Thousands of people every year are injured in accidents caused by slipping, stumbling, or tripping and consequently falling as a result. In the legal world, these types of accidents are consolidated into one category and typically referred to as “slip and fall” accidents. Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents can vary significantly, as one would expect, and can range from minor to extremely serious in nature.
If you were seriously injured in a slip and fall accident that took place on property that wasn’t your own, you might be wondering if there’s any legal recourse you can take. You absolutely have options and should speak to a Lexington, KY slip and fall accident lawyer as soon as you’re able to do so. Here’s what you need to know about your options first:
Slip and Fall Accidents Can Be Difficult to Prove
The first thing you’ll need to ask yourself is if your injuries were severe enough to potentially sue over. The second thing you’ll need to ask yourself is whether the property owner where the accident occurred was responsible for the accident. Could they have prevented the accident in any way? If so, they may be legally responsible.
There’s a fine line in Kentucky courtrooms regarding slip and fall responsibility, however. If a leaking roof, for example, caused a slippery condition that allowed you to slip, the property owner may not be responsible if they had a drainage grate in place. In this particular case, the owner is seen as trying to prevent any accidents. If there was no drainage grate, on the other hand, they may be held responsible.
The Word “Reasonable” Becomes Important
When filing a slip and fall accident lawsuit, you’ll notice that these cases aren’t necessarily cut and dry. The word “reasonable” comes up a lot due to the complicated nature of these lawsuits. In the example noted above, the property owner took reasonable preventive measures by installing a grate instead of fixing the roof immediately. Property owners can’t be expected to fix major issues like leaking roofs right away. Some sort of time-based limitations and leniencies have to be in place.
Other reasonable preventive measures tend to include things like posted warning signs, caution tape, areas that are properly closed off/blocked, and other types of temporary fixes. In the end, it’s up to the court and jury to decide what’s reasonable to expect of property owners and what isn’t.
The Property Owner Isn’t the Only Person Responsible for Your Fall
The court and jury will also look at every other aspect of your accident when determining who was really responsible. They’ll ask whether you had a legitimate reason for being on the property. They’ll ask if you had a reasonable amount of time and/or warning to avoid the accident entirely. If there were signs posted, were they clearly able to be seen? Was there adequate lighting, etc.?
They’ll also ask if it was possible that you were otherwise distracted. If, for example, you were talking on your cell phone or texting while walking when the accident happened, the court may deem the property owner only partially responsible. In this case, you may receive a reduced award amount or your case may be dropped entirely.
As you can see, slip and fall accidents can be immensely complicated. The court will ask many tough-to-answer questions. This is why having a knowledgeable attorney on your side is vital. Depending on your injuries, you may benefit most by seeking the aid of a Lexington, KY broken bone lawyer if you sustained multiple broken bones. All types of personal injury lawyers will be able to tell you if filing a slip and fall lawsuit is in your best interest, however.
Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer Todd W. Burris is experienced in winning complicated cases like slip and fall accident lawsuits and will be able to help get you the financial compensation you need to recover. Contact our offices for more information or a 100% free consultation.