The winter months are among us in Kentucky. A typical Kentucky winter is accompanied with episodes of snow and ice. Albeit pretty, the conditions can be dangerous. Snow and ice can cause various types of accidents. In specific, these conditions tend to cause slip and falls. Not only do these accidents occur outside, but they also can occur indoors as people’s shoes drag in snow and ice. Slip and falls are a leading cause of injury in Kentucky. They can lead to fractures and long lasting injuries, even fatalities! Therefore, during these chilling winter months, it is critical that you take certain protective measures to prevent being hurt from a slip and fall accident.
How to Prevent Slip and Falls in Ice and Snow
Before delving into Kentucky’s premises liability law, it is critical to list actions that you can take to help prevent slip and falls in snow and/or ice. Of course, this list is not exclusive. First of all, if you are expecting snow and ice, it is important that you spread snow salt over areas the ground that you normally walk upon. This will help melt the snow and ice and prevent slip and falls. Nevertheless, you should take action and purchase snow salt early into the winter as it tends to sell out fast. Second, while walking in snow and ice, you should take smaller, slower steps, and watch where you walk. Pay close attention where you step. Third, it is critical that you always wear shoes with sufficient treads for purposes of grip.
Kentucky’s Premises Liability Law
Following the above list will help prevent slip and falls in snow and ice. Yet, if you are injured from such an accident, and if it occurred on someone else’s property, it is important that you know and understand your rights. Your rights here are spelled out in Kentucky’s premises liability law. First off, however, you must file such a lawsuit within one year of your injury per KRS 413.140(1)(a). This is known as the statute of limitations. If you do not file within this one-year period, you are most likely barred from doing so. Thus, this limitation should be strictly adhered to.
In Kentucky, as well as most other states, to have a successful personal injury case for your slip and fall injury, you have to prove that the owner of the property was negligent. To show negligence, you must prove the following by the preponderance of the evidence:
- That the property owner owed you a duty;
- That the property owner breached said duty;
- That said breach was the actual cause of your injury;
- That your injury was a foreseeable result of said breach; and
- That damages resulted. Damages are not presumed in a negligence suit.
For the first element, duty, your classification on the property will determine the degree of duty owed to you. If you are not a trespasser, then you will typically be classified as an invitee or licensee. An invitee is a person who enters one’s property at their express or implied invitation. If you are on the property at the mutual benefit of both you and the property owner, you are most likely classified as an invitee. A common example of an invitee is a business customer. Property owners owe a duty of reasonable care to invitees for his or her safety. The property owner must warn, or protect, the invitee from dangers that are latent or hidden when the invitee has no knowledge of the danger.
On the other hand, a licensee is a person who has the consent to enter the property owner’s land. However, there is no mutual benefit with a licensee status. Generally, the duty owed to a licensee is to warn him or her of known dangers that the licensee is not likely to discover and to refrain from misconduct or wanton negligence.
If You Were Injured, Take Action Now
In all, if you were unfortunately injured one another’s property in Kentucky, such as from a slip and fall, you should take action now! It is advisable that you seek representation from an experienced personal injury attorney in Kentucky. Such an attorney will help ensure that you are adequately compensated. Contact Roberts Law Office today for a free consultation!