liability?

When you purchase a residential property, you may believe that you are the king or queen of the castle. While some of that does hold true, it’s not entirely accurate. Residential laws and ordinances must be adhered to along with other legal responsibilities. It is where residential premises liability laws come into play. Every homeowner should be aware of them to limit their risk of being involved in a personal injury lawsuit. And if you’ve been injured on a residential property, you may have grounds to seek damages.

If you’ve been injured on someone’s residential property, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more, contact a New Haven personal injury lawyer. During a free consultation, a legal expert will review your case and determine the best way to move forward.

Every residential property owner has a duty of care to provide an environment that is safe and free of hazards. If someone is injured on a residential property and has a legal right to be there, the property owner could be held liable for their damages. It includes invited guests, unexpected visitors like mail carriers and delivery people, as well as tenants if you rent out the property.

How To Seek Compensation if You’ve Been Injured on a Residential Property

Tenants invited guests, and those who have a legitimate reason to be in a private residence, have the legal right to file a personal injury claim if they’ve been injured on the property. In some circumstances, even trespassers can file a claim if the property owner deliberately made the property dangerous. Setting up “booby traps” on a property falls under the umbrella of premises liability. However, the injured party has the burden of proving the following:

  • The defendant owns the property – You’ll have to prove that the defendant is the legal owner of the premises.
  • You were on the property legally – To file a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that they had every right to be on the property.
  • The defendant didn’t properly maintain the property – To prove your claim, you’ll have to provide evidence that the defendant’s property wasn’t safe and was hazardous.
  • You were injured due to the defendant’s negligence – Your injury must be directly related to the property owner’s negligence to provide a safe environment.
  • Your injuries caused you damages – Your injuries must be severe enough to have caused you financial losses or other hardships.

Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the necessary evidence to prove all of the above.

Comparative Negligence Law and Premises Liability

Connecticut follows a modified comparative negligence law that plays a big part in how premises liability personal injury cases are handled. This law takes into consideration how much the injured party played a part in the accident that caused them damages. It means that if the plaintiff was partially responsible, they could still seek to recover damages by filing a personal injury claim against the defendant.

In the state of Connecticut, their modified comparative negligence law states that if the plaintiff was 50% or less responsible for the incident that caused them harm. It would be determined by the judge and/or jury. For example, if the plaintiff was found to be 25% responsible for their injury if awarded damages, they would only be entitled to collect 75% of the total monetary amount.

Damages That Can Be Claimed in a Premises Liability Personal Injury Lawsuit

Like all personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff has the legal right to seek all damages related to their injury. It includes both economic and non-economic damages. Typical damages can include:

  • Medical bills
  • Costs associated with mobility devices
  • Transportation costs to and from medical appointments
  • Past, current, and future lost earnings and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Connecticut Residential Premises Liability: The Bottom Line

If you’ve been injured while visiting a private residential property, it’s important to retain a personal injury attorney. While you may feel that your case is cut and dry, you’ll need the assistance of an experienced attorney to ensure that you don’t accept a lowball settlement offer.

All homeowners have a legal obligation to ensure that their residential property is free of hazards. Anyone injured while on their property who’s been harmed by a homeowner’s negligence, tenants included, can be held liable for the victim’s damages. It can sometimes include trespassers if the property owner deliberately created a hazard.

Elizabeth Willett (MA)
Elizabeth Willett (MA)
Elizabeth Willett has an M.A in health and fitness, is an experienced trainer, and enjoys teaching children about healthy eating habits. She loves to cook nutritious meals for her family.


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