How To Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Case in Kentucky

man on floor slip and fall accident

If you have been significantly injured in a slip and fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may seek compensation. But to obtain it, you must prove the accident was someone else’s fault. The Kentucky slip and fall lawyers of Morgan Collins, Yeast & Salyer can help you make your case.

Every year, millions of people are injured in falls. Some people are disabled for life by falls caused by dangerous conditions. These are preventable hazards that should have been addressed by property owners or, at a minimum, had proper warning signs to prevent falls at stores, offices, homes, sidewalks, parking lots, and garages.

Property owners have a legal obligation to ensure the reasonable safety of anyone who might legally visit the premises. When a fall hazard exists, property owners are required to fix the unsafe condition in a timely manner or post warnings of the danger. Failure to address the hazard is negligence, which makes the property owner potentially liable because of the hazard they ignored if someone is injured.

Victims of fall accidents may suffer a variety of serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), back injuries, broken hips or arms, knee injuries, or shoulder dislocations. A claim against the at-fault property owner’s business liability insurance or homeowner’s insurance would seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and potentially additional losses.

Typical Slip, Trip, and Fall Hazards that Lead to Injuries

  • Wet floors made slippery by spilled liquids, tracked-in rain or snow, recent mopping, buffing, or waxing.
  • Clutter, trash, or debris in store aisles, corridors, sidewalks, and other walkways.
  •  Potholes in parking lots or overgrown lawns or lots.
  • Damaged or loose flooring, carpet, rugs, mats, tile, paving stones, stair treads, or handrails.
  • Poor lighting in corridors, stairwells, and parking garages.
  • Elevators and escalators that start or stop abruptly or fail to align with the floor

To recover full compensation for an injury suffered in a fall caused by a property owner’s negligence, you need to present evidence to prove how the owner or property manager’s negligence led to your injury. This is where an experienced personal injury attorney at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer can help you.

What is Necessary to Prove Negligence in a Slip and Fall Accident?

slip and fall wet floorSlip and fall cases typically arise when someone has fallen on someone else’s property and been injured badly enough to require emergency medical treatment and time away from work. In some instances, the accident victim may contact the business where the accident occurred to request compensation and be turned down or offered little for their loss. The owner may dispute their fault for the accident or not understand their liability.

It’s important to contact a slip and fall lawyer who can negotiate on your behalf.

Our objective as personal injury attorneys representing a slip and fall accident victim is to calculate the full extent of our client’s losses and prove the property owner’s liability. We will present the property owner and their insurers with a demand for payment of the accident victim’s losses. This leads to either a payment, negotiations toward a settlement agreement, or a lawsuit, which asks a court or jury to order the property owner to pay the damages suffered by our client.

What to Prove Against the Property Owner?

  • Caused the dangerous condition that led to our client’s accident and injury
  • Should have been aware of the dangerous condition that led to the accident but was not
  • Was aware of the dangerous condition that led to the accident but did nothing about it
  • Was aware of the dangerous condition that led to the accident and took inadequate steps to remove or warn about the dangerous condition

A property owner’s first defense is that they must be allowed a reasonable amount of time to become aware of a hazard and to eliminate it. For example, if something falls onto the floor at a grocery and creates a wet, slippery floor, it’s reasonable to allow time for the grocery staff to find the spill and send someone to clean it up.

If a property owner cannot eliminate a hazard right away, they may post warnings and/or barriers to protect people from the danger.

In some cases, a property owner may argue that a reasonable person would have recognized the danger and avoided it. This is sometimes called the “open and obvious” rule, as in “it was an open pit, and it was obvious he should have steered clear of it to avoid falling in.” What is “reasonable” or “obvious” to an adult is open to interpretation. It may be part of negotiations with insurers or arguments before a jury.

The victim‘s own carelessness or inattention may be a valid defense if, for example, the person was looking at a phone when the fall occurred or was not adequately watching where he or she was going.

If the victim was trespassing, he or she may not have a legitimate claim. Note, however, that there are different rules for children who are too immature to understand trespassing or recognize an obvious danger.

How We Can Prove Your Slip and Fall Claim

Slip and fall claims are won by persuading a property owner, insurer, or jury that the property owner was at fault and the victim was hurt through no fault of their own.

List of Evidence Required to Prove Slip and Fall Claim

  • Witness statements, which may include bystanders who saw the accident or employees who can testify about the condition of the property
  • Accident reports, such as reported to the business or filed by emergency responders
  • Photos or video from witnesses or security cameras footage of the accident
  • Property maintenance and repair policies and records, which may indicate that needed repairs were known but put off

Evidence from a premises liability accident should be gathered immediately before the unsafe condition is corrected. Some evidence may require legal motions, such as seeking a business’s maintenance records or prior complaints about the same unsafe condition.

As in most things, sooner is better than later for contacting a personal injury attorney about a potential slip and fall accident claim. At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer we can start investigating your claim immediately.

Talk to Our Kentucky Slip and Fall Lawyers Today

Contact Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer as soon as possible after a slip and fall accident has caused serious or catastrophic injuries. Let us get started on your case today by providing you with a free legal consultation. We serve all of Kentucky from law offices in Lexington, Somerset, Manchester, London, Hazard, Paducah, Paintsville and Prestonsburg. Contact us at (877) 809-5352 or online now.