When you are on a private or public residence, the owner of the property generally owes you a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. When a property owner fails to take the necessary actions to ensure your safety, and you slip, trip, or fall on a wet floor or other hazardous condition on the premises, you may have grounds for an injury claim against the owner.
If you or a loved one fell on another’s property, you should contact a La Grange slip and fall lawyer who has experience handling fall cases and can effectively represent your interests. A skilled personal injury attorney could help assess your claim and fight hard to secure fair compensation for the injuries and damages you have endured.
The distinction of visitors is very important when attempting to hold a property owner accountable for their careless actions under state law. Kentucky law classifies visitors on premises into three separate categories:
Your settlement or amount awarded could be impacted depending upon your classification as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. A lawyer in La Grange can advocate on your behalf regarding your status as a visitor on the property and counter any argument made by a landowner or their attorney attempting to have your slip and fall case dismissed before a trial.
State law determines the duty owed by a landowner to an injury victim based on the injured person’s classification as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. A trespasser is defined as a person who comes upon the property with no legal right to be on the property. A licensee is a person who comes upon the property with the permission of the landowner.
Lastly, an invitee is defined as a person who comes upon the property in some capacity associated with the business of the property owner. Thus, any time you go to a restaurant, convenience store, gas station, or almost any other store open to the public, you are likely to be deemed an invitee.
Invitees are granted the most protection under Kentucky law. For an invitee, property owners are required to discover unreasonably dangerous conditions on the property and either remedy the dangerous condition or warn of the dangerous condition. This means that property owners with businesses open to the public (i.e. grocery stores, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc.) must investigate the premises on a regular basis to see whether any dangerous conditions that could possibly be a hazard exists on the property.
If the landowner discovers a dangerous condition, they are required to remedy the condition or warn of the condition. If a property owner fails to take such action, the landowner faces potential liability if anyone is injured on the premises due to the dangerous condition.
For a licensee, landowners have a duty to refrain from willfully causing visitors injury or from committing active negligence resulting in injury to a visitor. If the injury caused to a licensee is the result of a known natural or artificial condition of the property, which the landowner should realize involves an unreasonable risk to the licensee, and the property owner has reason to believe that the licensee will not discover the condition or realize the risk, the landowner owes the licensee the duty to make the safe or to warn the visitor of the condition.
Trespassers receive the least amount of protection under state law. Landowners generally are only liable to trespassers for injuries that are purposefully or intentionally caused by the property owner or someone acting on the owners behalf. A knowledgeable lawyer could explain the duty of care owed to each type of visitor in a slip and fall case.
When a slip and fall victim is partially to blame for the fall that caused their injuries, KRS 411.182 establishes how much will be awarded to the victim. Under the legal doctrine of pure comparative negligence, you are still entitled to get paid for your injuries and damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident, but you monetary recovery is reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault. For instance, if a jury or judge determined you were 50% at fault for the slip and fall incident and the Defendant landowner was the remaining 50% at fault for the incident, you are entitled to recover 50% of your damages against the property owner. A skilled attorney could help you fight back against comparative fault in a slipping accident claim.
Slip or trip and fall injuries will often result in lifestyle changes and physical pain. Insurance companies and property owners know you have a limited time to bring legal action and they may pressure you to settle before you hire an attorney for the least amount of money possible.
The sooner you call a La Grange slip and fall lawyer, the better your chances to win your case and receive a fair settlement or award. Slip and fall victims need an attorney with the experience to advocate for your legal rights and so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Meagher Law Office focuses 100% of its legal practice to helping personal injury victims in Kentucky. Contact Tate Meagher and his legal team today to schedule your free legal consultation.