Elizabethtown Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
Each year, there are over 10,000 unintentional falls in Kentucky, many of which result in serious injury. Indeed, falls are the number one cause of hospitalization for Kentucky residents aged 45 and above. Kentucky slip and fall accidents can result in significant medical bills, missed work, and, in some cases, can change a person’s overall quality of life. While some falls are truly accidents, the majority of falls are due to some defective or dangerous condition of the property where the fall occurred. Those injured in a slip and fall accident may be able to recover for their injuries through a Kentucky premises liability claim.
Kentucky Premises Liability Law
Kentucky slip and fall cases are governed by the state’s premises liability laws. These laws impose a duty on landowners, the extent of which depends on several factors. When determining the scope of the duty a landowner owes to a guest, courts consider the relationship between the property owner and the guest, as well as the reason for the guests visit. All guests fit into one of thee categories: trespasser, licensee or invitee. Understanding the differences between these terms is crucial, as how a guest is classified can greatly affect the guest’s ability to succeed in an Elizabethtown personal injury claim against the landowner.
Invitee – Kentucky business and other landowners owe the highest duty of care to those who are classified as invitees. An invitee is a guest who is invited onto a property for the mutual benefit of the guest and the landowner. An example of an invitee is a customer who is shopping at a grocery store. When an invitee enters another’s property, the landowner must keep the property safe by keeping an eye out for dangerous conditions and either fixing them or warning guests of their existence.
Trespasser – The category of trespasser is reserved for those who are on another’s property without the landowner’s permission. A trespasser is typically not owed any duty of care, other than that a landowner must not do anything intentionally, willfully or recklessly to injure the trespasser. In addition, a landowner may be liable for injuries to a child trespasser that were caused by an “attractive nuisance” on their property. An attractive nuisance is a dangerous feature of the property that the landowner should know is likely to entice children to enter the property without permission. Classic examples of attractive nuisances include an unfenced swimming pool, a roof that is low enough for children to climb onto, heavy machinery and parked vehicles.
Licensee – Under Kentucky slip and fall law, a licensee occupies the middle ground between a trespasser and an invitee. Typically, a licensee is allowed on another’s property for their own benefit and the licensee’s presence provides no benefit to the landowner. Typically, someone is a licensee if they are on another’s property as a result of express consent or local custom. For example, children that cut through a neighbor’s yard on the way to and from school may be considered licensees (as long as the neighbor at least tacitly permits them to cut through). Landowners who are aware of dangerous conditions on their property that may not be easily spotted by the licensee must warn licensees of these hazards.
Comparative Negligence in Hardin County Premises Liability Cases
It is common for defendants in an Elizabethtown slip and fall case to claim that they are not at fault for a guest’s injuries because the guest was somehow negligent. Under Kentucky’s comparative negligence system, a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit can reduce a plaintiff’s total award if the defendant can show that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to their injuries. For example, assume a woman trips on a set of stairs into an Elizabethtown business and, as a result of the fall, sustains $250,000 in damages. If the jury determines that the property owner was 90 percent at fault, and the woman was 10 percent at fault, the woman would be able to recover $225,000 (10 percent less than the total damages amount of $250,000).
Unlike in other that use a modified comparative negligence analysis, Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence system allows an accident victim to pursue a claim regardless of their percentage of fault. This means that a guest who is found to be greater than 51 percent at fault for her injuries can still pursue a claim against a negligent landowner. Of course, the total damages award would be significantly reduce based on her own percentage of fault.
Given the realities of the comparative fault system, the assistance of a dedicated Elizabethtown personal injury lawyer can make a significant difference in the amount of compensation an injured guest receives.
Consult With a Dedicated Elizabethtown Slip and Fall Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been involved in an Elizabethtown slip and fall accident, you deserve an experienced personal injury law firm that will stand with you the whole way. At Hessig & Pohl, we are ready to help you pursue a claim for compensation against the parties responsible for your injuries. Our experienced Kentucky slip and fall liability attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of premises liability law, and know what it takes to succeed on our clients’ behalf. One of the reasons Hessig & Pohl is a popular choice among Kentucky car accident victims is that our representation does not cost you anything out-of-pocket. We work on a contingency basis and cover all litigation costs. We will not collect a fee unless we are able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us though this website, or call our office at (502) 777-1111. The initial consultation is always free.
Marty fought for me when the insurance company denied my claim. We sued and got the insurance limits.