No matter where you go in Kentucky - the grocery store, a restaurant, an office building, a private residence, or an event - property owners are typically responsible to provide you with a reasonably safe environment.
Generally, when they fail to do this and someone gets hurt in a slip and fall accident, negligent owners are liable for the victim's injuries. Getting owners to take responsibility, however, isn't easy. Many try to blame the victim to get out of paying for things like medical bills and lost wages. They may even say you were trespassing. (Property owners have almost no duty to provide trespassers with a safe environment.)
Proving negligence after a slip and fall can be complicated and, for injured victims, the stakes are high. That's why if you were injured in a slip and fall, it's in your interest to consult with a lawyer who can give you a clear understanding of your legal rights and options.
Examples of slip, trip, and fall accidents
Every state has its own liability or "tort" laws. In Kentucky, a victim would have a strong slip and fall liability case if the property owner was aware or should have been aware of a hazard but did not address it in a timely manner through repairs, alterations, or sufficient warning. Some examples of slip and fall scenarios include:
- Slippery floors. Surfaces can be made slick by things like leaky coolers or refrigerators, spilled liquid or oil, or recently waxed surfaces.
- Debris and clutter. Pathways may be obstructed by clutter, trash, or items being stocked.
- Deficient stairways. This can be something such as uneven steps, loose boards, and loose railings.
- Uneven surfaces. Common examples include bunched-up carpeting and loose wires.
Some of the most frequent injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents include concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, shoulder injuries, back injuries, knee trauma; bone fractures (especially in the wrist, ankle, legs, arms, or ribs); as well as muscle, ligament, and tendon strains and tears.
Elements of a slip and fall case
In general, there are four elements to a successful slip and fall case.
- Duty of care. The property owner had a duty of care to provide you with a reasonably safe environment.
- That duty was breached. The property owner was aware or should have been aware of the premises' hazard and failed to address it adequately.
- That breach caused a serious accident. The injury is due to the hazard and not some other factor.
- That accident resulted in injuries with damages. You must have compensable damages that were the result of your slip and fall.
One of the ways negligent property owners try to get out of taking responsibility for slip and fall accidents is by blaming the victims. This can be an effective strategy because Kentucky is a comparative negligence state. That means fault for an accident is divided among those involved.
Compensation is reduced proportionately by the victim's percentage of fault. For example, if your damages are $100,000 but you're found to be 25 percent at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 25 percent to $75,000.
Other tactics a negligent property owner may use to deflect liability include claiming:
- You were in an area where customers or visitors are not allowed or expected to be.
- The dangerous condition was obvious and the victim proceeded anyway. (This assertion, however, is not always effective in Kentucky. Even when a hazard is "open and obvious," there are situations in which an owner would still be liable for injuries.)
- You were distracted or otherwise not paying attention to where you were going and that lack of awareness - not the premises - is the cause of your injury.
Talk to a Louisville slip and fall lawyer today
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in the Louisville area, Attorney Aaron Whaley and his dedicated legal team can deal with the property owner and the insurance company while you focus your time and energy on your recovery.
The laws pertaining to slip and falls in Kentucky can be tough to navigate on your own, but our law firm has the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle every aspect of your claim and keep your case moving forward.
Discover what an experienced slip and fall accident attorney can do for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.