Ownership and possession of real estate exposes the owner to liability for injuries that occur on the property. The duty owed by the landowner depends on the legal status of the injured person. The duty owed to someone who is a trespasser is less than the duty owed to someone invited on the property as a social guest or business customer. There is generally no duty owed to a trespasser, however, if the landowner is aware of the trespasser’s presence on the property, reasonable care must be exercised to prevent injuries to the trespasser.
People invited to the property must be protected by keeping the property in a reasonably safe condition. Unsafe conditions that a reasonable inspection would reveal must be made safe, or adequate warnings must be made. Any conditions which do not comply with current building codes expose an owner to claims.
A landowner also is responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks, driveways, stoops and porches. The law in Connecticut requires that this be done within a reasonable time after a snowfall has ended.
The owner or keeper of a dog is liable if the dog bites or injures someone even if the dog has not bitten someone before and has shown no tendency to bite. If someone is trespassing or has tormented, provoked or teased the dog, the owner is generally not liable.
If you own or rent property it is important that you have liability insurance in case someone is injured and files a claim.
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