Lexington, KY Premises Liability Lawyer
We expect the properties we legally enter to be well-maintained and safe. Places like stores, hotels, and hospitals should be well-kept and updated when necessary. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. When property owners neglect to take care of their building or land, visitors can get hurt.
When someone is wrongfully injured because of a property owner’s negligence, they can seek compensation for their injuries and loses. If you’ve been hurt, our Lexington premises liability lawyers can guide you through the claim process, so you can focus your energy on recovery.
If you’re ready to take legal action, you’ll benefit from understanding some basic information on premises liability claims.
What Is Premises Liability?
Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment. They need to make sure walkways are clear, hand railings are sturdy, and there’s lighting for you to see where you’re walking. When they don’t maintain their premises and someone gets hurt, the owner is probably the one at fault.
In general, there are three types of visitors. An invitee is someone who has express or implied permission to visit the property. These are people like relatives or friends. A licensee is someone who also has express or implied permission to be on the premises, but they’re there for their own purposes. This could be someone like a salesperson. An owner typically owes more duty of care to an invitee than they do to a licensee. A trespasser is a person that is not allowed to be on the premises.
Premises liability accidents can happen suddenly and may be shocking or traumatic. But you can take measures to get justice. Before filing your claim, you may want to know more about the types of claims that are filed most often.
Types of Premises Liability Claims
The type of accident you’re in will impact the evidence needed to prove your claim. While slip and fall accidents are among the most common, other premises liability cases include:
- Dog Bites. Dog owners have a responsibility to others to ensure their pets do not act out and hurt anyone. When someone is bitten by a dog it’s crucial to seek medical attention, as infections are common.
- Swimming Pool Accidents. While pools are a great way to beat the heat in the summertime, improper maintenance can result in accidents. Walkways around pools should be kept dry and clear to prevent anyone from falling.
- Poor Maintenance. When broken stairs, uneven sidewalks, or warped floors are left unfixed, an accident is possible.
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents. While elevators and escalators are convenient, poorly maintained ones are dangerous. Malfunctions can result in serious or even catastrophic injuries.
- Amusement Park Accidents. When rides are improperly maintained or the grounds of an amusement park are unkept, it’s possible for guests to get injured.
- Fires. While not every fire is preventable, claims can be filed against the ones that should have been. If, for example, a restaurant owner neglects to clean their grease traps and someone is injured in a fire, they can seek compensation.
- Flooding. Like fires, not all floods are preventable. But when poorly maintained drainage systems cause flooding that shouldn’t have happened, the victims can seek recovery.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents are typical causes of injury in premises liability cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), slip and fall accidents can be caused by floor contaminants, snow and ice, drainage issues, structural problems, uneven flooring or walkways, and more.
Floor contaminants like water, grease, or cleaning products can easily cause someone to slip. This happens most often in places like restaurants. Slipping is also possible if inclement weather like snow and ice isn’t properly cleaned up. Walkways and stairs may become slippery if they’re not salted or shoveled. That’s why it’s important for property owners to use protective mats for conditions like that. Tracking snow into buildings can also make entryways dangerous. Drainage issues can also cause a buildup of water on walkways when gutters aren’t cleaned, or water drainage pipes are clogged.
Falls are also likely to happen when there’s uneven flooring, poor lighting, or structural problems. When carpet or other types of flooring is damaged, people can trip. The ground outside where visitors walk also needs to be flat and well maintained. Poor lighting, whether it’s inside or outside, can prevent people from seeing hazards they would have otherwise been able to avoid. Common structural problems include unsound stairs and broken railings. A tumble down a flight of stairs can caused serious injuries like broken bones and head injuries.
Clearly, there are many ways that people can get injured because of an owner’s negligence. No matter what caused your injury, we will look into your case and find out what happened and how you were hurt.
Common Premises Liability Injuries
Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries that could affect you for the rest of your life. Sometimes, the injuries can worsen over time if you don’t get medical treatment as soon as possible. If you’ve experienced a fall, you need to see a medical professional. They’ll assess your injuries and provide you with a treatment plan.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries. Depending on the severity, it can take weeks, months, or longer to recover from a brain injury. The victim may suffer from cognitive impairment and be unable to return to their previous way of life.
