In 2020 alone, there were over 20,000 admissions to Kentucky hospitals due to personal injury. “Slip-and-falls” are common lawsuits in Kentucky. They fall under the broader name of “premises liability cases”, where those responsible for managing the property may be at fault for an injury sustained on their premises. Due to the complexity of proving fault in a slip, trip or fall case, working with a personal injury lawyer like the Emery Law Office is essential. Read on to find out more about a trip and fall lawsuit.
What Is Premises Liability In Kentucky?
Premises liability refers to lawsuits due to dangerous conditions on a property owner’s premises. If you slip and fall on someone’s property due to a factor like a slippery floor or uneven pathway, you might be entitled to a trip and fall settlement.
A successful slip and fall lawsuit relies on a dangerous condition on the property, negligence on the part of the property owner, and a personal injury resulting from that negligence.
A slip and fall claim is an example of a premises liability claim, but this term also covers other lawsuits due to danger and negligence on someone’s property. Examples of other claims might include damage caused by animals or inadequate building security.
Understanding Slip And Fall Accidents
Slip and fall, or trip and fall accidents, often occur on stairs, rugs, carpets, sidewalks or floors that are either broken or not built to code. Dangerous conditions may arise from slippery floors caused by ice and snow pile ups or slippery substances on floors. Poor visibility may also arise from inadequate lighting on a property, leaving you vulnerable to injury.
A slip and fall can have far-reaching repercussions for the person that sustains the injury. You may have sustained physical damage that costs you financially or prevents you from working. If you have incurred an injury on someone else’s property, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
What Is The Negligence Law In Kentucky?
Personal injury is not a sufficient basis for a slip and fall lawsuit. You must also be able to prove that the property owner was negligent, which means that they were aware of the dangerous condition on the property and had sufficient time to rectify or notify you that there was a hazard. If the property owner was negligent, they are “liable” for the injury sustained on their property.
Proprietors have a duty of care to those they invite onto their property. The “invitee” can be someone expressly invited onto the property or indirectly invited onto the property (e.g. a customer or a caretaker). Kentucky State law does not apply the reasonable care approach to trespassers unless they are children or the landowner has specifically made their land incredibly dangerous for trespassers.
Starting A Slip And Fall Lawsuit
When you first sustain a personal injury on someone’s property, you must take the following steps after your trip and fall. These actions can help protect you and set the groundwork for your trip and fall lawsuit.
Seek Medical Attention
When you have sustained a personal injury, seek immediate medical attention. Medical records and treatment plans submitted to your personal injury lawyer are vital in a claim. Your attorney may also request the verbal testimony of your medical professional.
Document The Incident
You must provide as much evidence of the dangerous condition and event as possible. Jot down times and information from witnesses, and take photos of the surface or area where the accident occurred. If you require immediate medical care, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible for support in gathering this information.
Report The Accident
If you had an accident in any location open to the public, a log book or accident book should be available. Ensure you log the accident with the proprietor to ensure that you have evidence that an accident occurred on their property.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On A Slip And Fall In Kentucky?
You have one year after your accident to file a “slip-and-fall” in court. Statute 413.140 outlines that “an action for an injury” must be brought bythe plaintiff in one year. Time is of the essence, and hiring a personal injury lawyer like Emery Law Offices for support in filing your claim is essential.
It is also essential to file a slip and fall claimas soon as possible, as memories of accidents fade with time. If your injury leaves you incapacitated, your personal injury lawyer can also help you gather the necessary information quickly.
Hiring A Lawyer For A Slip And Fall Lawsuit
It is essential to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you navigate the complexities of your trip and fall lawsuit. Some of the critical examples where a lawyer can help include:
- Providing their legal expertise and knowledge of Kentucky law
- Negotiating trip and fall settlements
- Navigating court proceedings
- Helping to prove that the proprietor was negligent
The Lawsuit Process
Your personal injury lawyer will talk you through the trip and fall lawsuit process and keep you informed every step of the way. At Emery Law Office, we offer a no-win no-fee claim to our clients to ensure that you don’t pay us a penny out of your own pocket.
The trip and fall lawsuit process will usually fall into the following steps:
Filing The Complaint
In Kentucky, a personal injury lawsuit is considered a civil case. Cases come to trial in either Civil Court, where claims are under $5,000, or Circuit Court, where cases are over $5,000. Your personal injury lawyer will discuss these options and how to file a complaint.
Once the complaint is ready, both sides will gather evidence pertinent to the case. Your personal injury lawyer will help you collect medical information, proof of negligence and all relevant records to your case.
Negotiation & Settlement
Trip-and-fall lawsuits often settle out of court with a slip-and-fall settlement. When the proprietor is found negligent, they will pay a fee to ‘settle’ the case out of court. Your personal injury lawyer can discuss settlement fees and make a fair arrangement.
If you don’t settle, or the settlement is insufficient, your case may proceed to trial. Both sides will present their evidence, and then if the judge rules in your favor you will be awarded suitable compensation. The case may take longer to conclude if the defendant’s lawyer appeals.