Most people will at some point in their lives fall after slipping on a surface or tripping over an object. Hopefully, those are isolated incidents that don’t result in injury. But occasionally, people suffer serious injuries in slips and falls. When the accident is due to someone else’s negligence, the injured party could be entitled to compensation.
“Slip-and-fall” or “trip-and-fall” refers to a type of personal injury caused by some specific hazard or defect on a property. Most often, these injuries occur in public places, such as supermarkets or restaurants, although they may occur on private property, too.
In these cases, the court considers the issue of premises liability – meaning, whether a property owner or overseer’s actions or inaction caused someone’s injury. The injured party’s lawyer, or premises liability attorney, must prove that the property overseer was aware of a hazard likely to cause serious harm, and that the injured person was not aware of the hazard. For example, if a store manager knows employees have tripped over a peeling floor tile several times yet doesn’t repair the tile, the business may be found liable when a customer trips over the tile and suffers an injury.
If you’re a resident of southeastern Kentucky and have been injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, we may be able to help you.
Barriers to Slip and Fall Settlements
Many business owners have liability insurance that will cover costs when someone is injured on their property; however, Kentucky does not require business owners to carry liability insurance. In slip-and-fall cases that occur at an uninsured or underinsured business, a plaintiff’s attorney may investigate whether other parties share some liability for the injury. For example, if a business rents space from a landlord who is responsible for the property’s maintenance, the landlord might be liable for any injuries caused by a defect or hazard on the premises.
Big-box retailers do have insurance that could cover a person’s injury damages, but they also have teams of attorneys who will attempt to undermine the credibility of anyone who brings a lawsuit against their client. Nevertheless, if you’ve been injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident and someone else is to blame, the offending party should be held accountable. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of corporate lawyers attempting to disprove your version of what happened, and don’t accept any offer until you talk to your attorney.
Injuries that occur on state-run land are initially handled outside the court system.
Kentucky is among a handful of states that created a Board of Claims to investigate claims of governmental negligence in personal injury cases. The board investigates negligence claims against any division of the state government, which may include state parks, state institutions of higher education, elected officials, public safety agencies, state hospitals, and more.
If a claim’s value against a governmental entity is less than $1,000, the board may review the claim and issue a decision, and it is not obligated to hold a hearing. The board must hold hearings if claims are in excess of $1,000.
A plaintiff who disagrees with the board’s decision can appeal the ruling in Circuit Court. Hoskins, Hill & Hill has extensive experience with the appeals process, so if you need to appeal a Board of Claims ruling, give us a call at (606) 528-7181.
How to Handle a Slip and Fall Injury
If you are injured because of a hazard on a property, you should gather as much information as you can without compromising your own health. Getting names and phone numbers of anyone who witnessed the accident could be helpful later on in proving your case.
Early documentation of injuries is important in slip-and-fall cases, so get medical attention as soon as possible. Because slip-and-fall cases must be filed within a certain timeframe, it’s important to contact a lawyer right away, too.
Protecting Your Rights
We understand that when you’re injured in an accident, you may not know where to turn for advice and you may be confused about what rights you have. Hoskins, Hill & Hill wants to protect the rights of people in and around Corbin, because we know that insurers and businesses may be more concerned with their own profits than the well-being of the general population.
You do have rights, and you shouldn’t have to suffer from excessive medical bills, or loss of income, if someone else is responsible for your injuries. Call us today at (606) 528-7181, or fill out our online form for a no-obligation consultation.