- Bone Fractures. Broken bones are a common slip and fall injury. While some can be set with a cast, others require surgery to ensure the patient will have full range of motion after healing.
- Sprains. While a sprain may not sound like a serious injury, left untreated the consequences can be debilitating.
- Back Injuries. When a person slips, trips, or falls, there’s a chance they will end up on their back. The structures in the back, like the vertebra and discs, are delicate. A back injury can prevent a person from working for weeks or months.
Proving a Premises Liability Claim in Lexington
There are a few points that your premises liability lawyer will prove to show that you weren’t at fault for your accident. They’ll also prove that your injuries were caused by a negligent property owner. The elements needed to build a strong case include:
- Duty of Care. The property owner owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal obligation to ensure their property was safe. Your attorney will additionally discuss how you were allowed to be on the premises and weren’t acting negligently.
- Negligence. The owner breached their duty of care because they acted in a negligent way that put others on the property in danger by not maintaining or updating their property.
- Injuries. Your accident on the property caused your injuries. You can use physical evidence like medical records, which will include information about the severity of your injuries, what your treatment required, and what you will need to do in the future to recover.
- Loss. Because of your injuries, you will have financial losses from medical expenses, missing work, and more. We’ll prove that these happened because of the owner’s negligence.
Applicable Personal Injury Laws in Kentucky
As with any personal injury case, there are state laws that could impact how your case proceeds and your eligibility for compensation. Having a general understanding of the laws will ensure the proper steps are taken to maximize your chances for recovery.
Statute of Limitations
While dealing with a claim may be the last thing on your mind after you’ve suffered an injury, there are a few reasons why you would want to get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible. For one, not getting in touch with a premises liability lawyer could jeopardize your chances for a full recovery.
There is a time limit in which you can bring personal injury cases forward. In Kentucky, you have one year after the incident happened. This is referred to as a statute of limitations. Failing to come forward within that time frame may risk having your case dismissed without review.
Waiting could also put you in a tricky financial situation. If the accident has cost you damages, then you’re probably wondering how you’re going to pay back those losses. Medical expenses can be expensive and due dates aren’t always flexible. The sooner you file a claim, the faster you’ll have access to the funds you need to pay your bills.
When it comes to getting full and fair compensation, the details of your incident could be critical. Starting on your case as early as possible will mean the details will still be fresh in your mind. Waiting months after the incident could mean your account of what happened has blanks that you can’t fill. When you get in touch with an attorney shortly after the accident, they’ll be able to record your statements and conduct an investigation to collect as much evidence as possible.
Comparative Fault Laws
With any personal injury claim, you may find that after you file your claim the other party may insist that you were partially at fault for the accident – even if you weren’t. Kentucky has comparative fault laws, which means that the injured party can be held partially liable for the incident if they acted negligently.
Fault is assigned through percentages. For example, let’s say you fell outside someone’s house because of an uneven sidewalk. If you were running at the time and not watching where you were going in a reasonable manner, you could be partially liable. If you’re found to be 10 percent at fault, your total compensation will be reduced to 90 percent.
Your lawyers will go over your case and help show that you weren’t at fault for your injuries. You deserve to have full compensation when you didn’t do anything wrong.
Seek Legal Representation from Todd W. Burris
If you or a loved one has been hurt on someone else’s property in Kentucky, you can take legal action. When you seek compensation to hold a property owner accountable for their actions, you could make them think twice about neglecting their premises again. Your claim now might stop another person from getting hurt in the future.
Hiring a Lexington premises liability lawyer means getting the help you need to file your claim. We understand that the process can seem overwhelming, which is why we’ll handle the paperwork and interactions with the insurance company. A skilled attorney will do all they can to get you compensation for the incident.
The sooner you take action, the better. To learn more about your legal options, schedule a free consultation with us today. We can evaluate your situation and help you determine how best to proceed.